Italy vs England
England won by 4 in Italy. Hardly convincing
. Especially as Italy (and Scotland the week before) are regarded as the "easiest" teams in the tournament.... Granted, the conditions in Italy were pretty poor, but England showed no real flair, and if it wasn't for Hodgson's second charge-down try, they could well have lost the game. But, England are a young side, with very little experience of playing together. Perhaps they'll get better as the tournament progresses - they'll certainly need to..
France vs Ireland
The match that never was..... Why they couldn't have assessed the conditions a few days earlier, looked at the weather forecast and made a decision then, I'll never know (and neither will the tens of thousands of Irish and French fans who turned up to watch it). There's talk of them postponing the match until June... JUNE!!! What an absolute farce.
Wales vs Scotland
And so Scotland came to Cardiff on Sunday. As usual, every bar within about a 5 mile radius was packed with fans, there were tens of thousands of people out on the streets, and I saw 4 policemen - all of whom were directing traffic (and people) - There was no trouble, no arrests and a brilliant, electric atmosphere - Take note Wendyball!!
The roof of the stadium was closed and renditions of "Flower of Scotland", "Delilah", "Hymns and Arias" and "Sosban Fach" boomed around the ground hours before kick-off. Scottish fans were confident of a win and quite rightly so. Just minutes before kick-off, it was announced that Sam Warburton hadn't passed a last-minute medical, and so would be taking no part in the match. Add that to the current Welsh injuries, and things weren't looking quite as rosy as they could have been.
The anthems played, and sounded the best that I've ever heard them. I think all 73,500 people were belting out both anthems at the tops of their voices! Smashing
I took a couple of videos:
Flower of Scotland
Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau
The first half was pretty dire. One penalty a piece and both sides went in at half time level at 3-3. George North came off with an ankle injury which hopefully isn't too serious... We need him to smash some holes in the English Chariot in 2 weeks time..!
God only knows what Gatland and Edwards said at half time, but in the second half, Wales were on fire! 3 tries in 14 minutes (I think) and they never looked back. Scotland went down to 13 men, and Wales were ruthless in their punishment.
27-13 to Wales, and a clear message sent to the England Team who we face on the 25th... We'll take that Triple Crown, thanks very much
PS - I make absolutely no apologies for my Welsh bias! I'd fully expect any English, Irish, Scottish, French or Italian fan to do the same!!