SIX NATIONS: England will look to carry forward their momentum from a convincing win at the Aviva by shutting out France next weekend in Twickenham, but will it all be plain sailing?
After a tremendous first half at the Stade and a not so confidence instilling second half France will have mixed emotions going into battle with the old enemy. We got a glimpse at the velocity France can play with in that titillating first 40 in Paris.
On the flip side England’s defence showed everyone in the tournament that it will be far from easy to get over the gain line. There are a few cracks in the armour for England though as they continue to be let down by their ill-discipline, we seen Curry get binned 12 minutes into the first half against Ireland for a late challenge on Earls and the penalty count seem to rack up from there with a final count of 4-8 against the visitors. There’s no doubt that it’s set up to be another clash of titans.
Ireland after licking their wounds will have to re asses and have a quick body count as it appears some of the starting 15 have taken considerable knocks. Stander with a suspected fractured cheek bone, Earls after taking two early off the ball hits from Curry and Itoje suffering a hip pointer injury and finally Toner limping off with what looked like a bad ankle roll will all be doubts for next week’s match up with Scotland. It’s probably safe to say there may be a bit of a reshuffle in the back line as Henshaw’s lacklustre performance sees fans hoping for the more experienced Kearney to resume his spot at full back.
Scotland will be on a high following a decent first weekend performance against the Italians, but they did show that finishing out games is still a part of their game management they need improving upon with Conor O’Shea’s side dotting down 3 tries in the last 10 minutes of the game. With Scotland’s star players such as Hogg and Laidlaw looking on form and Ireland having to travel to Murrayfield after a heavy defeat at home you’d think the market should be in the Scotsmen’s favour, but Irelands reputation seems to be holding what little confidence punters have left in them.
As for Wales they will go into their second week of Six Nations Rugby full of certainty after overturning a 16-0 deficit in Paris to come out victorious against the French. George North got his tournament off to a flying start with a man of the match performance and was sure to shake off any self-doubt that he may of being carrying from his previous performances in a red shirt.
Even though Italy have pulled off some miraculous results including a 22-15 win over Ireland in Rome and managed to score a handful of tries last week against Scotland it’s hard to see them finding a way past Gatland’s men.
This is what week ones results have done to the outright.
Week 2 is sure to be another try filled weekend with England most likely to finish the weekend in the same position they start it and Scotland v Ireland to be a very close match up, which might see the result go in favour of the team that can get on the board first and claim a foothold in the game.