Brilliant game. England have woken up. France were abysmal until the last 15. Alain Rolland has once again shown that he should never be in charge of another international match. Idiot. And I agree - no yellow card. Ridiculous.
Unfortunately, this result has taken the shine off Wales v France next week. Although France couldn't win the GS with a draw to their name, they could at least have been playing for the championship. Unless England can put a shed load on Ireland and win and France beat Wales by a sizable margin, Wales must win the 6N. Bit of an anticlimax :(
My predictions were a little astray this weekend.
PLD W D L PF PA PTS
Wales 4 4 0 0 93 49 8 [diff = 44]
England 4 3 0 1 68 62 6 [diff = 6]
Ireland 4 2 1 1 112 64 5
France 4 2 1 1 92 70 5
Scotland 4 0 0 4 50 95 0
Italy 4 0 0 4 40 115 0
So England need to win by - and Wales lose by - a combination of 38+ points
NEXT SATURDAY Italy v Scotland Wales v France England v Ireland
My Predictions Italy 6-16 Scotland (Scotland will be too strong in the loose - however Italian defence is very good) Wales 21-20 France (both playing badly at the moment - too difficult to call) England 14-19 Ireland (Ireland probably the best team in the tournament following the first game. Although England have won 3 away from home, their biggest test will be next weekend. Interesting to see how Ferris et al will affect the English back dynamic)
The only way Wales will not win the GS is if the team has one too many shandies the night before and Andy Powell leads them in a golf cart parade on the M4 in the wrong direction and they miss the kick-off.
Italy - bloody beauties! Alain Rolland did his best to make the game as slow and awful as possible, but rugby triumphed in the end. Rolland take note - your days as an international referee are numbered. OK, Wales 6N Champions and Grand Slamers. France were shocking in the first half and that IMHO did it for them. England beat Ireland by a country mile. Ireland were atrocious, England were good, although not that good, but thoroughly deserved the win.
Dan Lydiate (Wales 6) was the stand out player of the day. What a player! Everybody has built up Sam Warburton (Wales 7), but his contribution to the game today and over the championship has been without compare. Mention a key moment or quiet moment that sparked into life and you can bet Dan Lydiate had a hand in it.
Shame 6's rarely get the accolades they deserve. I had tears in my eyes when he was named Man of the Match.
Watched the games again without the Guinness Goggles. Yep, England were that good - sorry HG - looks like we're in for hell of a 6N next year!
Ireland may struggle with the creaking oldies. Scotland may get a lease of new life if they ever get that albatross of a manager from around their necks. Italy have to be thoroughly pumped after that win and that AMAZING crowd. France will lick their wounds and come back with a thump. England will be building up that new young exciting side - Farrell outstanding. Wales will be looking to get a few Southern Hemisphere scalps - but maybe still a bit too early for that.