Category Archives for Sport

Six Nations 2022 Round 2 Results

What Happened In The Six Nations 2022 Round 2

Let’s look at the Six Nations 2022 Round 2 fixtures and results.  February 14th is  Saint Valentine’s day and we know you all love rugby. With the favourites France at home once again, this time facing Ireland this was probably on the paper the fixture of this round. It didn’t fail to disappoint either and was as nail biting as Scotland in Cardiff. The foregone result was going to be England playing at the Stadio Olimpico against Italy. England the week before fell to a late 20-17 loss to Scotland in their opening match but any risk of back-to-back defeats to begin a campaign for the first time since 2005 never looked likely.

Wales 20 Scotland 17

HT 14-14

Dan Biggar’s drop goal completed a memorable win for Wales as the champions bounced back from a sobering opening loss against Ireland. This very tense Six Nations win in Cardiff, which was tied at half time , came about thanks to Biggars 15 point contribution

France 30 Ireland 24

France beat Ireland 30-24 in Paris on Saturday to consolidate their status as favourites for this year’s Six Nations title. Andy Farrell’s men beaten in Paris as Jaminet with 6 penalties and a conversion made Ireland pay for their lack of discipline. France ensured a thrilling Ireland come back from 15 points down fell just short as the hosts held on for a 30-24 victory in a nail biting match, that could have gone either way.

Italy 0 England 33

The Azzurri got the backlash from England, and this meant they are bottom as things go. England stretched their 6 nations record against Italy to 23 wins from 23 meetings.
A man of the match performance from Marcus Smith helped inspire England to a 33-0 bonus-point win over Italy in Sunday’s Six Nations. The half time score of 0-21 once again highlighted the gulf between these 2 teams. Fly-half Smith scored a try and slotted over four conversions.  A great performance too from hooker Jamie George going over in the first half for his 10th and 11th England tries.

Six Nations 2022 Round 2 Results

Final Thoughts.

Italy, who have now lost each of their past 34 matches in the Six Nations and have still yet to beat England in the competition. They are surely going to be the whipping boys again this year. They travel to Ireland in the next round, playing on Sunday 27th February. The 26th sees France on the road, at Murrayfield in the afternoon while the later kick off sees England entertain Wales. Will England start with Ben Youngs, who will break the record for number of caps, beating Jason Leonard’s Test record. Hopefully the break next week will see all teams refreshed and back to full strength.

If Scotland can upset the French in Murrayfield, this will throw open the title race. My thoughts are that France will be too strong and will have the Grand Slam in mind. England have the chance to bury demons and put the Welsh to the sword at Twickenham.

Finally looking at the Italians who are no one mugs under new boss, the Kiwi Kieran Crowley. The fitness levels seem to have improved a lot and they played ok in these first 2 fixtures against the 2 teams I originally said would be fighting out the title on the final day. As I said here ” Is the deciding fixture this last one being played in Paris? France v England when the draw was made was the mouthwatering fixture for sure.”

With both the English and French looking to have both found great kicking options with Smith and Jaminet respectively, providing both stay free from injuries and both these teams win the next 2 rounds of fixtures, this will add to the excitement of the final match. Could the Grand Slam fail or be won, by the boot of one of these 2 players?  We will see Saturday March 19, KO 20:00, Paris.

 

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Streamhunter Service Just How Good Is It?

What Is Streamhunter?

Streamhunter is a website that claims to allow you to watch all the games of your favourite team for free. The main analogy they use is: “You pay 15 Euro for a soccer shirt and you get every game of your favourite club free. You don’t have to buy expensive subscriptions or cable TV.”  No doubt you read our USAgoals article which is a similar offering.

Streamhunter also has two sister sites that offer the same service. They are “Streamfighter” and “Goalhunter”. These three websites all have similar layouts.

The question is: how can they offer these games for free? How does Streamhunter work?

How Does Streamhunter Work?

To find out what’s going on under the hood, I started with a thorough analysis of Streamhunter. The article explains in detail how they are able to stream the games, but here’s a short summary:

All Streamhunter links point to one single location which returns different links for every game. These links point to IP camera streams that are hosted on Amazon AWS servers. That way it becomes very difficult to hunt them down and block them.

This method has a big flaw: the stream quality is very poor because all links point to a single server that is shared with many people. To counter this they offer different qualities, but this is only available on the website itself – the links always point to low quality streams. Another problem with this method is bandwidth: a single IP camera can generally handle only 50 connections. As you can imagine, this quickly becomes a problem when 10 000 people try to watch the same live stream at the same time.

In order to solve these problems, Streamhunter has created two different systems: an automated system that selects free servers and distributes incoming traffic automatically and a manual system where Streamhunter employees manually prioritize traffic.

It’s worth noting that they also make use of a very interesting technology: UDP multicast (see the article for details).

The amount of resources needed to offer this service is huge, plus traffic is so high, that it even affects Amazon AWS servers located in Europe and North America. To solve this problem, they have created ‘shadow’ portals. They need to buy servers, pay for bandwidth and provide customer support. What makes the entire operation profitable is the advertising they run on their site: all visitors are forced to watch two video ads before they can access any of the games. One such site is https://streamhunter.to.

What is annoying about the site is how they even use the acceptance of the cookies to redirect to ads.

How To Find A Game?

