Six nations fixtures - six nations 2011 match reviews & post match analysis

 Watchi this space for reviews and detailed post match analysis of all the 2011 Six Nations Fixtures will appear here as and when the games are played.

 

review of Week 1 2011 rbs six nations fixtures - 4th & 5th February 2011

Posted: Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Italy 11 - Ireland 13 Six Nations 2011 match review
A last ditch drop goal from Ronan O'Gara's spared red faces for team Ireland as Italy were denied a first and  sensational win over the Irish after a dogged performance.

The first half saw Ireland produce an error strewn forty minuets against a lively Italian side. A pair of Mirco Bergamasco penalties helped the Azzuri to a 6-3 half time lead.

Early enterprise from the Azzuri yielded a penalty for Bergamasco in the seventh minute after Sean O'Brien had been penalised for not releasing. Ireland game plan wasn't obvious in the opening 20 minutes, as they appeared surprised by the Italians' aggression.

They finally began to show attacking intent as O'Brien's break set up a charging Luke Fitzgerald before Jonathan Sexton was dispossessed by Alberto Sgarbi inches short of the Italian line.

Play became increasingly scrappy before the break but Italy ended the half on a high as Bergamasco slotted his second penalty of the day in added time.

Ireland showed immediate purpose after the break as Paul O'Connell won possession from the restart, which enabled the visitors to drive into the Italian 22. Good attacking phases were eventually rewarded by O'Driscoll's close-range finish in the 44th minute as he drove his way over for a try.

The Irish wasted chances to put the game out of Italy's reach as another wild O'Driscoll pass failed to find Fergus McFadden and then were in trouble again seven minutes from time when Denis Leamy was sin-binned for an offside infringement.

Crucially, for Ireland, Bergamasco missed the conversion so an O'Gara drop-goal was going to be enough for Ireland to snatch victory. By that stage, the veteran Munster fly half had replaced Sexton and, once again, he came to Ireland's rescue as he took his chance with three minutes left to break Italian hearts and salvage Irish pride.

Sighs of relief for the men in green and groans of despair for the Italians, who will hope to reproduce another flamboyant performance at Twickenham next weekend and if Ireland don�t up their game they my way well be run ragged by the French in Dublin.

France 34  - Scotland 21 Six Nations 2011 match review
France opened their 2011 Six Nations account with a commanding victory over Scotland at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday night.

Scotland was hoping to build on their autumn successes against South Africa and Fiji and build up to the World Cup in autumn. However the French weren�t reading from the Scottish script as Maxine Medard opened France�s Six Nation account in only the second minute pouncing on a Rougerie kick through, after Trinh-Duc disrupted Scotland in open play.

Parra added the extra two closely followed by a Trinh-Duc drop kick helped to the French to a 10-0 lead after ten minutes. Scotland were in danger of becoming adrift from the French, but they fought back and in the 19th minute when Scotland captain Kellock scored his first ever try for Scotland, ducking under Servat to score and keep Scotland  in the game.

Park converted to leave the Scottish trailing by three. One area that might be vital this Six Nations and the World Cup in the autumn will be at the scrum, and the French certainly placed a marker down with their pack destroying the Scottish scrum driving them back on more than one occasion. The French won a penalty deep in the Scottish twenty-two and repeatively caused the Scottish to infringe, especially prop Ewan Murray, who struggled all night with the French front row. After the scrum failed for the third time referee Wayne Barnes had no option but to award France with a Penalty Try, Scotland were also lucky not lose Murray to the bin, Parra added the two to leave the French 17-7 ahead at the break.

The early exchanges of the second half saw chances for both teams including a missed penalty by Parra for the French. In the 54th minute the French turned on the style with an excellent flowing move the highlight being an excellent through the legs pass by Trinh-Duc that resulted in Harinordique racing through for the try. Yachvilli added the extra two, making the score 22-7.

Scotland showed some fighting spirit that had been lacking in recent years with Kelly Brown scoring from a tap penalty deep in the French twenty-two, because of the French straying offside at the ruck. Park converted the extra two to keep the Scottish in touching distance, leaving the score 24-14 with twenty minutes left.

The French effectively killed the game of with ten minutes left when sloppy play by the Scottish allowed a turnover and the French with great support play letting Traille to go over the whitewash. Yachvilli added the two giving the French a 17 point cushion, 31-14.
That wasn�t the end of the scoring with Sean Lamont  scoring a late try for the Scottish with five minutes left, Jackson converted giving the Scottish a small chance of stealing the game. But those chances ended when Yachvilli finished the scoring with a penalty in the last minute, making the final score.

The French will have impressed their Six Nations rivals but conceding three tries will also give the likes of England and Ireland hope of breaking through their defensive line in the weeks to come. Andy Robinsons Scotland continued their fine run of form, despite the defeat the Scottish will be encouraged especially by scoring three tries against the French in Paris, and they will hope give their up and coming Six Nations rivals problems in the coming weeks.

Scotland will host the Welsh next Saturday at three o�clock, whereas the French travel to Dublin on the following Sunday with both teams wanting to maintain their Grand Slam hopes.

Wales 19 - England 26 Six Nations 2011 match review
England travelled to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to take on a Wales team short of both form and confidence. It can be argued that this game started last week if the verbal jousts between the two nations, in particular the English saying they need to �put their little brother back in their place�

The game started off at a tremendous pace as Steven Jones can tell you as he took a huge hit after the second minute. The Welsh needed to take early advantage but both S Jones and Hook missed opportunities to put the �little brother ahead.

It was the English who struck first blood, careful build up outside the Welsh 22 resulted in Flood breaking through a poor welsh defence to set up Ashdon for his first try. England Manager Martin Johnson will be happy with the try but maybe not with elaborate celebration that would have jepodised the try, Flood gladly added the extra two for a 0-7 lead.

Jones hit back with a penalty to get Wales started. Wales�s next opportunity was when English Flanker Deacon was sent to the bin for interference after heavy Welsh attack. Jones again slotted the penalty to reduce the score to 6-10.

The Welsh were unable to capitalise on their man advantage, and ill discipline resulted in Flood scoring yet another penalty to give England a 6-13 lead at halftime.

The Welsh needed a positive start to the half and they got it through the boot of Jones whose penalty reduced the score again to 9-13. But hopes of a Welsh come back were hampered as their discipline again let them down as prop Mitchell was sent to the bin for interference, letting Flood again slot a three point penalty giving England a 9-16 lead.

England pressured with their man advantage and Ashdon cashed in with his second try of the game scoring in the corner from a simple back line move. Flood converted the conversion to give England some breathing space at 9-23.

The Welsh Dragon refused to give the English an easy ride to the death, was they pressured the English line to get back into the game, and that pressure paid off as Roberts broke the line and Wing Stoddart took a difficult pass to score in the corner to give the Welsh a faint hope. Jones converted to putting the Welsh within one score of their English counterparts. The rest of the game petered out with both Hook and Wilkinson trading Penalty kicks to leave the final score at Wales 19-26 England.

England will be more than happy with their victory in Wales and hope that they can build and improve for their next match aganist Italy on Saturday. Wales on the other hand will be desperate to halt their poor run, and have the opportunity against the Scottish in the late fixture on Saturday.