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***Six Nations 2012***

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***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 08:16:14 Reply

The IRB Six Nations 2012 kicks off this afternoon.

It's going to be explosive

Many changes have taken place since last year, with England getting a massive overhaul from their disappointing campaign, Wales without their talismanic try scoring machine, Italy with a new head coach, France seeking to dominate the contest and Ireland seeking a return to the Grand Slam form of 2009.

This weekend's matches kick off the competition in earnest:

France - Italy
Scotland - England
Ireland - Wales

It's a mouth watering championship and I'm ready to take up the banner of the red rose again.

Game on!


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 08:20:46 Reply

The local bookies have got Wales down as 11/4 favourites with England as 4th favourite

I put my money on Ireland but they'll have a tough time of it without Brian O'Driscoll

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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 08:47:28 Reply

Just excited for rugby to be starting back up, can only take so much cricket and tennis.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 09:03:54 Reply

Italy gotta win


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 09:25:57 Reply

You think there will be a grand slam this year?

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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 09:52:26 Reply

Ah, european stuff. How I wish I understood it.

Scotland, hands down.
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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 10:19:56 Reply

As close a Championship this year as I can remember- most of the teams are fairly close in my eyes (with Italy a little adrift as usual, but always improving year on year). Its the first time in a long time that Scotland can actually consider themselves favourites against England, but with the new look side for England nobody knows what will happen.

All in all very exciting, all I ask is a bit of fast flowing rugby and some hints of recovery from England- I'm really excited to see what this new lineup can produce, its certainly a strong side based on league form.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 11:22:45 Reply

At 2/4/12 08:20 AM, Dogbert581 wrote: The local bookies have got Wales down as 11/4 favourites with England as 4th favourite

On today's form, the French will take some stopping.

At 2/4/12 08:47 AM, Shaun wrote: Just excited for rugby to be starting back up, can only take so much cricket and tennis.

Seconded - the cricket has been awful today...

At 2/4/12 09:03 AM, LostFaceInTrain wrote: Italy gotta win

On the strength of the first 20 minutes of their game with the French, they deserved to score, but the luck ran with the French and as a result, they managed to outscore them and wear the poor buggers down.

At 2/4/12 09:25 AM, BumFodder wrote: You think there will be a grand slam this year?

Hard to say early on, but my gut says no, as we can't even call a winner.

At 2/4/12 10:19 AM, Sentio wrote: As close a Championship this year as I can remember- most of the teams are fairly close in my eyes (with Italy a little adrift as usual, but always improving year on year).

I'd say that Italy and Scotland will fight it out for the Wooden Spoon, but the other four all have realistic chances of winning it all this year.

Its the first time in a long time that Scotland can actually consider themselves favourites against England, but with the new look side for England nobody knows what will happen.

Any game when England turn out at Murrayfield is a game when the Scots are favourites. We can spring a shock, but it will look very different (I hope) to any rugby I've seen of late, from the English, with so many new names to remember.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-04 15:06:38 Reply

At 2/4/12 11:22 AM, Coop wrote:
Any game when England turn out at Murrayfield is a game when the Scots are favourites. We can spring a shock, but it will look very different (I hope) to any rugby I've seen of late, from the English, with so many new names to remember.

Well it was different- England were more disciplined than I have seen for a while and gave away few penalties, but otherwise they were utterly awful. The only saving grace was that Scotland were determined to lose- it was actually becoming a joke by the end that every time they got into our 22 they screwed up. I wasn't even worried in the last 5 minutes as they kept coming towards our line- I don't think I have ever seen such a woeful display of finishing.

But how England won that with virtually no ball at all, no pressure on the Scottish line, no real chances to score besides the try that was essentially given to them on a plate, and losing the ball almost every time they took it into contact in the second half is astonishing. I know conditions weren't ideal, but they certainly weren't dreadful either.

England will be battered by the other three contenders without severe improvement, Scotland might never score a try again.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-11 11:54:38 Reply

Well, at half time, it was all going decently for England, being 6-0 up, with 38 minutes gone. Then Ben Foden makes two mistakes (one can be said was unlucky, but the second was piss-poor) and Italy score two tries and convert the second, to take a 12-6 lead into the break.

