2018 6 Nations Review

A quick round-up on each ofthe Nations and a few “other issues2 coming out of the tournament

Ireland – most consistent team and comfortably highest points scorers, but could’ve (and probably should’ve) lost against France. I’d argue a different referee in the Scotland & England games and it wouldn’t have been so comfortable for them.

Wales, perhaps the most boring team in the tournament – though they do know how to get over the try line – but most of these seem to be from counter-attacking. Perhaps being a bit unfair, as Gatland is perhaps the most consistent deliverer of results in recent history.

Scotland, apart from the England game, I’m not sure how well we actually played. Rely so much on refs interpretation around the breakdown, especially noticable with Watson and Barclay. Russell, was Russell – he can create space for the likes of Jones and Hogg, but just as likely to kick it dead or run into trouble. Defence against Italy was a bit worrying.

France will be disappointed with their finishing position, but they were a kick away from beating both Wales and Ireland, and tore us apart in the first half. If only they can find a 10, as they have a set of back who can run riot.

England – vast resources available, but totally under-performed. They’ve obviously got some issues to work out, what they have to decide is if these are issues for Eddy to resolve, or if he is the issue.

Italy, well behind the rest, but still good enough to give Scotland a scare. For the good of European rugby, there really needs to be a relegation play-off from the main tournament – problem being, we could find ourselves in that position in the years we play in Rome.

Other Issues:
Consistency of refereeing – Scotland played well when ref allowed us to jackal at the breakdown so leading to turnovers or disruption to opposition ball. When not allowed, we struggled.

Also need greater consistency on enforcing the back foot, players joining the maul and the high tackle.

HIA assessments – for me, both the Cian Healy and Scott Williams incidence show there is a long way to go. Whilst Sexton telling the ref he isn’t going off, but then goes off a couple of minutes later anyway isn’t right.