When you visit Streamhunter, you’ll be greeted with a list of upcoming games. You can find the link to any game by scrolling down until you find this:

This is a live updated list of all available games. When a match starts, it will say “LIVE”. This means that everyone is trying to access the links at that moment and as a result, the quality will be very poor. When a match ends, it will say “VOD” which is short for ‘video on demand’. All games that are available after the live broadcast are linked from this page.

This article by TorrentFreak has an interesting tidbit about Streamhunter: “Streamhunter has its roots in another project, one that was started earlier this year by another group of football fans who wanted to share their passion with others. Their site, however, lacked the polish and reliability that Streamhunter currently offers.”

How To Find Quality Games?

Often there are no quality games available when you visit Streamhunter. They only offer low-quality videos which are generally unwatchable. If you know when the game starts, it’s easy to find high quality videos: visit Streamhunter about 30 minutes before the game starts and start looking for links that say “HQ”. This means that they offer a high-quality video (see image).

Streamhunter Sports

If there are no HQ links available, try again 1 hour after the game starts. This is when most people stop watching the match and Streamhunter wants to clear up bandwidth for more HQ links.

The quality of these videos is excellent: 1080p at 60fps . I had some issues with this video but as far as I can tell, these problems were caused by server problems, not the video itself.

What’s the difference between a live stream and a VOD?

A live broadcast can only be watched during the event, for example, a football match. When it ends, people will still try to watch the video but since the links are no longer available, everyone sees ‘video unavailable’ or something like that. This is why Streamhunter cannot provide live streams after the event ends.

The video on demand (VOD) is a recording of the stream. This means that you can always watch the match later and since no one is trying to access it at that moment, you get high-quality videos. The downside is that matches usually last only 90 minutes, so you might miss some of the action.

How Does Streamhunter Work?

Streamhunter has a very large network, so you may access it from any country. You can choose which server to connect to by changing your local IP address. This is done with a VPN, proxy or Tor. If you want more details on how to change your IP address, please check this article.

If you’re using a computer, you also need an addon for your browser. They work with Firefox and Chrome but not Internet Explorer or Opera. The addon is called ‘Open Media Player’ and can be downloaded easily.

Is This Service Legal?

One important question to consider- Is Streamhunter legal? According to the FAQ, “streamhunter.to is one of the leading websites for watching sport streams and does not infringe on copyrights. Our service acts merely as an index of videos that are freely available all over the Internet.”

They don’t host any content themselves so they’re not breaking any laws. However, this is different for each country so it’s best to check your local laws.

How Much Does It Cost?  

Streamhunter.eu is completely free . They only request that you share the website with others once you find a link that works for you (see image). You can also use the Facebook like/share button on the right, or tweet this article on Twitter.

If you do not want to look for working links yourself, they offer a subscription service called ‘ Streamhunter Basic ‘. For €5/month or €50/year you get access to high-quality live and VOD streams. This is much cheaper than other paid services (see comparison table).

Comparing Prices

Streamhunter Basic offers more than 3 times as many live match events as Firstrow

Firstrowsport is $5.99/month but you can only watch football on your computer and the quality of the videos is low.

Streamhunter Basic costs €5/month and you can watch football, rugby and tennis on any device, including smart TVs and mobile phones.

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Usagoals And Other Options Available

Sites like Usagoals To Watch Onsball Net Live Stream

I was asked if I knew alternatives to Usagoals and if so, which would I suggest using. So after doing some research, we’ve got more knowledge and here are our suggestions.

Now that the English Premier League has kicked off, you might be looking for sites similar to UsaGoals that can provide you with free HD streams of your favourite teams in action.

If yes, then read this article till the end since in it we have listed some amazing sites which you can bookmark for watching EPL online without any hassle. So if you are an ardent fan of Premier League and want to catch all its games without paying a single penny then keep reading this article till the end.

Amazon Prime is another option to stream sports. For example Stream the AFC Champions League on-demand with Paramount+! View full matches and highlights from the 2021-2022 season featuring the top soccer club teams in Asia.

Usa Goals – No 1 Site For Free English Premier League Video Streams

UsaGoals is one of the best sites like UsaGoals where you can get all the latest EPL videos and match highlights. The site has a decent number of visitors, which means that if you want to watch football online, there’s no better site than this. If you wish to know more about it then below we have listed some points:

Domain: Usagolshd.com

Live Streams: Yes

Mobile Optimized: Yes

Exclusive Live Stream Content: No

Collage Highlights Video Section: Yes

Advertisements: Not very intrusive

Ads Placement: On Homepage and Sidebar

User Interface (UI): Clean and simple design

Comments Section for each video with Ratings Social Media Integration: You can share videos or any other news with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Subscription Options: No

UsaGoals is one such site that offers users with the best HD streams of all the games taking place in EPL. The site also provides fans with a chance to chat about their favourite teams and players in its comments section. So if you’re looking for free online streaming sites like UsaGoals then we suggest that you bookmark UsaGoals Shd as well because it’s surely going to be your cup of tea.

So these were some amazing sites like United States Goals which provide HD live sports streaming without showing any ads at all, however, we cannot guarantee that all these sites will work for you as they’re depending on where you are attempting to view from.

MamaHD

This is another alternative of UsaGoals, however it has streams in low quality. So if you are not able to watch live games due to slow data speed then we suggest that you switch back to usagoal once the game commences.

Hope this article was helpful for all the football lovers out there! Don’t forget to share your opinions in the comments section below. Cheers!

