We had a typically enthralling first round of rugby with all the games being decided by a score or less. Here are my predictions for round 2.
First here is a link to my review of the round 1 action.
How did your round 1 predictions go?
2 from 3, but as the one I didn’t get was a draw that’s as good as a clean sweep.
France v Ireland
If we look at how last season ended, this week we have top half v bottom half so surely it’s a simple set of picks. Not really and especially not in the first game. France have a new coach and are trying a new style of play. That wasn’t totally successful last time out against Italy as it took a late penalty to get them over the line. Another week on though they will be more in tune with each other and so the performance should improve.
Irish came away with a draw after they let a big early lead slip. Also I have concerns about which players they will have available and how long Sexton especially will last. I fully expect to see some big players running down his channel early on. With these worries in mind I’m going for a narrow home win even though you have to go back to 2011 for a French win in this fixture.
France by 3
Wales v Scotland
Wales overcame a slow start to lead in Dublin but in the end they had to settle for a draw. They coped well with the early loss of Bigger to show again that the unit can survive the loss of individuals. Whilst they have drawn their first game I still think they are favourite for the championship.
After all the hype many Scotland fans were very disappointed with the manner of their loss to England. Personally I think the hype was over done as Scotland lost all their 6 nations games last season and didn’t beat any tier 1 nations in the Rugby World Cup. Their execution let them down as they turned the ball over far too often and the moment that encapsulated the game was the Russell intercept. He had Hogg on his shoulder and time to consider what to do instead he kicked ahead and put the ball out. Scotland are a team on the up but they have a long way to go still and a trip to Cardiff I think is beyond them at the moment.
Wales by 10
Italy v England
Italy pushed France all the way and way exceeded many of our expectations. They are a team trying to bring the next generation through whilst still being reliant on their old guard. Expect another committed performance.
England did enough to win against Scotland but the team selection disappointed many of us. It’s going to be interesting to see what change Eddie Jones makes but I’m still only expecting one in Jack Clifford for the starting lineup. Again it’s going to be solid set piece, solid defence and play the territory game. That should be enough for a second away win but not for the championship.
England by 7
Super Rugby starts soon, join in the predicting fun by clicking here for my SuperBru prediction league.