Six Nations 2016 – Round Up

by admin on April 12, 2016

Six Nations Rugby LogoAs the curtain comes down on another eventful Six Nations, it’s England who reign supreme.

After a cataclysmic failure in their own World Cup, England showed true character, skill and determination to put it behind them and lift the Six Nations trophy in Paris and with it a Grand Slam.

Having taken over as England Head Coach in November, Eddie Jones has started his career in perfect fashion leading his England team to Six Nations glory.

After six weeks of thrills, spills, scintillating tries and massive hits the tournament that no one could predict has to come to an end.  When England kicked off their tournament at Murrayfield no one knew what to expect, and the first weekend of action packed Rugby was certainly a nervy affair. England edged out their Scottish counterparts in a closely contested 9-15 victory whilst Italy took France even closer, Les bleus pushing through 23-21 victors in the Stade de France. However, nothing could separate the Welsh and Irish as they drew 16-16 on the Aviva pitch.

A week into the tournament and we were still no closer to really working out where each team stood. Having drawn in Ireland the week before, the Welsh powered past a resilient Welsh side, edging the contest 27-23. The edginess and nerves were still apparent under the flood lights in Paris as they edged out Ireland 10-9 to compound the Irish to back-to-back defeats and all but end their championship hopes.

Playing on the Sunday, England had the opportunity to suss out how their competitors performed and put down a marker, and they certainly did. In the performance of the tournament so far, England blew away the Italians on their own soil, a hat trick from Jonathan Joseph helping them on their way to an emphatic 9-40 victory.  Could this have been the early signs of an England turnaround?

England’s fiercest rivals for the crown looked set to be the Welsh and the French and the two came to blows at the Principality Stadium after a two week break. Having drawn and won once in the opening two games, the Welsh knew nothing short of a victory was enough whilst back-to-back wins for the French had them leading the way with England. On an atmospheric night under the floodlights the boot of Dan Biggar saw the Welsh to victory with a conversion and four penalties leading them to a 19-10 win and denting France’s chances.

England could sense an opportunity to open up a gap at the top of the table and they didn’t let it slip.  Owen Farrell’s trustworthy foot was put to good measure as he too led his team to victory with a conversion and three penalties topping off tries from Mike Brown and Anthony Watson.  Meanwhile the Scots got their first points on the board as they took the points in an entertaining and open 20-36 success in Rome.

Two weeks to go, would England let their lead slip or push on to victory? Would the Welsh capitalise at Twickenham and take the league to the final week? Or will England’s slip up and let Wales back into the tournament?

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England stepped out on the Saturday to put a marker down. Wales were looking to crush their rivals chance of a Six Nations win and with it the potential of a Grand Slam.

 

England Win the Six Nations 2016 With Their First Grand Slam in 13 Years

One things for sure, no England fan could have dreamt the first half would have got quite as well as it did.  A first half try from Anthony Watson and three penalties from Owen Farrell as England rampantly went into a 16-0 lead. A resurgent Wales entered the turf in the second half and despite an exciting finish and a dramatic comeback England held on to take a 23-21 victory and, barring a hefty defeat entering the last weekend, lift the Six Nations trophy.  Well, in actual fact it wouldn’t take until the following weekend to be crowned as France fell helplessly short as Scotland built on their strong performance in Rome to dispatch them in a stunning 29-18 victory.  Elsewhere, Ireland grew back into form after a horror start by crushing Italy 58-15 on home soil.

 

Going into the last weekend, England knew a strong performance would give them their first Grand Slam in a long-awaited thirteen years, whilst France were desperately trying to claw back some pride after a disastrous display at Murrayfield. Danny Care, Anthony Watson, and Dan Cole tries combined with the ever-excellent boot of Owen Farrell to complete the perfect bounce back after a bitterly disappointing home World Cup and lead them to the Grand Slam.

 

Ireland ended the tournament in style, brushing aside Scotland whilst Wales really put Italy to the sword in a thumping 67-14 win.  So a Six Nations draws to a close and England will celebrate long into the night. They will know their work is not yet done though as they look to push on and build a team ahead of the 2019 Japan World Cup.

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