So these were some amazing sites like United States Goals which provide HD live sports streaming without showing any ads at all, however we cannot guarantee that all these sites will work for you as they’re depending on where you are attempting to view from.

goATD

goATD

Next on the list is goATD which is another great site similar to usagoals. The best thing about this website is the design which looks very much like that of UsaGoals, however, you can expect a lot of ads on this site.

lrtvyo

Now if you are looking for an alternative that does not have too many ads then we recommend that you switch to lrtvyo.com stream channels as it shows only one ad at the top and delivering HD quality streams with good speed.

ntvvru

Another great alternative of our favorite website Usa Goals is ntvvru as it has high quality streams and very less or no ads at all as well as except for some pop-ups they have a very clean interface.

uKoo Live

Next on the list is ukoolive which shows pop-ups ads but has high quality streams and a decent amount of visitors as well. The site also provides users with an option to download any video they want, however, we suggest that you use it at your own risk because downloading copyrighted material can get you into trouble.

come4HD

Now if you are looking for sites similar to usagoals then come4hd is another great alternative that provides high definition sports streaming with fast speed and reliable servers. However the only con about this website is its low number of visitors which makes it difficult to find the latest football matches live on this site, so we suggest that if possible to watch live games on this site by using proxies in order to maintain anonymity.

USAGOALS

jTVFo

Now if you are looking for another alternative to come4hd then we suggest that jtvfo is a great option because it has HD quality streams and very less or no ads at all, however like usagoals it seems that jtvfo also has a low number of visitors which makes it difficult to watch live matches, so in order to solve this problem you can use proxies in order to maintain the anonymity.

kKooLi

Next on the list is kkolli which offers high quality sports streams with unlimited speed but has too many ads and pop-ups, so if you are looking for alternatives to come4hd then better switch to kkolli or jtvfo because it has high quality streams with very less ads.

aLbv SuRf

Next on the list is albvsurf which provides excellent HD streaming with ultra-fast speed, however, it only shows ads at the bottom of the site and has plenty of ads like pop-ups here and there, so we suggest that you use it on your own risk.

usahdtv

Now if you are looking for another alternative to kkolli then we suggest that you switch to usahdtv which has many ads but has fast streaming speed and provides HD streams as well.

GoaLs ToWn

Now if you are looking for high-quality live sports streaming with a clear interface then we suggest that you switch to goalstown as it shows ads on the top of the site but has a very clean interface, however, it seems that it only shows soccer matches live.

Watch SporT

Next on the list is watchsport which is another great site similar to goals town, it has a clean interface and provides HD quality streams with fast speed but shows ads both at the top of the site as well as throughout the video, so we suggest that you use it on your own risk or you can use proxies in order to maintain the anonymity.

Usagoals Alternatives

VipBoxTV

VipBoxTV is the go-to website for sports fans looking to watch their favourite teams play live from around the world! You can enjoy coverage of football matches in Brazil or ice Hockey tournaments right here on our site.

 

Final Thoughts

Check to make sure you are legally allowed to watch sport through any of these channels. Depending on where you are watching you may discover you’re not actually permitted to do so, legally. This article is for informational purposes only.

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Six Nations TV Coverage 2022

Fixtures and Six Nations TV Coverage For 2022

The Six Nations is back and for all you rugby fans, it’s time to get ready. just to make sure you don’t miss any of the action, our Six Nations TV Coverage guide here, has your back.

What channel will the Six Nations be on in 2022?

If you’re in the States, you’re in luck as NBC Sports will broadcast every match of the 2022 Six Nations in the States. The action will be streamed live on Peacock!

Is the 6 Nations on terrestrial TV?

All 15 fixtures will be televised on terrestrial television, and this year they have been shared between RTÉ and Virgin Media. Ireland’s opening match against Wales will be shown on RTÉ 2, with RTÉ also having the game against England on March 12th.

Every game will be aired live on either the BBC or ITV.

The BBC has lost the rights to broadcast France’s home matches in the men’s Six Nations from 2022 but the tournament remains on terrestrial television after a new four-year deal was agreed up to and including 2025. The two broadcasters began sharing the rights for the championship in 2016.

In previous years, the BBC broadcasted all of Scotland, Wales and France’s home matches – with ITV showing those of England, Ireland, and Italy – but from 2022 all matches in Paris will be added to ITV’s coverage.

Six Nations TV Coverage

Six Nations Rugby 2022

The Six Nations Tournament is held between six European rugby union teams. It is also known as the  6 Nations or simply – The Six Nations. Since 2000 it has been contested annually by England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland & Wales. The current champions are Wales.

The Six Nations has a tradition dating back to 1882 when the Home Nations Championship was first played. It was then decided that there should be an annual competition involving all of them to keep interest high – hence the Five Nations Championship came into being in 1910! Since 2000 Italy have been added as a permanent fixture with Scotland making up six teams to play each other once over five weekends throughout February and March every year.

The one to watch in 2022 is going to be Scotland who have been in exceptional form recently and will be looking to add another trophy to their cabinet this time around. Could it be the Calcutta Cup or the Six Nations or even both?

