6 Nations Weekend Preview

11 02 2010

With the pick of the 6 Nations matches at the weekend being France versus Ireland, Declan Kidney has surprised a few people by picking Ronan O’Gara at fly half again despite Jonny Sexton’s return from injury. Had Sexton been fit last week the likelihood is he would have started, however it appears that ROG’s performance in that match has reaffirmed Kidney’s faith in him. Sexton is likely to make a substantial second half appearance and it will be interesting to see how Ireland’s game changes on his introduction. There is little doubt he offers more going forward than ROG and it will be interesting to see how much faith is placed in him if the game is tight.

With the only other change being Earls for Trimble on the left wing, our prediction is an Ireland win by 5 to 10 points and for O’Driscoll to remind Bastereaud that he is still a little wet behind the ears.

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England versus Italy promises to be a very stodgy affair if England don’t break loose. Flutey returns for Flood and Dan Cole, who the Compulsive Hooker has been pushing for some months now, will make his first start. The scrum was definitely more assured last week upon Wilson’s substitution for Cole and we can look forward to a similar all action game to which he regularly plays for Leicester from the young 22 year old.

If Wilkinson cannot show more spark inside the creative Flutey we fear that his reputation will be further tarnished. As mentioned previously the hope is that with an inside centre more in the Greenwood mould, Wilkinson will be forced to play more on the gain line. The Compulsive Hooker will remain faithful in our declaration of JW as the ‘greatest living Englishman’ but we feel for the rest of the world to acknowledge him once more he needs to lift his game.

Italy have made some changes to their side although sad to say these are likely to be fairly inconsequential to the result. More limited than they have been in the past, it is time to play with a game plan that is less about spoiling the oppositions game and more about playing positive rugby themselves. Our prediction is for an England win along the lines of 35-8.

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Wales host Scotland in the third weekend game and Gatland has shown a softer side than expected with his decision to include Alun Wyn-Jones. After Jones’ trip on Hartley last weekend, Gatland had been apoplectic with rage and the player must have feared for his life let alone his place. (Anyone who has seen the latest Lions documentary ‘Living with the Pride’ will appreciate what we mean with Gatland!) Wales have the chance to show what they can do against a limited Scot side whose ambitions, like Italy’s, often seem to stretch no further than spoiling the oppositions ball.

Chris Paterson is winning his 100th cap and this is an achievement that should certainly be applauded in the modern day rugby world, where durability and the ability to remain injury free is something only a few can claim. In our view he has been a much underrated player and is probably the best kicker in world rugby off the ground. We can’t find the stat exactly but we think he hasn’t missed a kick in the 6 Nations since 2007. Is this correct can anyone help us?

Our prediction is for Wales to have too much for the Scots and to win by 15 points.

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2 responses

16 02 2010
Will Buck

Hi Bradders, Just having a quick look this morning and a small chuckle at your predictions re Ireland and O’Driscoll/ Bastareaud. That Irish streak in you is coming out way too often these days!
I have to say, having watched the highlghts properly yesterday again, the French are looking streets ahead of any other national northern hemisphere side. They finally seem to be getting the balance right and we all know what dangerous, attractive rugby they can play. They appear to have found a ten of quality and Jauzion and Bastaraud looked easily the world’s best centre pairing at the weekend. Harinordiqay is awesome and we know about their front row. Watch out for the frogs in the world cup. I’m sticking some money on them now!!

16 02 2010
Bradders

Yes I know, every time i make a prediction on here it seems to go awry! Still I genuinely thought they’d do it….

Trinh-Duc is awesome, as is Parra. Read somewhere they are 15-1 for new zealand 2011 which is worth a punt I would say.

Its amazing really as Lievremont seems to chop and change their side so much that they have got to this stage. Thats why I thought they’d falter against Ireland – the constant messing around with selection.

cheers for commenting.

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