Lions were Lucky to beat New Zealand

As the Full-time whistle was blown in Wellington last Saturday morning (UK Time) history was made. The All Blacks’ 47 game, 8 year unbeaten run at home was brought to an end by the British and Irish Lions, the score 24-21.

The Lions’ corner was assisted early in the first half as Sonny Bill Williams was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Anthony Watson. This is what makes the Lions’ win less impressive, a three point victory against a team with 14 men is poor, though, it does exemplify the All Blacks’ class.

What made it worse was Mako Vunipola’s Yellow card in the second half for yet another Dangerous tackle. The All Blacks’ can feel hard done by with this.

When reviewing a dangerous tackle in a game the Referee and TMO will look at the following criteria:

  • Where is the initial contact?
  • Is contact made with force?
  • Is the player in control?

In Mako’s case the initial contact was with the head, it was at force and was not in control. The referee overruled the TMO’s recommendation of a red card and gave Mako a Yellow card- a big let off for the lions.

On Saturday the Third and Final test match is played. The only previous time that New Zealand have lost a test series was to South Africa in 1937. So it is fair to say that New Zealand will go into Saturday’s decider as firm favourites and are likely to send the Lions packing licking their wounds.

 

 

 

My 37 man Lions squad

Loosehead: Marler, M.Vunipola, McGrath

Hooker: Best, George, Owens

Tighthead: Cole, Furlong, Sinkler

Locks: J Gray, Launchbury, Kruis, Lawes, AW Jones

Loose forwards: Falatau, Haskell, Stander, B.Vunipola, Itoje, Warburton, Barclay

Scrum Half: Youngs, Murray, Webb

Fly Half: Ford, Sexton

Wingers:  Daly, North, Seymour, Nowell, Watson

Centres: Joseph, Farrell, Henshaw, Davies

Full Back: L.Williams, Hogg
Reserves: O Mahony, Visser, Teo, Roberts

Scotland beat Italy to finish 4th

Scotland recorded their third win in this years Six Nations against a battling Italy.

Despite the score line not showing it, Italy performed well however their bluntness in attack allowed Scotland a bonus point victory.

Scotland hadn’t won three matches in a single campaign since 2006, showing how far they have come and they will be a top contender next year.

Tries from Finn Russell, Matt Scott, Tim Visser and Tommy Seymour gave Scotland a new record for the number of tries they scored in a six nations campaign of 14 tries. The tries along with three Russell conversions and a penalty from the ever reliable Stuart Hogg gave Scotland a convincing victory.

Final Score: Scotland 29-0 Italy

Tries: Russell, Scott, Visser, Seymour Cons: Russell 3 Pen: Hogg

 

 

Scotland vs Italy Match preview

Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 18 March Kick-off: 12:30 GMT

Scotland have made two changes to the squad that lost badly to England last weekend. Lock Richie Gray misses out with a Hamstring injury so Grant Gilchrist comes in. And Ross Ford is preferred to Fraser Brown at Hooker.

Italy make four changes, Tommaso Benvenuti, Maxime Mbanda, George Biagi, Ornel Gega  come in as Italy push to gain their first and only victory of this years Six Nations having been unable to avoid the Wooden Spoon.

Scotland: 15-Hogg; 14-Seymour, 13-Jones, 12-Dunbar, 11-Visser; 10-Russell, 9-Price; 1-Reid, 2-Ford, 3-Fagerson; 4-G Gilchrist, 5-J Gray; 6-Barclay (captain), 7-Watson, 8-Wilson.

Replacements: 16-Brown, 17-Berghan, 18-Du Preez, 19-Weir, 20-Dell, 21-Swinson, 22-Pyrgos, 23-Scott.

Italy: 15-Padovani; 14-Esposito, 13-Benvenuti, 12-McLean, 11-Venditti; 10-Canna, 9-Gori; 1-Lovotti, 2-Gega, 3-Cittadini, 4-Fuser, 5-Biagi, 6-Mbanda, 7-Steyn, 8-Parisse.

Replacements: 16-Ghiraldini, 17-Panico, 18-Chistolini, 19-Van Schalkwyk, 20-Ruzza, 21-Minto, 22-Violi, 23-Sperandio.

Scotland have won six of their past seven games against Italy. However, Italy beat Scotland on their most recent visit to Murrayfield in 2015.

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)

Touch judges: Nigel Owens (Wales) & Luke Pearce (England)

TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

 

Fraser Brown cited for Tip-Tackle on Elliot Daly

Scotland’s Fraser Brown has been cited for his dangerous tackle on Elliot Daly in the Six Nations defeat by England.

Brown was given a yellow card for the Tip-tackle in the 61-21 loss on Saturday but now faces a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday to review the incident.

If the disciplinary panel deem the tackle to be worthy of a red-card Brown will miss Scotland’s Six nations finale against Italy.

The law specifies that if Daly lands on his head it is a red card offence.

You can view the tackle here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3nuMHKtzvE

Post your opinion in the comments below.

England win RBS 6 Nations 2017!

England have secured the 2017 RBS Six Nations championship with a week to spare after beating Scotland at Twickenham.

Scotland were incredibly unlucky injury wise losing Stuart Hogg early on to concussion and then his replacement Mark Bennett shortly afterwards to a knee injury and therefore had to play Scrum Half Ali Price on the wing before later losing Tommy Seymour yet again to concussion in the second half with him being replaced by fly-half Duncan Weir.

England lost Elliott Daly after just one and a half minutes after a dump tackle from Fraser Brown earning the Scotland hooker a yellow card. This lead to Johnathon Joseph’s first try of the match. Joseph later went on to score a Hat-trick, only the fourth by England in a Calcutta Cup match and set England on their way to scoring 30 points in the first half.

Watson, B Vunipola and Danny Care (2) helped England reach seven tries with Farrell having a solid day with the boot adding 28 points.

Two tries from Huw Jones and one from Gordon Reid provided some form of consolation for Scotland.

England have now retained the Six Nations title and now go into next weekend with the chance of a second successive Grand slam.

England (30) 61
Tries: Joseph 3, Watson, B Vunipola, Care 2 Cons: Farrell 7 Pens: Farrell 4
Scotland (7) 21
Tries: Reid, Jones 2 Cons: Russell 3

England women put 12 tries past Scotland women to set up title Showdown

England’s Kay Wilson crossed the whitewash 7 times , a Womens Six Nations record, and Amy Cokayne scored a hat-trick as England beat Scotland by 64 points to 0.

Emily Scarratt missed ten of her twelve conversion attempts though somewhat redeemed herself with a try of her own; Danielle Waterman was the other England try scorer.

This victory sets up a tantalising finale to the Women’s Championship as Ireland Women beat Wales Women 12-7 to join England on 18 points.

It took a poor Scottish side 53 minutes to enter the English 22 and they crossed the line however the TMO ruled they had failed to ground the ball.

England: 64 (40)
Tries: Wilson 7, Cokayne 3, Waterman, Scaratt Cons: Scarratt 2
Scotland 0 (0)