The Winners and Losers of Round 1
The 6 Nations has officially started and the first Round brought drama, excitement, surprises and some dubious attempted drop goals.
With 4 Rounds left to play, there is still plenty left to surprise us but Round 1 gave us a glimpse at what is to come. Check out the highlights from the games, social media and who we thought were the standout players.
France 23 v Italy 21
A far closer game than many expected, given that Italy have never beaten France at home in the 6 Nations. As the final whistle drew closer, it looked like Italy had done enough to win it. However, a controversial penalty against Italy gave France a two point lead with minutes to go.
Italy then regained possession and were playing through the phases as the clock ran past 80 minutes…then the moment everyone will remember this game for.
That awkward moment parisse thinks he's Dan Carter #FRAITA
— Lewis Williams (@LewisWillams13) February 6, 2016
Parisse took matters into his own hands and had a poor kick at goal. Had the Captains drop goal come off, it would have been a career highlight…sadly it did not. The consensus seems to be that France were lucky to escape defeat in Paris. Their new regime did show some flair and once they’ve been given more time to gel, this France team could still surprise the favourites.
Stand out Players:
Plisson (France): Saved the home side’s skin with some excellent kicking.
Parisse (Italy): Despite the missed drop goal, the ever impressive Parisse was spectacular throughout the game.
Scotland 9 – England 15
Much was made of the Calcutta Cup fixture before it kicked off. With Scotland seemingly finding new found form in the Rugby World Cup and with England under new management, Scotland went into the game as favourites for some fans and pundits.
In the end, the game felt remarkably familiar. Scotland were not clinical and too often came away from the opposition half with nothing to show for it while England suffocated the game after some excellent attacking play. While Scotland ended the game within a converted try, they rarely dominated play in the 2nd half.
Well bang goes that dream https://t.co/2r3LgqsC1e
— Graham Love (@GLove39) February 6, 2016
Also being watched closely was new England Captain, Dylan Hartley. It was a good first game in charge for the 29 year old, who played well and not only kept his infamous temper in check but was caught apologising! It seems the media frenzy around his appointment, as suggested by Hartley himself, was being blown out of proportion.
Stand out Players:
Hogg (Scotland): Far and away the best player on the home side, with the rest of the team clicking he’ll be able to capitalise on this form.
B. Vunipola (England): The well deserved MOTM, Vunipola was a wrecking ball. Eddie Jones claims he can be the best number 8 in the world. This performance proved that really is a possibility.
Ireland 16 v Wales 16
Seen by many as the title match, Ireland V Wales turned out to be the opposite. Both teams come away with 1 point meaning they will have to win the championship elsewhere.
It was a case of both teams throwing away the win in the end. Ireland lost a 13 point to 0 lead, despite Wales star, Dan Biggar, having to be replaced because of an ankle injury. His replacement, Priestland, led the fight back with his boot and it was the visitors game for the taking.
A penalty from Sexton evened the scores with 5 minutes left to play. Wales attempted to steal the win with a late kick at goal from Priestland but Round 1 was not a weekend for successful drop goals. The game ended a draw, the first in the 6 Nations since 2013.
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) February 7, 2016
Stand out Players:
Roberts (Wales): Immense in defence as always, 21 tackles made.
Sexton (Ireland): 11 of Irelands 16 points came from the boot and cool head of Sexton.