Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Wales Rugby Team

ENGLAND won this year’s Six Nations championship after having gone without the title since 2003’s Grand Slam triumph.

The 2003 world champions finished with eight points and 13 tries to their name. France, last year’s Grand Slam champions, finished second on six points, with Ireland third, also on six points but with a lower points difference (+12 instead of France’s +26). Wales came fourth, also finishing on six points but with a points difference of just +6. Scotland finished fifth with two points and Italy once again picked up the wooden spoon (for the ninth time since 2000) with two points, but with a points difference of -68, whereas Scotland’s was -27.

The 119th championship kicked-off on Friday 4 February with Wales taking on England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. England made their title intensions clear with a 26-19 win, which extended Wales’ long run without a Test match victory. The next day Ireland were lucky to beat Italy in Rome’s Stadio Flaminio. A drop goal from Ronan O’Gara two minutes from time saw the Irish scrape a 13-11 victory. Later that day in the Stade de France, Paris, reigning champions France beat Scotland 34-21.

The second round of matches was held the next weekend, 12-13 February. Chris Ashton ran in four tries as England thumped Italy at London’s Twickenham Stadium 59-13. Ashton became the first player to score four tries in a match since the championship became the Six Nations back in 2000, and also became the first English man to score four tries in a Six, Five or Home Nations match since Ronald Poulton did so against France in 1914. These tries, plus the two he scored against Wales, put him on six in total and level with Will Greenwood (England) and Shane Williams (Wales) for the most tries scored in a Six Nations campaign. Meanwhile, Scotland’s bad start continued as they lost 6-24 to Wales at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. France kept their Grand Slam dreams alive by ending Ireland’s hopes with a 25-22 at the new Aviva Stadium (the old Lansdowne Road) in Dublin.

After a short gap the championship resumed over the weekend of 26-27 February. Wales won in Italy 24-16, before England ended any ideas France had about back-to-back Grand Slams with a 17-9 win at home. In the 52nd minute of the match, the legendary Jonny Wilkinson kicked a penalty that made him the all-time leading point scorer in Rugby Union history, overtaking All Black Dan Carter. Scotland lost their third match in three (and second at home) to Ireland 18-21.

After three of the five weekends of the championship, only England were able to complete the Grand Slam.

The fourth weekend (12-13 March) began with the upset of the championship. Italy beat France for the first time in 31 matches, and for the first time ever in the Six Nations. The Azzurri were 6-18 down with 20 minute to play, but roared on by the partisan home crowd ended up winning the match 22-21. 🙂 After the match, French coach Marc Lièvremont said that his players had let him and the French nation down, that they were cowards and that some of them had worn the French jersey for the last time. I don’t think he was too pleased to do? Later on that day, Wales won the most controversial match of this years’ championship at home to Ireland. The final score was 19-13 to Wales, but that included a converted try that should never have been given. In the 50th minute, Mike Phillips ran in a try, having received the ball from Welsh team-mate Matthew Rees who had taken a quick line-out after Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton had kicked the ball into touch. But the ball-boy handed Rees a different ball, which is against the International Rugby Board’s (IRB) rules. Nobody picked up on the error until it was too late, and when it was discovered Ireland felt understandably hard done by. Without those seven points for Wales, they would have won 13-12.

I personally blame the ball-boy above everybody else for this incident. He should know the rules just like everybody else who has a direct effect on the match. But the touch judge has to get some of the blame as well. He should have been looking to see if the ball was the correct one or not too.

Ireland did have something to smile about though. With the conversion of their captain, Brian O’Driscoll’s record equaling 24th championship try, Ronan O’Gara became only the fifth Rugby Union player to score 1,000 Test match points.

England kept on course for the Grand Slam with a 22-16 home win over Scotland, although England didn’t look like the side from the previous weekends. During the match, French referee Romain Poite tore a hamstring muscle and had to be replaced.

The fifth and final round of matches all took place on Saturday 19 March. Scotland won their only match of the championship 21-8 at home to Italy, thus avoiding the wooden spoon. England’s Grand Slam dreams were shattered by Ireland who won 24-8 in Dublin. England played like a bunch of schoolboys in comparison to how they played against Wales and in particular Italy earlier in the championship. This loss for England meant that if Wales beat France by 27 points or more in Paris, then they would be champions instead of England. But fortunately England, France won the last match of the championship 28-9.

England’s Chris Ashton finished as top try scorer with a grand total of six. His ‘Swallow Dive’ celebrations are my moments of the tournament. His England team-mate, Toby Flood, scored the most points in the championship with 47 points to his name. But the major achievement of the championship came from Ireland’s captain, Brian O’Driscoll. His try against England on the last weekend was his 25th in the championship, which is a new all-time record. Well done sir.

Chris Ashton’s ‘Swallow Dive’.

Brian O’Driscoll’s record breaking try.

As we now all know, England won the championship but not the Grand Slam and thanks to their loss to Ireland, failed to win the Triple Crown as well. Ireland also retained the Millennium Trophy as a result of this win. Ireland also got their hands back on the Centenary Quaich after their win over Scotland. Italy won the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy for the first time ever after their famous win over France, and England retained the Calcutta Cup with their win over Scotland. 🙂

All in all, I’m very happy that England won this years’ Six Nations. It has been too long since out last triumph – 2003 – and if you are looking for good omens, this was also the year we won the World Cup. But without the Grand Slam, coupled together with how it was denied, it seems a slightly hollow victory.

England…CHAMPIONS! 😀

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

PF

PA

+/-

Tries

Pts.

1

England

5

4

0

1

132

81

+51

13

8

2

France

5

3

0

2

117

91

+26

6

6

3

Ireland

5

3

0

2

93

81

+12

10

6

4

Wales

5

3

0

2

95

89

+6

7

6

5

Scotland

5

1

0

4

82

109

-27

6

2

6

Italy

5

1

0

4

70

138

-68

6

2

WHAT a weekend this has been.

