6 Nations 2016 Part 3: A Quiet Friday Night In, Shouting at the TVPosted: February 28, 2016
The Wales vs France match is traditionally the Friday night match and has thrown up some decent games over the years, but the 2016 installment will not go down as a classic.
The first half was a tight, frustrating affair as Wales dominated but encountered strong French defence. Not helping was that Dan Biggar missed a kick and it was 6-3 at the break.
After the break Wales came out all guns blazing and Biggar added another penalty before George North burst through to score his second try in two games.
France weren’t done, however, and pushed up. Their inexperienced lineup and some heroic Welsh defending meant there was no way through, although it left this Welshman on the edge of the sofa cursing at the screen.
Wales held out and had flashes of skill, especially from Gareth Davies, who is playing phenomenally at the moment. He gave the French problems and Wales started to creep back into it, and led 19-3 heading for the close.
Unfortunately after defending so well Wales then messed up allowing France to gain major ground and nab their own try minutes from the end through Guilhelm Guirado. It was too late to alter the course of the game, but disappointing for Wales.
I skipped what was essentially the wooden spoon decider between Scotland and Italy, which the Scots won 36-20.
The final match saw England take on Ireland. It was another close first half with the teams 6-3 at the break. I missed this, keeping apprised on Twitter where I heard James Haskell had been sent to the bin and that Ireland had capitalised quickly for the game’s first try.
I came down with England having replied to be leading 14-10. They would add another try to lead 21-10, the final score. Ireland looked incredibly creaky at times although they were unluckily not given a try near the death which could have at least saved some face. England looked the better team but were lucky they didn’t get three yellows as Mike Brown put the boots to an Irishman but was judged to be accidental. Danny Care, however was binned.
This means Ireland’s hope of being the first to win three championships in a row. England and Wales are the only undefeated teams, meaning their showdown in a fortnight could well be the decider for the tournament. France could still also win it, but are outsiders.
As much as I love the tournament I’m glad if a break as Wales’ frustrating display on Friday was not exactly entertaining and I expect the England match will be a tense affair. And I fear a disappointing one…
Round 4 predictions (current score 6/9)
Ireland vs Italy
England vs Wales
Scotland vs France
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.