2014 RBS Six Nations Preview: Round 2

Rugby’s Greatest Championship 

The Six Nations started with a bang last week with a tough encounter in Cardiff as reigning champions Wales held off the ever persistent Italians in this years opening match in a highly entertaining contest. A couple of tries from both sides kept this one in the balance but Wales used their experience and home advantage to edge the Azzuri out. The match of the round between France and England did not disappoint as these two power houses of world rugby went head to head in thriller. England and Owen Farrell led the charge as they came from behind to lead their opponents but just fell short of victory as the French score a last gasp try with a minute remaining. Sunday saw Ireland host Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in front of a picturesque surroundings as pleasant weather greeted our shores for a change!

Wales vs Italy<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
The teams arrive out before the start of the match<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan" src="" />

Wales prove too strong against valiant Italians

Wales led 17-3 at half-time after converted tries from wing Alex Cuthbert and centre Scott Williams were separated by a Leigh Halfpenny penalty. But Italy - inspired by their brilliant captain Sergio Parisse, refused to go quietly. The hosts were caught cold soon after the break by the first of  centre Michele Campagnaro's two tries and didn't manage another point until Halfpenny's 66th minute penalty. But just when it seemed they'd put the match beyond Italy's reach, man-of-the-match Campagnaro intercepted Halfpenny's pass and ran in for a try under the posts which fly-half Tommaso Allan converted. With 11 minutes left, Wales led by just five points before another Halfpenny penalty put them two scores in front at 23-15. Wales will certainly take the win but they will not be happy with their performance as it led to a disjointed game that nearly saw an upset

France leave it late to secure victory in 'Le Crunch'


Lightning struck twice in as many years for England as they lost once again to the French in cruel circumstances A late Gael Fickou try gave France a 26-24 victory over England in a compelling Test at the Stade de France on Saturday evening. Having drawn on their reserves of character to overcome a 16-3 deficit built on two first half tries from winger Yoann Huget, England were in control as they established a 24-19 lead. Owen Farrell led by example with confident kicking as he racked up the points in response to the early setback. Along with Danny Care, Billy Vunipola and Mike Brown influential, they had staged a fightback and looked set for a famous victory against their old enemy. Brown was the first over the whitewash after forcing his through three blue shirts in a typically tenacious finish and was followed over by debutant Luther Burrell who had been set up by the strength of Vunipola. All England needed to do was play out the game in the opposition half, but France were equally tenacious and their refusal to throw in the towel saw the dancing Fickou score a classy try, finishing under the posts to make the conversion a formality. This contest lived up to expectation but for England they will feel this is an opportunity missed and with that goes their chances of achieving the Grand Slam for another year.

Ireland start well with home win over Scots!

Ireland vs Scotland<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Ireland's Rob Kearney , Brian O'Driscoll and Jonathan Sexton<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan" src="" />

                BOD earned his 129th cap for Ireland as he began his last Six Nations campaign!

Ireland kicked off their 2014 Six Nations campaign with a straight forward 28-6 win over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday. Tries from Andrew Trimble and Jamie Heaslip, captain after the late withdrawal of Paul O'Connell, and Rob Kearney ensured Joe Schmidt's first RBS 6 Nations campaign began with a win and that O'Driscoll's record-breaking 129th cap was a memorable one. Scotland huffed and puffed throughout but, glimpses from Stuart Hogg aside, they lacked in creative spark whereas Ireland fly-half Jonny Sexton ignited his side in Dublin. Scotland dominated territory and possession in a gritty first-half, only for Ireland to break that stranglehold in the final exchanges. The visitors were prepared to whip the ball wide at every turn, but in doing so failed to find sufficient midfield incision. Crucially the hosts kept defensive shape and discipline, constantly putting the Scots under pressure at the break-down. The hosts just had a little bit extra in the reserves in all departments when needed. Sexton ensured a comfortable victory by kicking 5 out of 6 chances on offer. Ireland must now focus on a big clash this weekend against Wales, a tie where the winner could be within a shout of the Grand Slam in a few weeks time.


Round 2 Headlines

Paul O'Connell and Gordon D'Arcy back for Ireland...

England unchanged for Murrayfield Calcutta Cup clash...

Rhys Priestland expects Ireland onslaught...

Scotland drop captain Kelly Brown for Calcutta Cup...


Sat 8th FEB 2014     14:30




         Aviva Stadium  
Sat 8th FEB 2014     17:00




Sun 9th FEB 2014     16:00





     Stade de France  

Player of the Round: Yoann Huget

Tries: 2 in 17 minutes

Week 2 Predictions:

Ireland win by 7 points

England win by 15 points

France win by 18 points

Geoff Holmes
Article written by
19 year old student studying Business &amp; Management in DIT. Football lover and Shamrock Rovers fanatic. Most of my articles are related to football particularly League of Ireland and also reports on golf and tennis. I have been writing for from the very beginning. Follow me on Twitter @geoffholmes94 for any sporting related news.

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