Six Nations 2018 | Round 2 Review
12th February 2018
Two rounds down and with a break week ahead, we can take full stock of the first fortnight of the 2018 Natwest Six Nations.
Ireland vs Italy
The weekend began with an efficient Ireland performance against Italy. A 56 – 19 final scoreline, was only tainted by the losses of Tadgh Furlong and Robbie Henshaw to injury. Ireland will hope, although unlikely in the case of Henshaw, that their recoveries are swift.
It was a performance that showcased the attacking precision of this Ireland team and the threats that are being developed, most notably the finishing prowess of young Jacob Stockdale. Italy will be buoyed by the attacking threat that they demonstrated in the latter stages of the game, scoring three tries through Allan, Gori and Minozzi.
Ireland will welcome Wales to the Aviva Stadium in two weeks time, looking to reintegrate some of their injury list into full training over the break and Italy travel to Paris for a Friday night game against a team in rebuilding mode.
Check out the BBC’s highlights of the game here
England vs Wales
A proper, no holds barred Test match occurred on Saturday afternoon in Twickenham, with two first half tries from Jonny May proving to be the difference in the end. A brilliant grubber kick from Owen Farrell and a sublime offload from Joe Launchbury set up the predatory finisher May.
Wales then came storming into the game, driving the pace and intensity of the game even higher and will feel unlucky to have had an Anscombe try disallowed by the TMO. England headed into the half time break with a 12-3 lead, after a breathless half where they won the aerial and territorial battles.
The second half started with the same intensity and Wales began to gain a foothold in the quest for territory and then came their finest chance. Wonderful interplay down the left saw Williams go through. As he was heading for the corner, Sam Underhill came up with, arguably, the moment of the match bundling him into touch just in time.
Wales continued to apply pressure on England’s defence but the white wall held firm with some magnificent displays, notably Owen Farrell who led from the front. England managed to see the game out from this point, despite a late penalty from Anscombe making for a tight finish.
England will have no doubt enjoyed the physical examination that they have come through this weekend and were very resilient in denying this talented Welsh team any tries, whilst also limiting the number of chances they had to kick points. Wales must take a lot of credit for the ferociousness of this contest. After the first two scores from May, their defence was so resolute England didn’t get another chance to cross the white wash and on another day could have taken the two chances they had.
Check out the BBC’s highlights here
Scotland vs France
The Scots produced a fantastic display to put their defeat by Wales, overcoming France at Murrayfield and revive their Six Nations campaign.
It was France who started the strongest on a wonderful, Spring day in Edinburgh. Two tries from Teddy Thomas and a well worked Scotland tries from Maitland and Jones meant that the half time score was 20 -14, with several kicks at goal being exchanged.
The second half became a battle of nerve, as Serin, on for the injured Machenaud, and Laidlaw traded several kicks as the refs whistle started to dominate the proceedings. Scotland began to take a firm grip of the game’s territorial battle meaning they were winning penalties in very kick able areas, which Laidlaw rewarded with wonderful accuracy. Scotland edged in front and managed to hold out until the very end, for a memorable 32 – 26 win.
Check out the BBC’s highlights here