The Azzuri are ecstatic, England are stunned. I want to see some improvement.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-11 13:13:06 Reply

Well, we managed to kick it up a gear and some aggressive changes from Stuart Lancaster, coupled with the realisation that we should run at the Italians and a flukey (if somewhat deserved, for karmic purposes) try from Charlie Hodgson, of all people clawed us back into the reckoning.

As far as the championship goes, that should be our two wins for the tournament, but with a little head of steam built up, going into the off week, we might even be able to make something happen out there...

*deep breath*

Moving on, tonight, we will see France host Ireland in Paris, weather permitting. Conditions are due to be very harsh tonight, so I'll celebrate, by watching that first thing in the morning. Wales should maul the Scots tomorrow at 3pm, so expect a few fireworks, but if the English can beat Scotland, they will suffer for the tournament, until the Italian match rolls around. One that I think that the Azzuri can win. I know I say this every year, but one year, it will come to pass!


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-12 12:47:30 Reply

Week 2 results:

Italy 15 - 19 England
Wales 27 - 13 Scotland
France P - P Ireland

Table
Team P | W | L | F | A | Pts
Wales 2 | 2 | 0 | 50 | 34 | 4
England 2 | 2 | 0 | 32 | 21 | 4
France 1 | 1 | 0 | 30 | 24 | 2
Scotland 2 | 0 | 2 | 19 | 40 | 0
Italy 2 | 0 | 2 | 27 | 49 | 0
Ireland 1 | 0 | 1 | 21 | 46 | 0

Ireland and France will make up their game during the off-weekend either next weekend, or the 3rd / 4th of March. Fans have been told to keep their tickets.

The Wales - Scotland match was a great encounter, with early exchanges marked by not a lot of scoring. The Scots held firm, as did the Welsh, though they did kick away, as opposed to taking a punt for the posts in 25 minutes and Scotland ran back into Welsh territory, earning a penalty to take the lead 3-0. Wales responded to make it 3-3 at the break, wehen we felt it was going to be a close encounter.

Wales exploded out of the blocks in the second minute, a fumble on reception of the kick off handing a lineout deep within the Scottish 22 to the Welsh, who duly supplied pressure and a try ensued, from the forward pressure, with winger Alex Cuthbert going over for the Welsh.

Leigh Halfpenny was given a chance to emerge from the shadow of Shane Williams and he did an admirable job, scoring twice, creating dazzling runs and kicking goals to boot. Halfpenny walked from the pitch with 22 points on the day, as Scottish discipline crumbled, allowing two yellow cards to weary the lines. Suffering the best part of 20 minutes reduced to 14 men, the Scots looked visible broken and battered. The Welsh came off the worst, losing George North to a leg injury, which could prove costly, having seen the play he is capable of on the wings.

The Scots were unbowed though and they came roaring back, with excellent forward play by Ritchie Gray and Ross Rennie carrying the ball through to the Welsh 22. A poor call from referee Roman Poite denied the Scots a magnificent try with 15 to go on the clock and a few moments later, the persistence of the Scottsh pack paid off, as Greig Laidlaw caught the Welsh defence asleep, touching down for a much deserved try.

Still also rans in this competition, but some daylight is showing, as the Scottish are learning that they can run with the ball.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-12 12:53:01 Reply

what ever happened to no stat threads?


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-12 14:24:42 Reply

At 1 hour ago, tox wrote: what ever happened to no stat threads?

Whatever happened to no backseat modding?

This isn't a stat thread - it's a sport thread and this is where we discuss what goes on in the tournament. If that means me recreating the table for the competition, then so be it.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-12 16:10:03 Reply

Can you explain this in American?


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-13 15:20:05 Reply

At 23 hours ago, AtomicD00M wrote: Can you explain this in American?

Lol a more flowing version of American football.

When is the Ireland France match rescheduled for?


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-14 08:17:14 Reply

At 1 day ago, AtomicD00M wrote: Can you explain this in American?

Gladly

Basically, there are two points for a win, one for a draw, none for a loss. Each nation plays five games - one against each other nation, rotating between home one year and away the next. There are a few other honours played for within the tournament - the Grand Slam, when a nation goes a perfect 5 for 5. The Triple crown, where one home nation (England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales) beats all of the other three in the tournament. The Calcutta Cup is a specific trophy, awarded for the winner of the England - Scotland match and there are a few similar ones, for various other combinations, like France - Italy's version.

