We have had two weeks’ worth of intense Six Nations international rugby so far, action packed with massive tackles, last-minute tries and…well…very wet weather. Many people are backing Wales to take an historic third successive Six Nations title this year, but with Ireland throwing a spanner in the works, who will this year’s trophy?
So where do we stand? After last weekend’s results, Ireland and France are the only two unbeaten sides still able to win the Grandslams thanks to convincing wins over Wales and Italy respectively. France’s free flowing attack in the second half proved too strong for the Italians and Wales will have to be aware of the likes of Wesley Fofana when the two pair up on Friday.
Ireland silenced critics with their display against a poor Wales and if they can do the same to England on Saturday then the competition really is theirs to lose, as the French backs can sometimes lack creativity.
England on the other hand bounced back from their heart-breaking defeat to France in week one to beat Scotland 20-0, thanks partly to smartly finished tries by Luther Burrell and Mike Brown. The win on a cut up Murrayfield puts Stuart Lancaster’s men back in contention for the trophy in a wide open race to the top.
With three games left all is not lost for the Welsh players and head coach Warren Gatland will know that. The pressures of being tournament favourites were clear to see against Ireland in a game that Gatland claimed to be “one of the worst performances that we’ve had” since he took over.
One thing’s for sure, by this time next week we will have a clear view on who could take the crown, after the crunch games between France and Wales, and England and Ireland. There are exciting times ahead of us over the next three weeks and I for one can’t wait to see how it pans out.