 

Round By Round Fixtures

ROUND 1

Ireland v Wales, Saturday Feb 5, KO 14:15, Dublin

Scotland v England, Saturday Feb 5, KO 16:45, Edinburgh

France v Italy Feb 6, KO 15:00, Paris

Thoughts; The Calcutta Cup fixture, here we’ll see if England can travel to Murrayfield and tame the Scots. As an Englishman, I’m wanting a win for the visitors but the improvement since last year by Scotland could see them sneak this. It’ll be a close game with 3 points the difference in all probability.   France can show their credentials when they beat Italy but by how many points? They’ll either be slow out of the blocks and struggle to dominate Italy or they will hit the ground not just running, but at a spring and steamroll the visiting team.

 

ROUND 2

Wales v Scotland, Saturday Feb 12, KO 14:15, Cardiff

France v Ireland, Saturday Feb 12, KO 16:45, Paris

Italy v England, Sunday Feb 13, KO 15:00, Rome

Thoughts; England have a chance here to establish themselves and need a convincing win in Rome. Ireland in Paris will hopefully be a test of the home side. Wales Scotland will be a close result, again probably 3-5 points difference at the most.

six nations tv coverage

ROUND 3

Scotland v France, Saturday Feb 26, KO 14:15, Edinburgh

England v Wales, Saturday Feb 26, KO 16:45, Twickenham

Ireland v Italy, Sunday Feb 27, KO 15:00, Dublin

Thoughts; England entertain Wales and can hopefully come out as winners, but this will be a test for the Wales team for sure. Depending on how the Scots have done at home in round 1, France will be a stern test, but either of these 2 teams at this stage, on p[paper, could still be competing for the top spot.

ROUND 4

Wales v France, Friday March 11, KO 20:00, Cardiff

Italy v Scotland, Saturday March 12, KO 14:15, Rome

England v Ireland, Saturday March 12, KO 16:45, Twickenham

Thoughts; Can England upsets the early St Patricks celebrations and how strong will the Wales defence need to be at home against the French? You’d expect Scotland to pick up the win here along with bonus points. Heading into the final round, I’d still expect France to be the top of the pile with hopefully England in a very close second.

The Final Round

Wales v Italy, Saturday March 19, KO 14:15, Cardiff

Ireland v Scotland, Saturday March 19, KO 16:45, Dublin

France v England, Saturday March 19, KO 20:00, Paris

 

Thoughts.  Is the deciding fixture this last one being played in Paris? France v England when the draw was made was the mouthwatering fixture for sure. Pre-tournament these 2 sides are the favourites with little between them. Wales if they beat Italy, might be condemning Italy to a whitewash here. I think Scotland and Ireland are battling for 3rd and 4th place at best here.

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Wales Win Six Nations While Watching On TV

Wales win title as Scotland beat France in Paris

The question is, deserved or not? If you look at the final table, Wales lost just once. Granted they conceded a huge 103 points, but they have also scored a massive 164. They managed 3 bonus points for scoring 4 tries in a game and the only game they lost, they picked up a losing bonus point. In a year where we have seen a lot of red and yellow cards, Wales did what they needed to do and that was to scrape the win in these matches.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones led by example throughout and Wales coach Wayne Pivac showed determination to improve after a really poor 2020. Louis Rees-Zammit has become a sensation, thanks to his speed on the wing and this was in part due to Pivac deciding to play Goerge North in at the centre.

France 23 – 27 Scotland

This was the final game of the Six Nations and it lived up to expectations. France who were favourites to win this match, yet still underdogs according to the bookies to lift the title, were at home against Scotland.

With France needing not just to win, but more importantly, the 4 try bonus point and a winning margin of 21 points, this looked set to be a blockbuster of a frantic game.

France went into the half time break with a small lead of 3 points, with just one try scored. At 13-10 the pressure was there to really get the game moving in the second half. Stuart Hogg yellow carded just before the break, didn’t give France any advantage.

French flair in the backs was equalled by Scottish forwards determination to dominate. A wonderful chip and chase gave France an eight-point lead. Scotland pressed and thank to penalties, kept the scores close at 18-13. Then Scottish forwards stepped up a gear, David Cherry, dotted over the line, putting Scotland in the lead, 20-18.

French lock Swan Rebbadj, scored a try to take the lead back 23-20. With less than 10 minutes left Finn Russell was red carded. Unable to take advantage of the extra man, then with French replacement lock, Romain Taofifenua shown a yellow card, meant both sides ended the match with fourteen players. Deep into extra time though Duhan Van Der Merwe went over for his second try of the evening to give Scotland a deserved victory.

 

Possible Deciding Factors.

France fancied themselves to do the business, the bookies expected them to win against Scotland. So what went wrong?

According to what news reports you read, I’ve seen comments about a quicker turnaround for this international, being one possible reason France didn’t achieve the win. Enforced changes in a couple of positions, with Ntamack starting at 10 and taking over kicking duties. At the end of the day, Scotland deserved their first win in France since 1999.
Maybe had the Premiership clubs refused to release the players for international duty, would this have made a difference?

Scotland kicked 3 conversions from 3, Ntamack managed just 1 from 3, so Matthieu Jalibert was missed in this final fixture.

 

 

Fun Facts;

Johnny Sexton, was the leading point scorer, with 65 points in total.

Scottish winger, Duhan Van Der Merwe took the leading try scorer spot, thanks to 2 in this final game. The English and Welsh wingers, Louis Rees-Zammit and Anthony Watson both had 4 tries apiece.

Wales finished 5th place last year now are in the winners spot. Last seasons winners England did the reverse, going from top spot down to a miserable fifth.

Scotland won in Paris for the first time since 1999 and lifted the Twickenham hoodoo with their first Six Nations victor there in 38 years.

