Ireland looked like they might be embarrassed in Rome for most of the second half on Saturday, with a strong Italian attack threatening their one score lead for 30 minutes before a late resurgence saw Ireland safe. No longer is Rome a soft weekend away, and if Italy go without a victory in this 6 Nations they will be understandably disappointed. England continue to improve under Borthwick, scoring 3 tries, and Scotland came oh so close in their comeback against France, to be denied anything at the end.
Ireland needed a bit of Keenan magic on Saturday
The next round has 3 juicy matches to enjoy, Saturday week has Italy play Wales in Rome as the Wooden Spoon decider (the F6NF combined panel forecasts a 7 point win for Wales) and France travel to Twickenham to test New England (4 point win for France forecast)
Sunday dinner viewing is from Murrayfield where Scotland attempt their first Triple Crown in 33 years against Ireland, who will be looking forward to having a few of their injured back to bolster their attack. The F6NF forecasts a 9 point win for Ireland, but that may not be completely dispassionate.
The F6NF has a new leader, as Clive Reynolds shot to the top of the table with a very creditable 53 points at the weekend.
“With the long term recessionary phase in Wales continuing, a possible Brexit – Northern Ireland breakthrough on the cards for Rishi Sunak, England was a sound bet. Ireland’s long bull run may be coming to an end but they were strong enough still this weekend, whereas it looks like Scotland’s surge may be over” said Reynolds, a financial adviser, from his halting site in Wicklow. “Of course just as shares can go down as well as up, I may be toast by March”.
Eoin Dennehy was knocked of top spot, both he and Brendan Rushe now lag Reynolds by 7 points.
“7 points is nothing like” said Rushe from his villa in Meath. “Plenty of time to make that up. I’d bet my Eircom shares on it”.
|10||Matthew Williams jnr||97|
|11||Imelda O Hanlon||96|
|21||Padraic Mc Govern||81|
Eimear O’Keefe holds the Leading Lady position, whilst a stewards’ inquiry is required to separate Charlie Reynolds and Matt Williams Jnr as youngest challenger – a birth certificate may be needed by the end of the competition. Anyone over 10 need not apply.
Points Make Prizes
The Linesight Fiendishly Clever Award goes to Padraic McGovern who topped the weekend scores with a near perfect 57 points. “I was disappointed to drop a point on the England game, then 2 on the Ireland game, but I’ll try and do better next time” said a rueful McGovern from his calculator in Linesight. He wins a two year all expenses paid career enhancing job placement in Azerbaijan on an exciting new datacentre project – or the cash equivalent of €200.
The Leo Lynch Century Maker Award goes to Natasha Gow, who at the mid point in the competition is the closest to 100 points – she has accumulated 99 to date.
“I thought those prizes were made up” said a surprised Gow. “I’m thrilled naturally to be doing so well, still in the top 10, and a week away on a safety course to look forward to now as well!”
Three awards this week, and the Asset Recruitment Strongest In The Pack Award goes to Sean Cribbin, who supported the whole team this weekend with an impressive -98 scoreline.
“You mean I get a prize for being absolutely rubbish?” said Cribbin. “This is some screwed up competition”
Piyush Chaudhary narrowly avoided the award, with -85, but in fairness looks well placed for the Wooden Spoon with a massive -326 points.
Change again at the top of the Team Table, with Denial taking over the top spot from Big Bad Barry.
|Big Bad Barry||70.7|
|Men of War||69.0|
|C’Mon the Jocks !||61.0|
Men of War stay in the top 3, whilst C’Mon the Jocks unsurprisingly slipped down the table.
There’s time yet.