After some cracking contests in the first round and a little controversy. Here are my predictions for round 2.
First here is a link to my review of round 1.
How did the predictions go?
2 out of 3, as I underestimated England’s performance.
England v Italy
This is the easiest of the games to call this weekend. Italy defended resolutely but didn’t offer too much in attack, add into that their poor away record and it’s an England win.
That’s all before we look at the home team, a good result last weekend coming back from being 10-0 down away to Wales. Lancaster has shown faith in that team by naming the same side again. Personally I think that he should have made some changes especially by adding a proper 2nd row to the bench. However the side will be full of confidence and should secure a comfortable victor at home.
Ireland v France
Two sides that got the job down last weekend but didn’t particularly impress with their performances. Ireland will see the return of some of their injured players including Sexton at 10. So it should be a stronger side but will they be lacking game time?
France played their power game and kicked their kicks but didn’t really look threatening. Against an Ireland side that many have as RWC contenders that isn’t going to be enough. Historically the French do improve in the run up to world cups and whilst there is no sign that should happen there hasn’t been in the past either. So we should expect one performance where it comes together the question is when?
I think Ireland should have too much against France and my hunch is that France’s big game will come later int the tournament.
Scotland v Wales
Scotland showed some good attacking intent against France but their discipline and tackling let them down. These are two things that can be improved in a short amount of time and so I’m expecting a very competitive team at the weekend.
Wales though really need this win, Gatland has said he is looking at the RWC and not this tournament. But two losses on the bounce would really add a lot of pressure to the side. On top of that this week has all been about concussion and trying to reassure the world that it is their top priority. That will have been a distraction but I think this team know that this is a must win game in a very important year. Wales have won the 6 Nations twice in the last three years and have not become a bad team over night.
Finally please join up with my Super Rugby SuperBru prediction league.