At 16 hours ago, Lunaful wrote:
At 23 hours ago, AtomicD00M wrote: Can you explain this in American?
Lol a more flowing version of American football.

Even in a nutshell, that's a poor description.

When is the Ireland France match rescheduled for?

It looks likely to be rescheduled for Friday 2nd March, or Saturday 3rd of March, as that's the free weekend. It may have been run too close to this weekend to reschedule for now, but an official announcement is expected soon.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 09:25:51 Reply

After a week off, we now have a chance to get back into the swing of things, with three matches today, hoping to show us the front runners of this year's tournament.

Ireland - Italy
England - Wales
Scotland - France

Will Wales stamp their authority all over the tournament, with a win in England, sealing them the triple crown after the third round of matches? Can Stuart Lancaster's men respond to the pressure, with a few World Cup players returning to the fold in Manu Tuilagi returning to the XV and Courtney Lawes moving in to the bench, to bolster the options.

Finally, which France will turn out at Murrayfield? If the Scots can play with the intensity shown during the Calcutta Cup match, they could spring a surprise, but that's not going to happen, let's face it.

I get the feeling that France and Wales will be duking it out for the tournament this year, but there's still a long way to go.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 09:29:45 Reply

Bored at work and with my neck in some pain I have put on rugby in the hope that it would make me forget the other woes as rugby is usually the higher form of punishment I can take. Anyway, its not been too bad. Started watching the Ireland/Italy game when it was 10-3 or something and the goals or whatever they call them were entertaining. Want to keep an eye on the England game. Is that on afterwards?


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 09:47:50 Reply

At 12 days ago, tox wrote: what ever happened to no stat threads?

How is this a stat thread?

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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 10:20:11 Reply

At 48 minutes ago, Gagsy wrote: Want to keep an eye on the England game. Is that on afterwards?

Yeah, kick off is 4pm. I've got time for a shower before then, so that only my language stinks :P


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 12:55:51 Reply

Anybody Welsh or New Zealander? Feel like a ban - please sign up below.

I can't believe I'm so pissed off about losing 12-19 to a team much better on paper than us. Oh yeah, because for a large part of the match, we were the better team.

The ref missed two crucial plays - a Welsh knock on, which meant that they got the penalty, leading to bringing the score to 12-9 and a further issue was missed with them later on, thus another penalty, for 12-12. Then with Wales scoring a converted try to take it to 12-19, with the last roll of the dice, we bundle over the line to score a try and it's disallowed, due to the TMO evidence being "inconclusive". I wonder what the spineless linesman would have said, had there been no Television Match Official in the game.

The referee even admitted that he made a mistake on the first Welsh knock on and we should have had the put in at the scrum, rather than the Welsh penalty, though you can't always hold that against him. It's just that he;s made mistakes and they have sadly cost England the match and awarded Wales the Triple Crown and a shot at Grand Slam glory. Only Italy and France to go for them, now.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 12:57:08 Reply

From today's results it looks like the final round of matches will see France/Wales competing for Grand Slam and Scotland/Italy for wooden spoon.

And I thought England/Ireland on St Paddy's day would have attracted the most attention

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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 15:12:59 Reply

At 2 hours ago, Dogbert581 wrote: From today's results it looks like the final round of matches will see France/Wales competing for Grand Slam and Scotland/Italy for wooden spoon.

And I thought England/Ireland on St Paddy's day would have attracted the most attention

Oh It will!


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 16:06:52 Reply

At 3 hours ago, Dogbert581 wrote: From today's results it looks like the final round of matches will see France/Wales competing for Grand Slam and Scotland/Italy for wooden spoon.

Oh, that depends on the Irish, when they take on the French next weekend. They can certainly be spoilers for the French, as can we in Le Crunch.

And I thought England/Ireland on St Paddy's day would have attracted the most attention

Oh, that's still something to look forward to.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-25 17:58:12 Reply

Well Wales deserved that one. They're really coming along as a far more dominant rugby nation, it was a great match to watch.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-02-26 05:30:42 Reply

At 11 hours ago, Markface wrote: Well Wales deserved that one. They're really coming along as a far more dominant rugby nation, it was a great match to watch.

No, they really didn't. They should have slaughtered us and to have to rely on poor refereeing to win by a converted try means that England punched well above their weight to win that.

Sure, Wales are the better team, I'll admit that, but for all of our youth and inexperience, England played like a team that belongs at the sharp end of Rugby Union and I'm immensely proud.

