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The Six Nations championship turned topsy-turvy after last weekend’s upset by Wales over an undefeated Ireland. Wales triumphed 23-16, ending Ireland’s hopes for a Grand Slam, and, more importantly, for a clear win in this year’s event.
It marked the Taffies third home win against the visitors in thirty-years as Millennium Stadium rocked with excitement. The Welsh pack dominated play, especially in the line outs, stealing four or Ireland’s throw-ins.The Welsh broke out into an early 12-0 lead, and led 15-9 at the break. Prop Luke Charteris made 37 tackles, part of the team’s 289 total.
Ireland’s eleven game win streak ended, and with it the momentum of victories to head into this year’s Rugby World Cup.
At Twickenham, England scored an uninspired victory 25-13 against bottom dweller Scotland in the Calcutta Cup. The victory placed England on top (by point differential) in the Six Nations, and, if they can beat France in two-weeks, the Red Roses could stand on top. Hapless Scotland have only been victorious three times in 27-years against England, and the Scots have not won at Twickenham since 1983.
France showed a renewed spark shutting out Italy away 29-0. The French forwards pushed their counterparts all over the field, and triumphed easily despite careless ball handling. Up 9-0 at halftime, Les Bleus added 20 additional points in the second half.
In two weeks, it will be “Super Saturday”, when four teams stand a chance to win, the outcome probably decided by point differential as it was last year.
Team Points Differential
England 6 +37
Ireland 6 +33
Wales 6 +12
France 4 +22
Games – March 21, Saturday
Italy host Wales
Scotland host Ireland
England host France