This yr’s distinctive Six Nations match noticed thrills, spills, the elegant and the ridiculous as Wales misplaced out at their possibilities of a Grand Slam however may but win the Six Nations title if the France v Scotland match on Friday goes their manner.
Eire and Scotland confirmed indicators of enchancment, each beating England, whereas Eddie Jones’ aspect completed a massively disappointing fifth regardless of a superb victory in opposition to France exhibiting them what may have been with constant performances.
Under, Chris Foy supplies Sportsmail along with his verdict on every part that went on, from unlawful waffles in Rome to Damian Penaud’s excellent attempt to every part in between.
France scored a last-gasp attempt to win 32-30 and deny Wales the Grand Slam in Paris on Saturday
There have been loads of first rate contests and it’s nearly a useless warmth between two. England v France was a thunderous, pulsating traditional, as was France v Wales on Saturday. The latter most likely nearly edges it, given the magnitude of the stakes and the importance of the last-play climax.
Once more, tons to select from — in distinction to the barren wasteland of the Autumn Nations Cup. Louis Rees-Zammit’s solo effort in opposition to Scotland stood out however the workforce masterpiece was France’s strike transfer off a protracted line-out which Damian Penaud completed off at Twickenham.
France winger Damian Penaud (left) scored a wide ranging strive off first part in opposition to England
Leaving the Principality Stadium after Wales thumped England and wandering by a abandoned Cardiff metropolis centre was a parallel universe exercise. In another circumstances, there would have been raucous, merry mayhem. This rammed house the completely weird backdrop to Covid-era sport.
France head coach Fabien Galthie and numerous his gamers endangered the entire match by failing to stick to Covid protocols and breaching the workforce bubble. The actual fact members of the squad threatened a well being emergency to eat waffles in Rome was outrageous.
Elegant Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg was a standout performer and lifted the Calcutta Cup
Much more outrageous was what occurred subsequent. Regardless of their pre-Six Nations pomposity, the French authorities colluded with the rugby federation to comb a big mess underneath the carpet and successfully declare ‘nothing to see right here’. Actually? They have been fortunate to keep away from being evicted from the match.
It is a small factor however Wayne Pivac sprang a shock by opting to call his workforce early — on a Tuesday — for Wales’s match in opposition to Italy. It was good to see a coach demonstrating his confidence and lack of paranoia. This is hoping it catches on.
It was all going so effectively within the England camp final week — then Eddie Jones determined to stir the pot. Maybe spooked by a way of contentment within the ranks after their win over France, he let rip in regards to the media filling his gamers’ heads with rat poison. Bonkers.
There was wonderful refereeing, except for the controversies involving Pascal Gauzere when Wales beat England. However the stand-out officiating efficiency got here from Romain Poite answerable for Scotland v Eire. Falls, collisions, hilarious lectures, a damaged whistle, the lot.
Warren Gatland did the rounds and has some new names to contemplate. Eire’s Tadhg Beirne has gone from nowhere to Check competition, Wales pair Wyn Jones and Rees-Zammit have timed their run too and Hamish Watson shone even when Scotland struggled.
Eire ahead Tadhg Beirne (proper) has timed his run completely into Lions beginning competition
High quality pundits
Each BBC and ITV offered some high-class protection and viewers have been well-informed by former gamers who’ve change into pundits. Sam Warburton is excellent, as are David Flatman and Benjamin Kayser — a Frenchman talking eloquently in English — to call only a few.
Rugby doesn’t do itself any favours typically, on the subject of governance. There was all the time a hazard this championship may very well be disrupted by Covid, it occurred and the officers realised that they had no plan for rescheduling or participant launch. So that they winged it — as all the time.
Italy took the lead in opposition to England with an excellent strive cleverly conjured by their rookie playmakers. Fly-half Paolo Garbisi confirmed good touches and imaginative and prescient, however he could not carry the Azzurri to compete with the remainder. Their plight is harming the integrity of the entire occasion.
Chris Foy’s Six Nations workforce of the match
Backs: 15 Liam Williams (Wales), 14 Louis Rees-Zammit (Wales), 13 Robbie Henshaw (Eire), 12 Gael Fickou (France), 11 Anthony Watson (England), 10 Mathieu Jalibert (France), 9 Antoine Dupont (France)
Forwards: 1 Wyn Jones (Wales), 2 Ken Owens (Wales), 3 Tadhg Furlong (Eire), 4 Tadhg Beirne (Eire), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 6 Tom Curry (England), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Wales), 7 Charles Ollivon (France).