To sit here and talk about rugby like i have sat and watched it all weekend, would be lying. Instead i have been chasing my two kids around a Disney store. They were over-tired and over-excited, running around like bulls in a china shop, except it was Disney characters in a trail on the floor behind them. They wanted one thing then saw another, so they wanted that one instead. I was trying my hardest to keep them away from the breakable stuff, but they were so fast (whatever energy kick they had i want) and they worked together. To other parents yes i know this is just a normal day with 4 and 1 year old. My whole weekend has been a busy one with my beautiful family (BROWNIE POINTS!). Hence the reason i have not watched any live rugby, only highlights. I know what your thinking, “what sort of blog is this and he won’t get any likes”, well surely i can’t do any worse than ZERO likes from my last one! But anyway bare with me, i will try my hardest to make this interesting, i know i am as my brain is starting to hurt. But according to my wife, that is a regular occurrence when i’m thinking. But anyway this is a rugby blog and the only bit of rugby so far has been the word RUGBY.
So, where to start? Friday lets go in order. Exeter thrashed Leicester convincingly away and gained a bonus point. Wasps were immense in beating Bath and everything is back to normal winning ways at Sarries. They even had big Billy back and fair play he played 72mins after just coming back from injury. Looking at the Leicester and Bath beatings- who are in 5th and 4th- by the teams in 2nd and 1st, for me shows a massive gap and that the top three are miles ahead. So no matter which of Bath or Leicester finish in fourth, they will be just making up the numbers i’m afraid.
Down the other end Worcester v Bristol was another one sided game, but with totally different consequences for the losing team. Sorry Bristol but i think that was the final nail in the coffin. I do believe they will come straight back up, but this season just shows how hard it is, that once you get to the Premiership its so hard to stay up. But fair play to Worcester, they were outstanding and wanted to make sure the gap between them and Bristol was made even bigger which they did.
A few days ago after Harlequins beat Gloucester dramatically, i saw a re-tweet of Laurie Fisher saying something along the lines of “unbelievable capitulation, not good enough, time to move aside” or something like that. Only to find out today that he has left with immediate effect. Its a shame for a great club, who only won the European Challenge Cup in 2015. So now we wait to see who they bring in for next season.
Finally just a little well done to Sale’s Josh Charnley, on scoring his first union try the weekend. Its took a little longer than it took Denny Solomona, but not everyone adapts to the game at the same speed. I feel now he has that first try he will kick on and really make strides. I followed him playing for Wigan in Super League, he was a try scoring machine and he was a invaluable player for them. I have a feeling he will soon be that with Sale if they are to be better next season.
I’m so excited for two of this weekends 6 Nations games. France v Italy i will watch it, i just feel its a forgone conclusion, but i like Conor O’Shea and hope Italy can cause an upset.
So back to the biggies…first up on Friday night Wales v Ireland. Part of me thinks Wales will be reeling from the Scotland defeat and could get the win, wanting to prove a point. Especially with them being at home, thats a big factor. Lets not forget either they have top class players who have been there and done it before. But i feel Ireland are building steam at just the right time and they are so well drilled. Joe Schmidt has got some team together there and i’m nervous already for the Ireland v England game (whether we beat Scotland or not) and thats over a week away. Just think the back-row battle between Wales and Ireland will be gigantic, massive, earth shattering and erm..you get the point, i can’t wait.
The final game, England v Scotland, the Calcutta Cup, the old rivals. This could be i feel a really close game. Both teams on their day can be sensational, although England haven’t really got there yet in this 6 Nation. But you feel it is due sometime and that should worry Scotland somewhat. Scotland’s form worries me, they have been the form team so far this tournament. You can’t signal out one player there have been so many outstanding players for them. The one area where i feel England can get big dominance is the scrum, as Scotland has not been the best. They also need to stop Finn Russell playing, get on top of him. Then also take advantage of Hogg’s defence, which is a weak point of his game and he doesn’t have many, and hes nailed on for Lions fullback in my opinion. Also England need to start quick and well, not giving away to many pens like in the game against Italy, do the basics well. Scotland also need to start quickly, to unsettle and quieten the Twickenham crowd, plant that seed of doubt in their heads and eventually they will start to turn on the England players, just look at the Italy game, the were booing them then. But England’s morale should be higher with the return of Big Billy to the squad, and if on form he could be the missing link that England have needed this 6 Nations.
But anyway i hope all games continue with the great rugby and entertainment we have seen in the previous games, building towards a momentous final weekend. Enjoy the games…i know i will.