Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wrapping Up On Six Nations Rugby

I spent Saturday watching the three final games of the Six Nations which ended with two sides tied for first place, France and Ireland. One of these two is likely to meet New Zealand in the Quarter Finals of the World Cup in September. The French squeezed in on points difference but are probably disappointed with a tournament which saw them humiliated by their arch enemy England at Twickenham. So, New Zealand and South Africa go into the World Cup as firm favorites with a group of death comprising three of the next top ranked teams, France, Argentina, Ireland, with only two to qualify.

The tournament is a fantastic feast of rugby for spectators, and the addition of spring weekends in Rome has been welcomed by everyone. It’s a much better spectator event than the Sanzar Tri-Nations which has become dull, predictable and stale. So while the rugby in the Six Nations is average at best and the Rugby in the Tri-Nations is exhilarating, the Six Nations competition is much sharper. It’s also a better TV spectacular and certainly a much better day out. In the end, I think Graham Henry and the All Blacks selectors will have been the most pleased with the Six Nations as neither of the top two teams progressed. And England were incoherent.

My 15 man team of the tournament: Dempsey Ireland 14, Lamont Scotland 13, Jauzion France 12, D’arcy Ireland 11, Hickie Ireland 10, O’Gara Ireland 9, Ellis England 1, Milloud France 2, Ibanez France 3, Nieto Italy 4, O’Connell Ireland 5, Bortolami Italy 6, Worsley England 8, Parisse Italy 7, Wallace Ireland 1.

Player of the tournament - Sergio Parisse, Turkey - Andy Farrell, England.


Mike on the Bike said...

hi this is Mike on the Bike in Ottawa
When i graduated in 1969. I was in the royal Canadian Dental corps. i was posted to a Canadian navy base, one afternoon I was jogging and saw some people running about...I asked what the game was "RUGBY"....they asked me out and the next day I was taught something about being a second row...The next Saturday i saw..and pplayed in :) My first game. i loved it....I played for about 6 years. being the Army i was transferred a bit, I made the first team on the Montreal Irish, a great social team and when I was transferred to UN duty in Cyprus I made the UN team. The only Canadian. I was a bit of a loose cannon but I guess a life time of ice hockey and North american football held me in good stead .
I loved the game and it is still my favorite sport. Only fight i ever got into as an adult was with my best friend ( known each otehr since we were 12 :) We were both on the Irish firsts and they split us up for the euphamistically named "Club friendly trials". Turns out he pushed me, I pushed hom and we started to slug each otehr much to the merriment of our mainly Irish team mats, no harm done and lots of laughs :)
Thanks for getting me thinking about this again

Mike on the Bike in Ottawa Canada

Tyrone Pardue said...

Congrats on your blogg Kevin! One of the things I miss most after leaving Ireland is the Rugby. But what a blast to see Ireland demolish England in dear 'ole Eiré's sacred Croke Park! From the word go, Ireland took complete control.

Unfortunately, Ireland habitually loose all confidence when they get in a leadership position and the pressure to win the final is on. It's like a strange spell that comes into play, cloaking the players in a shroud of indecision and doubt. It will be interesting to see if the spell is broken...

Tyrone Pardue