In which I look toward Cardiff for the match between Wales and Italy on the final day of the six nations
In which I look at the Giuseppe Garibaldi match
In which I look at the Italy vs Scotland match
In which I look at the sixth match of the six nations, and the second England game
In which I look at the opening game of the six nations, Ireland vs Italy
In which I look back on Italy vs France in the Six Nations, 2009
In which I look ahead at the final day of the Six Nations, 2009
In which I look at the first games of the Six Nations, 2009.
So, Everyone gets something... Wales get the Grand Slam, the championship and Bragging Rights (as do Wasps, as Wales did it with Warren and Shaun)
England get second place, and the Millennium Trophy for beating Ireland today (I was there). We also got to see Danny Cipriani's first game, and he was good - as Wasps knew he would... be.
France get the Giuseppe Garibaldi trophy for beating Italy (can all Italy games have a trophy at stake, please? That seems like an easy option to get a trophy in the short term... unless you're Scottish)
Ireland get the Centenary Quaich trophy for beating Scotland.
Scotland get the Calcutta Cup for beating England (in a game that caused me to fall asleep - but well done to Scotland)
Italy get a wooden spoon.
Nobody gets whitewash.
Everyone has something... and Italy can use their trophy for making nice meals. Bonus.
These times taken from the clip on youtube (some may be a little off), from yesterday's controversial game 78:22 Sergio Parisse named MotM 78:34 Lineout 78:41 J. Thomas brought down 78:54 Ball passed down line 79:00 Welsh get ball out of another ruck 79:05 ... and again 79:15 and again 79:23 Welsh brought down 79:36 Penalty awarded 79:53 Ref asks how long to go (didn't make out when player asked) 79:58 Do it now, ten seconds (ironically taking a chunk of those 10 secs) 80:00 Clock goes red. Kick taken. Ball not in touch when kick taken 80:15 Welsh not formed up for lineout yet 80:20 Gets something from his timekeeper, Whistle.
If there are comments, please use the thread on yesterday's controversial game.
Yesterday, we watched a little of the Rugby on television. There were two six nations games. First up was Ireland vs. Scotland. This was a much closer run thing than it had any right to be. Scotland should have been hammered, but they kept fighting and it went to the line with an Irish win of 19-18. There is some controversy surrounding this game as one of the Irish players had his airway restricted, and the Irish coach is claiming it was deliberate (a very serious charge indeed, and to my mind, potentially a police matter).
Next was Wales vs. Italy. This was always going to be a much closer affair, with Wales desperate to avoid the wooden spoon, and Italy keen to show that their victory against Scotland was not a flash in the pan. This was a really good game, and I was on the edge of my seat.... however, sorry Wales, I was supporting Italy. The game went back and forth between the two sides, but the controversy came at the end. Update: I've made a timeline of the events, available here.
With 3 points in it and seconds to go, Wales were awarded a penalty. A kick would have seen them draw, but a try would see them win. They appeared to ask the referee if there was enough time to attempt the win, and the ref appeared to say yes. They decided to forego the draw and kick to touch. The ref then blew for full time before the lineout. I could not believe this, nor could the Welsh, as they appeared to have asked explicitly. On the other hand, comments on the 606 board on the BBC website seem to say the sequence was a little different to how I perceived it:
'Hook asked how long we had left and White said there was about 10 seconds.
Hook asked if we could kick to touch and White said 'yes, carry on'.
So according to this the Ref was NOT asked if there was time for the line out.
Either way, it was a tough call - and as someone said in this discussion, perhaps the rules should allow for a single lineout after a penalty, even if the clock has ticked past the 80 minutes.
As someone else said:
I don't see the referee being lambasted for not noticing it was a Welsh hand that created the 'knock-on' preventing a very good opportunity for an Italian try in the first half. These things have a habit of evening themselves out
I quite agree, overall, though the Welsh were hard-done-by at the end, the result of 23-20 to Italy was just.
In the Guinness Premiership, Wasps were playing Harlequins, and when I checked earlier in the game Wasps were trailing (unsurprising, it was an away game after all) - but at the end we had clawed it back, to what, I think, is our first away win in the premiership this season! The score was 23-16.
Elsewhere in the Guinness Premiership, Bath beat Northampton 22-17. I'm quite pleased with that as it keeps the relegation battle alive - and I've a slightly soft spot for Worcester as I've seen them play twice this season - losing both times, but losing with such style that they I've wondered why they're not higher in the table.
Bristol lost to London Irish, 7-12. This is good from a partisan perspective, as it means that Bristol are just two points ahead of Wasps (with a game in hand though), but Wasps are still 8 points clear of Irish.
On Friday, Sale lost to Worcester, 12 to 18, which I'm happy with for the reasons given for Bath-Northampton result.
Gloucester are to play Leicester today. I'm unsure what the ideal result would be - a Gloucester win would see them leapfrog Wasps with a game in hand, but keep Leicester in the sights. A Leicester win would keep Wasps above Gloucester, but only just - and they've still a game to play.
I'm not sure who I want to win!
|The Premiership as of 10th March '07|
Update: 12:45 - the last six minutes of the game are on youtube.
Watching the England vs. Italy game today, it really emphasised how overhyped England was last week. Apart from the first 10 minutes (which I missed) we had one try which should not have been given as it resulted from a forward pass. Everything else (after the first 10 minutes) came from mistakes made and penalties awarded.
The only points put on the board 'by right', rather than as the result of error, were Italian.
This doesn't bode well, but the scoreline does place us in a reasonable position to avoid the wooden spoon.
Still to come we have France, Ireland and Wales. Based on current performances, I don't hold much hope for us in the games against France and Ireland. I'd love to be wrong.
Last weekend, I went to Rome for a VERY short trip (I was at work on both Friday and Monday). I was going down there to see the Colosseum with a group of other people taking the A103 course, the current section of work is on the Colosseum.
The Colosseum is a fantastic structure, it must have been absolutely awe inspiring for people two thousand years ago. I'd love to see some sporting stadium built as a modern replica, that'd be wonderful to see.
During the trip I found myself between a demonstration about Israel/Palestine (not sure which side of this issue the demo was on) and lines of riot police, that was interesting.
I wandered up to the Trevi fountain, the spanish steps and the Vatican during my stay, and had a great meal too.
Nice little trip.
Travelling with no hold luggage is luxury, straight off the plane, through passports and away. Great.
I've updated my visted countries maps, and they look like this (with Germany and Austria being only fleeting):
I've visited the counties in yellow.
Which counties have you visited?
made by marnanel
map reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data
by permission of the Ordnance Survey.
© Crown copyright 2001.
On the UK map, much is to be taken with a pinch of salt, it's very easy to go between UK counties! I've only been to Scotland once, and that was fleeting. I've been to most counties in Wales (if not all), but am making best guess, and I really can't recall the southwest of Wales, the rest is on a 'best guess' basis. The nearer to London, the more sure I can be of the counties actually visited. I tried to tick only for actually setting for in the counties, rather than setting wheel - so I can't be sure of Rutland, and can't recall going to Norfolk at all (though I think I was taken to the Broads once, I have no memory of it).
This was a fantastic semi-final, it's an old cliché, but both teams deserved to go through - if only the final is to be as good! The Italian goals at the end was just inspired. The second goal was made more likely as the Germans were forced to throw everything forward.
The Germans were unlucky, they can be proud of their performance.
All I have to say about that is 'Cheating Italian Diving Gits' Well played Australia.