Six Nations thoughts

I was preoccupied by the Test match, but I watched the two of the first three Six Nations matches at the weekend. I already talked a bit on the Armchair Selector about the Scotland v England match, but I don’t think I emphasised how lacklustre England still looked. It didn’t really surprise me, given the number of new faces in the side, but they did not fill me with confidence. The defence especially looked patchy and were fortunate to concede only six points. It was a poor match from both sides, however, and not a particularly entertaining one. Both sides will need to improve in order to finish high in the table.

The other match I watched was Ireland v Wales. After the meetings at the World Cup and last year’s Six Nations it looked before the match like it could be the best fixture of the entire of the tournament and will certainly take some beating. As disappointed as Ireland will be to have lost, Wales were probably the deserved victors. The did not quite dominate play, I thought, but they looked more fluid and better organised. Had they been on the losing side I think they would have been just as disappointed overall, albeit with a less singular cause. With Wales hosting France later in the tournament, this win should put them clear favourites for the title.

The match I did not watch was France v Italy. (There was cricket on and I only have so many hours in a day.) France won, which is no surprise, though I heard that Italy played better than they have in the past. Italy may have a decent chance to spring an upset this year; they host England and Scotland both of whom look to be amongst the weaker teams in the tournament. Next Saturday is Italy v England and France v Ireland, with Wales v Scotland on Sunday. I’m tipping England to win against Italy, but they will not find it straightforward, France to beat Ireland in a reasonably good match and Wales to overcome Scotland fairly easily.

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