 

Lions Squad

The ongoing debate as to the Lions Tour going ahead, still rages on. What is interesting though is the options for players to make the squad ( should the tour, actually tour ). Scottich back rows Hamish Watson & Jamie Ritchie have surely cemented their claim to a place on the team bus.

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France Vs Scotland Six Nations Decider

2021 Guinness Six Nations

Friday evening in Paris, the 2021 Guinness Six Nations will be decided in this rearranged fixture. With no Grand Slam to play for, the Welsh still have one hand on lifting the Six Nations, even after their defeat in Paris. But can the French win the Six Nations this year?

Wales are currently top of the table on 20 points, Ireland second on 15 but played all their fixtures, with France in third on 15.

Scotland opened this year’s championship with a first away win over England since 1983. Follow up on their emphatic victory over Italy and they are in good spirits. Bolstered further by the news that Premiership Rugby will release Scotland players for the rearranged match, maybe they can end their 22-year wait for a Six Nations win in France.

The bookies however don’t see Scotland being able to win this game.

France To Lift The Six Nations

Wales currently have a +61 points difference to France’s +41, so a win of 21 points or more over Scotland, should they score four tries and pick up the bonus point, will be enough for Fabien Galthie’s squad to be 2021 Guinness Six Nations champions. That’s the easy way to work this out.

Now, just imagine they win by exactly 20 points and get the bonus point then the winner will be determined by tries scored.

If, in the unlikely situation, Wales have scored 20 tries while France currently have 15, so they’d be on 19.

However, if they win by exactly 20 points but Les Bleus score six or more tires, then that would do it for the home team to be crowned champions. Bookies don’t think this French side are good enough with 6/4 being offered by several big bookies.

Six Nations Outright as at 21 March

Six Nations Outright as at 21 March

Wales To Be Champions

If Scotland win, draw or even lose but stop France scoring four tries, then Wales are named champions. So basically any Scottish win is enough, regardless of the score.

Should Scotland lose, not all is lost for the Welsh, provided Scotland concede four tries, as long as the final margin of defeat is 19 points or fewer.

The bookies favour Wales to be crowned outright winners, with odds of 1/2 on being available.

 

Shared Title?

Yes, it’s possible. If France get a bonus-point win over Scotland by EXACTLY 20 points and score EXACTLY five tries, then the two countries would be level on points, points difference and tries scored.

At that point, the Guinness Six Nations title would be shared for the first time since, coincidentally, France and Wales shared the Five Nations crown in 1988. I wonder what odds you’d be able to get on this?

 

Hopefully, this game will be as entertaining as France Vs Wales 32-30 was. It’s on tv so I’ll be watching it”

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French To Win The Six Nations?

A Quick Overview Of This Weekend

  1. Wales are good but discipline in the last 10 minutes cost them.
  2. France are better, even with a player red carded.
  3. England are dismal.
  4. Ireland played with passion.
  5. Scotland had a great win to set up this final match.
  6. Italy saved England from being bottom.

 

Ireland 32-18 England

An impressive display by the home team. A well deserved half time lead of 20-6 thanks in part to Keith Earls and Jack Conan who scored superb first-half tries. Ireland coach Andy Farrell certainly had a game plan for this fixture and it paid off handsomely, sadly to the detriment of his son the England captain.

With Lions coach Warren Gatland watching there must have been some serious note taking going on. Maybe Earls will be one of the hookers on the list of players, but Johnny Sexton who kicked 22 points has surely cemented his place in the starting fifteen.

England look tired, lacked ideas and the ill discipline was back. Bundee Aki’s red card in the 64th minute gave England the extra man advantage which enabled them to score a couple of tries in the last 15 minutes. The Connor Murray yellow card on the 78th minute gave the space for May to score a try wideout. Daly hit a magnificent drop-goal conversion from the left touchline to get England up to 18 points.

This defeat though means England slip to the worst finish since 1987 in their final Six Nations table, with Scotland still to play France meaning Ireland currently second could finish as runners up or slip to third, depending on the result.

According to Sir Clive Woodward in an article in the Telegraph, “Eddie Jones has become “all-powerful” at the Rugby Football Union and must be held to account after England’s disastrous Six Nations” and there are many others who are suggesting the same.

Scotland 52-10 Italy

It started off so well for Italy, with a try after 5 minutes, Captain Luca Bigi going over and Garbisi converting. Saldy it went downhill after this. Scotland hooker Dave Cherry and wing Duhan van der Merwe both scored twice as Scotland ran in 8 tries against a poor Italian performance. The 24-10 half time scoreline would have given Italian players and supporters a glimmer of hope for the second half, but indiscipline brought two yellow cards after the break. This gave Scotland 28 unanswered points in the second half, to claim their biggest winning margin in Six Nations history.

Seven of Italy’s 12 Six Nations wins since 2000 have come against Scotland, so they must have fancied the chance to salvage some pride in this years tournament. They haven’t won a Six Nations game since 2015 and it will need a lot of improvement before next year to get that statistic changed.

The good news for the Scotland squad is that the English Premiership have agreed to release players for the Friday night final match against France.

