The Round Up - Six Nations Round One
The Six Nations was back with a bang! Two very tight games in England vs Scotland and Italy vs France and a clinical display of ruthless rugby from Ireland as they trounced Wales. As we predicted a week ago, this looks to the most open Six Nations in years.
Following the action, and much debate in the office, the Infinity Sports Travel team have picked their team of round one:
The Round Up
Ireland vs Wales
This was a result that many predicted. The number one side in the world against a side with a new coach, low confidence, and the distraction of a union in disarray. Ireland cantered into a 14 point lead within 9 minutes and arguably had the game rapped up by half time. Their backs were able to fire shots from all areas of the park off the back of a physically dominant performance from their forwards. Wales never looked to be in the game, their one bright spark looks to be Rio Dyer who looked dangerous every time he touched the ball.
England vs Scotland
Scotland look to be the real deal this year. Gregor Townsends side were clinical, ruthless and showed much more desire than their English counterparts on Saturday at the home of rugby. Duhan van de Merwe scored one of the best tries in Six Nations history and Finn Russell was as mercurial as ever. The question will now be, can they maintain their form and momentum for the remainder of the tournament? As for England, it wasn’t all bad. The build-up play to both of Max Malins tries was positive and showed what England could do, but the men in white kicked too much possession away (one loose kit leading to “that try”) and the tandem of Smith at 10 and Farrell at 12 still does not seem to work.
Italy vs France
What an exciting game. Yes, the argument will be made that the French have several injuries and are not at full strength but let’s not take away from how much Italy have improved. Had England played against either of these sides this weekend in the way they played against Scotland, they would have lost. Italy looked exciting with ball in hand, causing France a number of headaches. Their talismanic young fullback Capuozzo was up to his usual tricks and the finish for his try was nothing short of exceptional. France started slowly but built into the game and many would say that in the final 10 minutes, the result was never in doubt. One would think that Shaun Edwards would have been less than impressed with Les Bleus defensive showing.
Infinity Sports Travel player of the round: