The dust has finally settled on the first weekend of play for the Six Nations tournament. For those whom are unaware, Six Nations is a rugby tournament featuring England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy, and France and features round robin play for all 6 teams. Of the 3 games played this past weekend, we were treated to a blow out, an upset, and something in-between. Let’s dive in.
Italy 10 (0-1) – France 50 (1-0)
Perhaps not the most surprising thing in the world to see France come out on top but I think the final score is dramatic, no? The French managed to score 7 tries against Italy in Rome, of all places. The French were led to play some inspiring, dominant rugby by their scrum-half Antonie Dupont, who recorded a try himself. Dupont was named the Six Nations Player of the Tournament last year and he is hell-bent on ending France’s championship drought, having not won the Six Nations title since 2010. Les Bleus saw most of their tries come in the 2nd half and really ran away with it by the 50th minute. While there weren’t many with high hope for this Italian side, a 50-10 loss caught folks by surprise. The Italians are now the proud owner of a 28- game losing streak. This coming weekend, France heads to Dublin to take on Ireland at Aviva Stadium, which should prove a much more difficult challenge for the French. Italy will head to England to undoubtedly get destroyed again.
England 6 (0-1) – Scotland 11 (1-0)
The Scottish did it! The pulled off an upset of the much-vaunted English club! This is the first time that Scotland has defeated the English at Twickenham since William Wallace, uh I mean, since 1983. While an exciting game to have watched, the excitement mostly came from the tension, not necessarily the points being scored. Scotland dominated in the trenches and maintained possession, boasting 78% possession in the first half. England had a lot of penalties and overall had sloppy passing but to give credit to an energetic Scottish club, the Scots took full advantage. England *shouldn’t* have problems when Italy comes to town this weekend but you never know. The Scots will square off against Wales as they seek their first Six Nations title since 1999.
Wales 21 (1-0) – Ireland 16 (0-1)
Wales managed to mount an upset of their own, coming back in the second half to knock off the Irish. You could pretty much sum up Ireland’s performance as clumsy, with their flanker Peter O’Mahony getting a red card for leading into a ruck with his forearm and is now banned with 3 games and replacement fly-half Billy Burns shanking a kick to set up a lineout that could’ve lead to a tying try by the Irish. The Welsh are a solid club that didn’t make as many mistakes and it shows. Wales will take on Scotland next weekend and the Irish will host the French so both of these games are well worth the watch.