 

France 32-30 Wales

Saved the best to the last.  What a bloody game of rugby this was. It was Grand Slam chasing Wales going head to head with title contenders France in Paris. It’s been said Wales have had a lucky run this year. With both Ireland and Scotland ( who they beat by a single point ), reduced to 14 man and a contentious refereeing display contributing to their (ultimately) convincing win over England.  What people forget is Wales won the final twenty minutes of that England game 16-0, ( without a single ref controversy required) plus they have scored more tries than in any previous Six nations. This final Welsh fixture was going to be as dull as ditchwater or an all time classic. Luckily it was the latter, as both teams knew they needed a four try bonus point.

A blazing start by France saw a flurry of penalties awarded to them, a disallowed held up try before Romain Taofifenua manages to score a try which is converted. A quick reply by Wales sees them also have a try over ruled as the player was held up, at the other end. Dan Biggar does manage to crash over, with an excellent run on the angle and he converts his own kick, making it 7-7 after 14 minutes.

An instant reply from France though as Brice Dulin joins the line and chips over the top for the chasing Jalibert to gather for him to pass to Antoine Dupont to walk a try in. Beautiful French back play there in the 15th minute. France 14 – 14 Wales (Josh Navidi) in the 19th minute after some good play by Biggar once again, who also converted the kick. France replaced injured try scoring lock Romain Taofifenua, which could have been a big turning point so early on. Wales took the lead in the 24th minute as Biggar slots over a well taken penalty. France counter attack from the restart but Jalibert kicks the ball dead, meaning a scrum back on the French 10m line. Another enforced replacement as Jalibert goes off with a head injury to be assessed, Romain Ntamack his replacement starts off badly with a knock on, but redeems himself 3 minutes later with a nicely taken penalty to level the scores once again.

 

HALF TIME! France 17 – 17 Wales

Wales dominated possession in the first half and started the second in the same frame of mind. Biggar adds another three points after 6 minutes to give Wales the lead once again. Further points look on the card 3 minutes later when the TMO is called in once again to see if Josh Adams had managed to score a try. Try awarded and Biggar converts once again. A good French attack breaks down, but they were playing advantage and Romain Ntamack slots the penalty to reduce the deficit by 3.

The 58 minute mark saw game changing actions. Louis Rees Zammit was unlucky with a grounding wideout on the wing, where he was in for a try. Mohammed Haouas (France) was shown a Yellow card for pulling down a driving maul. Dan Biggar kicks the penalty to give Wales a 10 point buffer with 20 minutes left to play.

A French catch and drive from France before Marchand crashes over from the back of the maul, but he looks to be held up, so TMO is called into things again. Wales are offside in the tackle line from the France scrum five and Les Bleus take another scrum five, where Dulin looks to have gone over for a try. TMO time again. Bad news for France, as the try which was going to be awarded, isn’t and instead, it’s a Red card. In a ruck in the build up, Paul Willemse cleared out Wyn Jones and put his fingers near his eye, so after consultation between TMO and officials on the field, it’s a sending off.

With 11 minutes left on the clock, Wales decide to bring on fresh legs to finish off the game. Callum Sheedy for Biggar, Elliot Dee for Ken Owens, Leon Brown for Tomas Francis, and Willis Halaholo for Jon Davies. The French are awarded a lineout in the Welsh 22, and Cammille Chat is on for Marchand but his throw at the line is poor and Wales are able to break out. The  French come straight back and Ollivon goes over again for a try, that’s deemed to be held up. After Wales had been told by the referee about a series of penalties defending their 22, Taulupe Faletau was shown a Yellow card for being caught offside. He’s quickly followed off the pitch 2 minutes later by Liam Willams who was off his feet and interfering with the ball. France 14, Wales 13, players on the park, that is!

French opting to use the extra man advantage go for a scrum after the penalty is awarded. Scrum collapsed as Wyn Jones gos down. Another penalty to France, who opt for the scrum again. The clock is ticking and each set and reset is eating into the little time left. Charles Ollivon does get over for a French try on the 77th minute, which Ntamack converts. 90 seconds left on the clock.

90 Seconds To Go For A Wales Grandslam and Six Nations

France knock it on! Wales have 90 seconds to keep hold of possession. Time is against France and they seemed not to realise this while they were taking the scrums 2 minutes earlier. Wales conceded a penalty for sealing off, Ntamack only has one option to go for touch. France have the ball on the Wales 22, they attempt to go right, then left before Dulin arrives on the scene, far out on the left wing. Conversion missed, but the game was won and the bonus point added too.

Brice Dulin of France scored his side’s fourth and winning try in the 82nd minute of a match that had everything.

 

France To Win The Six Nations?

Yes, they can if they score four tries vs Scotland next Friday and win by 21 points in the rearranged fixture. A couple of weeks ago, I’d have said that this was on the cards, but the Scots will be on a high after their drubbing of Italy this weekend. Paris will be the deciding chapter in this seasons Six Nations, the French are favourites but never say never with Scotland just now. Roll on Friday!.

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England 23-20 France What A Bloody Good 80 Minutes

England Vs France

Serge Blanco’s 93 caps for France were filled with outlandish levels of attacking skill and ambition. Regarded as one the if not the best running/attacking fullbacks in the world. With the likes of Philippe Saint-André, Patrice Lagisquet, Philippe Sella and Pierre Berbizier the French backs lit the world up in the 1980s, with their flair and grace. Are we entering a new Golden Age of French rugby?

Without a doubt the best game of the competition this season by far. It was always going to be a tight scoreline and with England starting as underdogs, they had a lot to prove.  With an early try for Dupont, the French set out their stall. England defended well, looked dangerous on the attack and Watson scored a well taken try and was unlucky afterwards with a break and a chip and chase which would have been a world class score. Penaud scored a well taken try to take the French into the half time in the lead HT 13-17.

Maro Itoje barged over for a 77th-minute score to seal the win which was well deserved, such a pity though that the stadium wasn’t full of supporters.

Farrell ( 2 conversions 3 pens ) took the head to head against Jalibert who managed 2 conversions and a couple of penalties. The best 9 & 10 partnership on the international scene? Jalibert and Dupont light up the game for sure and with them hosting the 2023 world cup in France, the home nation will be expected to lift the trophy.

 

Englands Discipline Sorted?

After giving away 41 penalties in their first three Six Nations games so far, Test referees Wayne Barnes and Matt Carley were invited to England training to give them guidance on how to stay on the right side of the officials. Yes it seemed to work. With the World Cup looming and the rules saying that they want more flowing rugby, players on their feet etc, this looks like a savvy move by the England team to help curb indiscipline going forward.

Eddie Jones has suggested only around 70% of the current squad will feature at the next World Cup in 2023. The final fixture of this Six Nations against Ireland might be one where he experiments with his starting line up once again?

Wales Vs Italy

This was always going to be a game where the question wasn’t ‘if Wales will in’, but it was more about how many they’d win by. Running in 7 tries to win by Italy 7-48 Wales, this really was one way traffic. When you’re losing 27-0 at half time, there’s never going to be any way back into the match even with home advantage.

This was Wales’ 16th successive victory over Italy and it clearly showed the huge gap in quality between both teams.

Grand Slam Again?

Wales have now matched their record of 17 Six Nations tries in one tournament with a game remaining. This is the all deciding fixture in Paris against France. Win, lose or draw this game, I can see Wales scoring at least one try to beat their record for number of tries.

 

Relegation An Option?

The facts are damning. It was a 31st successive defeat for the Azzurri in the competition, with their last victory coming against Scotland in 2015. They have not managed a home Six Nations win for eight years, with 20 successive losses.

Italy have conceded 187 points and 26 tries in four games this year. They have lost class players like Sergio Parisse, who was a genuine leader and a world class player. It may take years and years for Italian grass roots rugby to produce players of the required quality to compete at the highest level. I think the money will have the last say, thanks to sponsorship contracts, but maybe the future might see Georgia being invited to join the competition in the coming years?

 

Ireland Win With 3 Minutes Left

Scotland at home would have fancied their chances in this fixture. Scoring three tries against the Irish brace was encouraging some would say as it showed the Scottish attacking ability. What let the home side down here was discipline. When you have a kicker of the ability of Jonny Sexton on the opposing team, the last thing you want to do is give away kickable penalties. This really hits home when you see Sexton pop 5 over for 15 points in the game you have just lost by 3 points. What must hurt most was the Scottish team had bounced back in the second half to get the scoreboard to 24-24.

At 10-14 the halftime score showed how close the match had been and it really was there for either team to win. A quick try then a penalty meant that 15 minutes in Ireland were in control. Scotland showed the grit to get back to 24-24, but at the end of the day it was the boot of Sexton thanks to the penalties that were their undoing.

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The Wales 40-24 England Farce

Remove This Referee From Internationals

At least he gave England players time to get on the pitch before the kick off!

French referee Pascal Gauzere set out his stall early in the game when he was whistle happy from the get go. Supporters and viewers want to see talent on the pitch running and kicking the ball, not the centre of attention being the guy with the whistle.

The stadium lacking the vocals of the singing fans meant that this game was probably going to be quite subdued off the pitch, but the fixture for the players was ever important with Wales going for the Triple Crown.

Wales scored four tries against England for the first time in 23 years and ran out deserved winners after two highly contentious decisions set them on their way to victory over England

First Half

Early penalties awarded against England kind of set the tone for this game, with Wales slotting one over for an early lead. Itoje’s pressuring the scrum half box kicking attempt almost paid off with an England try when he charged down a Hardy kick. Fullback Williams won the leg race by inches to keep him out from scoring what would have been a kickable try.
Farrell put the game back on par with a well taken kick and at 3-3 it was time to go again. It took just 15 minutes into the game for the first controversy to hit home.

England captain Farrell was penalised for failing to roll away from his own tackle on George North. Personally not sure how much rolling away you can do with 2 opponents on top of you, but that’s nothing compared to the farce that followed.

Step up Pascal Gauzere, into the spotlight once again.  Gauzere told Farrell to tell his team to “change their behaviour” and said “time off” indicating that the clock was stopped. Accordingly, Farrell did just that, calling in the wingers from the wings and the backs. On came the water carries to enable the England team in their huddle to get water taken on. They’re still being briefed by Farrell and breaking up the huddle as they hear the whistle blow, despite the water carriers still on the field in the huddled group. Biggar kicked out wide and  Josh Adams catches the ball to go over for a try.

England captain Farrell argued vehemently there were water carriers on the field and his side had no chance to reset after being asked to speak to his team about their discipline. The referee had zero interest in listening to his complaints and brushed him aside like he didn’t exist. Try stood and was converted. A second Farrell penalty brought England back into the game.

 

What Next?

Well, you may well ask. Almost another 15 minutes passes then we see Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit attempting to take a chipped kick from Adams, but he knocks it forward with his hand, but it comes off his own leg. It then hits Slades leg, all without touching the ground and Liam Williams is there to touch down for a try to make the scoreline Wales 17 England 6.

Could this be a new sport? Keepy Uppy with the rugby ball? Just a thought.

 

Knock On Or Not?

From where I was sitting in front of the tv, it looked like he’d lost possession of the ball.

Former England and British and Irish Lions captain Martin Johnson; “I would have thought he’s lost control of the ball. Everyone who has ever played rugby will think that’s a knock-on.”

For the record, World Rugby’s laws state: “A knock-on occurs when a player loses possession of the ball and it goes forward, or when a player hits the ball forward with hand or arm, or when the ball hits the hand or arm and goes forward, and the ball touches the ground or another player before the original player can catch it.”

 

Wales went back to the changing rooms enjoying a fortunate 17-14 half-time lead!

 

Second Half

Hardy took advantage of a correctly awarded penalty against England lock Hill and his tap and go try was converted by Sheedy. England never gave up and tries by Anthony Watson and Ben Youngs, saw the hour mark scoreline 24-24. As good as they are in going forward, England need to sort out their discipline.
Wales replacement fly-half Callum Sheedy kicked three penalties, before Cory Hill’s last-minute try sealed a commanding bonus-point win. The scoreline was flattering, but Wales were worthy victors.

 

My Final Thoughts

Rees-Zammit the Welsh winger is fast. he was unlucky not to score a try and had the pass gone to him instead of the kick and chase, maybe he would have just managed to get over the line.

Wayne Pivac said the referee was lenient on England in some aspects with star second row Maro Itoje giving away five penalties in total, without being shown a yellow card. Utter bullshit! At least one of these calls was borderline and a second it wasn’t even Itoje who was offside.

The prematch commentary did a focus piece on Alun Wyn Jones and how he has that old head on him to wind up opposing players who he knows will bite. His display against Sinckler in the last game was a wonderful assessment of how this captain looks to try to gain the upper hand.

Nigel Owens, MBE who was interviewed earlier about his experiences in the game and him coming out as a homosexual was a really nice and entertaining pice too. Based on the performance shown today, I’d have happily as an Englishman had him in charge of the match.

Not only have Wales produced some world class players over the years and will continue to do so, but they have also enhanced the world stage with top, top referees. Clive Norling, Derek Bevan and also Nigel Owens.

Yes, I admit that referees do make mistakes, but as glaring as this one was today, French referee Pascal Gauzere should not be on the International Panel. That being the case too, while ever England are giving away so many penalties, then you will get referees who will keep an eye on them ready for the next one to come around.

 

Some more reports from the big boys available here;

The Guardian.

The Telegraph

Sydney Morning Herald

 

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France On Top By Points Difference

Ireland 13-15 France

In the final fixture of the second round of matches, France managed their first win on Irish soil in a decade. Pointless for the first ten minutes, a penalty to France looked certain to get them on the scoreboard, but the difficult kick by Matthieu Jalibert drifted just wide of the mark. Billy Burns returned the favour 8 minutes later with a bad miss from his kick at goal, but 3 minutes later he puts Ireland in front with a better penalty kick.

When French lock Le Roux is given a yellow card for a trip, this was the chance that Ireland should take. A certain try opportunity for James Lowe on the wing was well defended and the TMO correctly saying ‘NO TRY’ thanks to some great defensive cover to help him into touch. This spurred the French to take the game back to the Irish after being penned in their own 22. Quick French hands saw a try from Ollivon with the conversion kicked. Jalibert then adding a penalty just before the half time whistle.

 

Ireland 3-10 France Half Time

With the majority of possession and 10 minutes playing with an extra man, Ireland failed to put more points on the board. This is where great teams punish opponents. Ireland still don’t seem to be hitting games with the ruthlessness they’ve done in recent years.

The second half was scoreless for the first 14 minutes until a lovely try by Penaud extended the French lead. James Lowe who missed two tackles last week against Wales, needed to make his count this time, but he was beaten by the sidestep. The 12 points difference would mean that the next score would be vital for either team. France to push on to win or the Irish to come back into the game. It was Irish replacement scrum-half Ronan Kelleher who conjured up something special 4 minutes later to pop over for a try. With Byrne adding the conversion, this was now back to a try difference at Ireland 10-15 France. Byrne added a penalty on the 64th minute to bring the game closer at 13-15.

71st minute and a French penalty awarded after Tadhg Beirne takes out Charles Ollivon in the air, sees Matthieu Jalibert’s kick come back off the upright.That was the final scoreline in a game where Ireland didn’t look their best and the French ground out a victory.

 

Final Thoughts

Ireland had the most territory and also possession: 59%-41% ( same stats for both ), they had 10 minutes with an extra man on the field and still couldn’t manage to overcome a determined French team.

Saturday 27th sees Wales entertain England, in a must win for Wales if they’re to push the French.  The following day Scotland are in Paris in a match that could prove important in deciding the outcome of the tournament.

Going into March we’ll either see France extend their lead at the top of the table, if they beat Scotland. Personally, I think France will win by 7 or more points. Wales would need to beat England convincingly and pick up bonus points to keep pace with France. Wales have the home advantage but they’ve limped home in their opening couple of games, both against teams who have had a player sent off. As bad as Englands’ discipline can be at times, I’d be stunned if they get a red card. I wonder what the bookies are offering for the odds on that though? I think that this will be a game England might just edge and they’ll do so by 5 points or under.

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