England won their opening Six Nations match in Wales 26-19. Ireland needed a late score to beat Italy in Rome 13-11, and reigning champions France beat Scotland at home 34-21.

The Premier League saw a whopping 43 goals in the ten fixtures this weekend. Results included: Everton 5-3 Blackpool, Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal (Arsenal were 4-0 up after 26 minutes), Wigan 4-3 Blackburn, Wolves 2-1 Man Utd (this ends Man Utd’s 29 match unbeaten run).

But the best result of all was Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool! Fernando Torres (JUDAS!) making his debut for €hel$ea couldn’t prevent Liverpool from doing the double over the defending league champions thanks to a second half strike from Raul Meireles. 😀

In Cricket, Australia completed a 6-1 O.D.I. series win over England by taking victory at the WACA Ground in Perth by 57 runs. This series has been to drawn out in my opinion. The two Twenty20 games should have been played on the same day and there should only have been three O.D.I. games. Now England have injures and tiredness to cope with before the World Cup in India/Sir Lanka/Bangladesh. A World Cup preview blog will appear on this site soon.

On the ugly side of the game now; three Pakistani cricketers have been handed down lengthy bans by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for last Augusts’ spot-fixing scandal at Lord’s. Former Captain Salman Butt has been banned for 10 years (five suspended) and bowlers Mohammads Asif and Amir have been banned for seven years (two suspended) and five years respectively for agreeing to bowl no-balls at a certain point in the match against England in exchange for money. All three have the right to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Formula 1’s Robert Kubica may well have ended his F1 career after crashing heavily in a Rally in Genoa, Italy. The Pole hit a church wall at high speed and suffered fractures to his right arm, leg and hand. It is almost certain that he will miss the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 13 March. This means that his seat at Renault will now be filled by either former HRT driver Bruno Senna or 2009 Renault driver Romain Grosjean. Get well soon Robert.

And finally, I have just heard of the extremely sad news that legendary rock guitarist Gary Moore has died at the age of 58. 😦 He was found dead in the early hours of Sunday (6 February) morning while on holiday in Spain. During his musical career he released a number of solo albums and was once a member of Thin Lizzy and played with Greg Lake on one of my all time favorite albums. He will be sorely missed.

RIP Gary.

 

 

Wales

19

vs.

26

England

Try: Morgan STODDART 60’c

Con: Stephen JONES (1/1)

Pen: Stephen JONES (3/4) 23’ 29’ 43’

James HOOK (1/2) 70’

MotM = Toby FLOOD (ENG)

Try: Chris ASHTON (2) 14’c 56’c

Con: Toby FLOOD (2/2)

Pen: Toby FLOOD (3/3) 19’ 32’ 47’

Jonny WILKINSON (1/1) 75’

2011 Six Nations Match 1

Ref = Alain ROLLAND (IRE)

Millennium Stadium – CARDIFF (Att. = 74,276)

ENGLAND won their opening 2011 Six Nations match against Wales at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium last night to set up the Grand Slam and inflict yet more pain on the Welsh. 😛

It was Wales who started the stronger side and had two early penalties awarded to them by 2007 World Cup Final referee Alain Rolland. But both were missed by Stephen Jones and James Hook and Wales saw six vital early points go begging.

Then it was England’s turn to take charge of the match, and the 2003 world champions opened the scoring thanks to a try from the diving Chris Ashton on 14 minutes.

Toby Flood converted the try and kicked a penalty five minutes later to put England 10-0 up.

Wales scored their first points of the match not long after thanks to a penalty from Stephen Jones and soon found themselves a man up when England’s Louis Deacon was sin-binned for ‘killing the ball illegally’, when Wales were bearing down on the English try line. Jones scored the resultant penalty but again Wales failed to press home the advantage and it was England’s Flood who scored the last points of the half. England led 13-6.

Jones kicked a penalty for Wales to put the home team just four points behind England at the start of the second half, but hopes of a Wales fight back were dashed when Craig Mitchell was put in the sin-bin for killing the ball at a ruck. Flood again scored his third penalty of the night to put England 16-9 up.

Then Ashton put England well and truly at arm’s length by scoring his second try of the night. This too was converted by Flood. England now led 23-9. But Wales were now back up to 15 men and determined to fight back and with only 20 minutes to go Morgan Stoddard scored a much needed try for Wales. Jones converted said try and this brought Wales back to being just seven points (a converted try) away from England.

Shortly afterwards Man of the Match Toby Flood was replaced by the legendary Jonny Wilkinson, which brought many boos from the Wales supporters. It’s not unsporting; they’re just showing that they are worried he is on the pitch.

Unfortunately it wasn’t Wilkinson doing the next bit of scoring. That honour fell to Hook whose successful penalty kick brought the score to 23-19 in England’s favour with just 10 minutes on the clock. England then promptly went up the other end of the pitch and battered Wales’s try line looking to end the game, alas to no avail.

But fortunately for England, Wilkinson kicked a late penalty to secure a 26-19 win for England. 😀

This is England’s first victory in Wales since 2003, the year we last won the Grand Slam and the year we won the World Cup – there just happens to be one of these in New Zealand later this year. Wales on the other hand have still yet to win a Test match since last year’s Six Nations when they beat Italy 33-10 on the last day.

The match itself was a great advert for the game, and more importantly (referencing England’s Ben Foden) THE BIG COUNTRY HAS PUT THE LITTLE COUNTRY WELL AND TRULY IN IT’S PLACE!

England now have three consecutive matches at Twickenham against: Italy, reigning champions France and Scotland.

This could get very tasty indeed.