6 Nations Round 4 Preview - Green and Gold Rugby
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6 Nations Round 4 Preview

6 Nations Round 4 Preview

This is it, the final 2 weeks of the 6 Nations are upon us and what a two weeks it’s going to be with Wales on the way to a grand slam with only Scotland and Ireland left to try and stop them.  England have an easier run with Italy and Scotland both at home, but England will be hoping that Wales lose to either team to give them the shot at winning the championship on points. England’s main goal is to get all 5 points out of both remaining games. This tournament is really down to three teams now with Ireland being the third team trailing who are in the similar position to England. They need to beat both France and Wales with bonus point wins to be in contention on the last day. This tournament has not disappointed this year with a real race to the top.

Scotland v Wales

To me this game is very vital for Scotland to save themselves from finishing 5th or possibly 6th after a stellar year last year. I feel Wales will just be too strong for them and on a high after the English game, giving them the edge to go for the Grand slam decider on the 16th of March V Ireland. Scotland have exposed another one of their weaknesses showing they don’t have cover in the 10 position once Finn Russell is out.

England v Italy

I expect for England to win this well but I don’t expect it to be more than 20 points. I still see Italy as a good team and the 6th best team in Europe. I see huge improvement in their set piece and ball security but their goal kicking needs a lot of improvement. A lot of people will say that they were much better when they first came into the tournament, but I see that as them having a couple of star players who really shined amongst average team mates. Now I see them as a team who are improving together and making them a much more solid unit with very talented players sprinkled throughout.

Ireland v France

This game has just become huge since Wales have beaten England as it gives Ireland a glimmer of hope to win the championship. Ireland have been hit with a big blow as Joey Carbery has been potentially ruled for the rest of the tournament which leaves Jonny Sexton as the only available outhalf with more than 5 caps for Ireland. Jack Carty is very viable option on the bench as he has shown on several occasions with Connacht this year. I see Ireland coming away with the win but it will be a close game as France has named the same side that put the sword to Scotland.

 

KMP-G&G-Wallabies-Ireland-4904Returning Players

Finn Russell

CJ Stander

Maro Itoje

Teddy Thmoas

Gary Ringrose

Andrew Conway

Sergio Parisse

Hamish Watson

W.P.Nel

Tadgh Bernie

Players Out Injured

Courtney Lawes

Cory Hill

Joey Carbery (50/50)

D’arcy Rae

George Turner

George Horne

Robbie Henshaw

 Effects of players in and out

There is some serious movement in players in and out in the past two weeks Scotland will be in a better state with Russell, Watson and Nel coming back. This should help strengthen the squad yet they are still missing a lot of players and even more since the last round, but sadly that isn’t much of an excuse anymore. Ireland have been boosted by the return of Gary Ringrose and Iain Henderson which should help strengthen both the lineout and the backline. England have named a very similar squad with a few minor changes, but you can see they are going for that bonus point try.

Wales haven’t changed much with the exception of Cory Hill who is out due to injury however, I still see them easily running through a weakened Scotland. France have stuck with the exact same squad as the Scotland game which is the first time this has happened since Brunel took the head coach position. Italy have their captain back in Sergio Parisse who could make a great impact to a team who feel like they got a win against Ireland.

Predictions

I feel like England will just try and smash through the middle of Italy so they can secure that bonus points they need. I see them winning by 15 points.

I see Wales just tiring the Scottish out then putting Biggar with 30 minutes to go to put the ball in the areas that Scotland are struggling to get to.

Ireland will have their hands full, but I can see a squad who are getting their heads back into gear. I believe they’ll beat France by 5 points, I just don’t know if they will get that much needed bonus point.

 

  • Got to say that I agree about Italy. They are starting to look like a side at a roughly consistent level. Unfortunately for them, that level is the worst of the 6N sides and that’s the tournament we see them play in.

    The question will be, can they improve over the years to come, as potentially Scotland and who knows about France and maybe Wales with a new coach and some departing veterans dip in form.

    I think Ireland v France could be the match to watch. Ireland are really struggling this year, and didn’t get their heads back in the game against Italy. If France have found, or started to find, their mojo against Scotland rather than having a one-off good game, that could be close. If Les Bleus score early and do well, I think the Irish confidence (if they have found any) is going to be fragile and will crack. If it goes the other way, the French might have just enough self-belief to fight back.

    Scotland v Wales should be easy, but the WRU and the clubs are trying their best to frack it up. The off-the-pitch turmoil in Wales has been insane with two franchises merging then not merging, then maybe merging and so on. If that’s got into the players’ heads, who knows. It *shouldn’t* of course, but this is their day job’s and cutting it out all together is easier said than done. I think the Welsh have the winning still, but you can never tell.

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@markin2rugby

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