I'll detail the four decisions that cost England the game yesterday:

1) Knock on by Wales - the ball was passed through the England line and it squirts away. This was a knock on from Wales, which was missed. Play continues and the ref is heard saying "I think I missed a knock on there, sorry." Wales get a penalty and pull back to within 3 points.

2) Hands in the ruck, by England. The referee awards a penalty against Matt Stevens, who is clearly seen with both feet planted on the floor, rooting around in the ruck to get the ball back for England. This is perfectly legal, but the ref thought otherwise. Leigh Halfpenny levels the scores at 12 all.

3) George North Defence. Toby Flood kicks the ball to the corner, over the head of North, who, while racing back against an onrushing English attack palms the ball into play, without an attempt to catch it. Dubious play at best, but still technically illegal. This is the issues I have least with the refereeing.

4) Dave Strettle's disallowed try. The ref asked the wrong question here, but that's down to the linesman, who should have said that he thought it was a try. The Ref should have asked the TMO "Is there any reason I cannot award the try?", to which the answer would have been "no". That cost England a 17-19 deficit and Toby Flood a shy at the posts for the tie. If that was to be the end of the match, we should have come back for the penalty, as we were playing advantage and a penalty, while still showing the loss for England, would have brought us that much closer.

My pontificating will not bring us any more points, change the result in any way, or even make the sting of defeat any less, but I will still be proud of these guys, with what they did on the field yesterday.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-03-10 10:23:20 Reply

And we're back with six nations rugby this afternoon, with Wales hoping to keep the dream of a slam alive against Italy, while the Irish host the Scots at the Aviva Stadium. This weekend could really give us the look of the final table, with England travelling to Paris for tomorrow's "Le Crunch" tie against France.

Wales haven't converted the opportunities yet and when they do, they should smash the Italians. Italy have rolled the dice, but have so far drawn a blank.


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-03-12 03:59:44 Reply

Week 4 round up
Wales made tough going of the Italians early on and a few decisions both ways could have changed the look of the scoreboard for half time and really altered the way the game played out. The final score of 24-3 to Wales doesn't show how nervous they made it look.

Ireland ran away from the Scots in the last quarter, but this game was closer than it looks too. Richie Gray scored his first international try and looked the part, while Scotland's issue was with a leaky defensive line - something that seems to haunt Andy Robinson, if the truth be told.

England Bossed the first quarter against the French, running in two early tries. Alain Rowland had a strange game, overturning an English Mark, to award a French Penalty under the sticks and awarding a yellow card to Charlie Sharples for a deliberate knock on, despite only giving a penalty to Wesley Fofana moments earlier. England stood firm, soaking up the pressure of the 10 minutes down a man and when Tom Croft broke through the line to score England's third try, it was practically in the bag. France had other ideas, though and Fofana scored a try after possession was given to them after Croft accidentally stood on the nose of Phil Dowson, we were in for a grandstand finish.

The ball came back to Francois Trinh-Duc, whose drop-goal attempt just fell short of the posts. England hung on with their grit and determination, to make it a famous victory. France 22-24 England. This is the first time that England have won all three away matches in a six nations tournament.

Table
Nation P | W | D | L | Pts
Wales 4 | 4 | 0 | 0 | 8
England 4 | 3 | 0 | 1 | 6
Ireland | 4 | 2 | 1 | 0 | 5
France | 4 | 2 | 1 | 0 | 5
Scotland | 4 | 0 | 0 | 4 | 0
Italy | 4 | 0 | 0 | 4 | 0

The final weekend of matches takes place on Saturday, with Italy opening up against Scotland in the wooden spoon match. Italian spirit will be tested against open Scottish attack. But this is just the warm up.

Wales host France in Cardiff for the Grand Slam, with the French stinging from Sunday's defeat by the English. Can there be a response? If all goes well, I'd hope so, as I'm not sure that the Welsh deserve the slam, after the manner that they beat us in.

Finally, England play host to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day. There will be a lot of Guinness drunk in the ground then. If it all goes right, England could be champions. If it all goes wrong, we could be 4th, so everything is still to play for.

Game on!


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Response to ***Six Nations 2012*** 2012-03-12 04:03:34 Reply

Wow, up until this thread I always thought Six Nations was a theme park in America.