England dominated the first half, they ran in two tries and thanks to the boot of Jonny Wilkenson they went into the break leading by 20-6. Italy,who under new coach Nick Mallet looks a much better team, is no longer the whipping boys of Six Nations rugby and they put England to the sword in the second half. Italy scored their only try with 3 minutes left in the second half, causing some serious concern in the England camp. The English did manage to hang on to their slender lead and get their first victory of the 2008 campaign. Final score: England 23 Italy 19
In one of the best Six Nations games in recent years France managed to overcome a spirited Irish comeback to stay unbeaten in the 2008 competition.
France dominated the first half, thanks to a Vincent Clerc hat-trick, and after 10 minutes in the second half France was in the lead by 26-6 and the game seemed over as a contest. Ireland had other ideas though, and made a spirited comeback in the last half an hour. A penalty try, and a try by hard working flanker, David Wallace, saw the Irish claw the score back to 26-21, with a few minutes left on the clock. The French managed to hang on to the lead and it was a very relieved French team when the final whistle came.
Ireland certainly looked a much improved side from the one that struggled to beat Italy, whilst the French looks full of running and after the first two rounds have already scored 7 tries and conceded only 2. Final score: France 26 Ireland 21
Wales maintained their unbeaten record in the 2008 Six Nations competition with a well deserved victory over Scotland.
Wales dominated the first half, but had only one try to show for their efforts, whilst Scotland kept in touch on the scoreboard thanks to the boot of Chris Paterson. The Welsh dominated possession and only determined defence by the Scots, and some poor decision making by the Welsh kept them from running away with the game before half time.
The second half saw Wales score two more tries, and with both teams kickers maintaing 100% records with their goal kicking, the tries scored by Wales proved to be the deciding factor.
Wales looks like a force to be reckoned with in the Six Nations competition of 2008, whist Scotland will have to go back to the drawing board after two losses in a row. Final score: Wales 30 Scotland 15
A new-look French team kicked their Six Nations defence off with a disjointed 27-6 victory over a below-par Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday. The French made the most of their opportunities whilst Scotland failed to impress in a game marred by mistakes and flaring tempers.
Marc Lievremont, the new French coach, can feel satisfied with his team’s opening performance of the 2008 Six Nations as they ran in three tries to none. The French showed a very organised defensive structure whilst Scotland made to many basic errors to be a force in the game.
It is still early days in the Six Nations but the French can feel confident about their start to the competition and will be a force to be reckoned with. Final score: France 27 Scotland 6..
England dominated the game in the first half and went into the half time break leading by 16-6. England failed to score at a number of times in the first half, but thanks to the Jonny Wilkenson boot still had a healthy lead at the break and it looked like England would run away with the game in the second half.
After the break it was Wales that came out firing, they improved their communication and ball retention whilst England started to make mistakes. Wales capitalized on the English mistakes and fought their way back into the game thanks to a fantastic kicking display by flyhalf James Hook. The Welsh also outscored the Poms by two tries to one, the second Welsh try coming in the dying moments of the game to secure a 26-19 victory.
Ireland started their 2008 Six Nations campaign with a scrappy win over Italy. Eddie O’Sullivan, the Irish coach, can not be happy with his side’s poor performance. The Irish lacked confidence and failed to put the resiliant Italians away, despite dominating possession and territory advantage.
New Italian coach, Nick Mallet, can take great heart from his team’s performance. Their set piece play was solid and they defended like trojans. Italy will rue the two missed goal kicks by fullback David Bortolussi, if both the kicks were slotted Italy could have drawn the game.
Ireland relied heavily on the boot of Ronan O’Gara to keep them going forward and the flyhalf kicked well out of hand and contributed 11 points with the boot to guide his team to a 16-11 victory. The Irish will have to improve a lot if they want to dominate in this year’s Six Nations competition.