Ding Ding Round 2
The long awaited (ahem) review of round 2 of the 2019 Guinness 6 Nations is here. Other matters, believe it or not, have taken over. At LWTL HQ we have been in the process of developing an app and an online itinerary facility for all our clients. It’s now more or less ready and will be rolled out for Hong Kong 7s clients once we have had feedback from our testers, who currently flit between Barbados, Grenada and St Lucia.
What does this mean? In short, we hope to say a welcome & long overdue farewell to thumbing your way through paper and looking for telephone numbers of your next destination. All important details will be in the palm of your hand; a day by day itinerary will be easily accessible on your smart phone as will flight times, transfers, excursions and destination information. We’ll even stick an abridged version of your tour in there too – should you wish to print it! Naturally, all our personal and fantastic customer service will continue. In fact, it may just get better as we’ll have a bit of extra time.
If you needed an extra reason to travel with us then you now have it. There is lots to get excited about in the future so quickly sign up to either a cricket tour to South Africa this winter or even next year’s Guinness Six Nations.
What of round two?
Scotland 13 – 22 Ireland
Italy 15 – 26
England 44 – 8 France
Despite this particular amateur commentator predicting a victory for Scotland everything went pretty much to plan. In fact, it was all a bit obvious. Ireland would ultimately have too much for Scotland; Scotland would ultimately make too many mistakes and, in the eyes of some, bottle another opportunity to win when they should have done. Our man David was sanguine when asked for his view. “Didn’t play well at all. More Scotland mistakes than Ireland good play.” Correct.
Meanwhile, in Rome Wales’ ‘B string’ would be too good for Italy. Mind you what were we expecting. Alun Wyn- Jones was on the bench along with a few other regulars so if things had slipped I think we can be sure they would have entered the fray earlier than hoped and taken the game further away from their hosts. Didn’t do much for the competition as a whole and we could feel a bit sorry for the fans who had travelled out to Rome hoping to see a full strength side. However, it’s a World Cup year and Warren and his men are up to something.
In conclusion, a rather boring couple of games. The real headlines were about to made in London the following day. Not because I am English, not because once again England roared out of the traps like a ferret (Johnny May) escaping from a ferret legger’s trousers but because the demise of the French is really something to be worried about.
Quel grand sac de mer…
No longer can journalists trot out the familiar, word count easy-wins refrain about not knowing ‘which French team will turn up’. We do know and have really known for a long time. They will be unfit, poorly coached, devoid of team spirit and just a mite hopeless. Since their Grand Slam in 2010 they have had one 2nd spot, a third but have otherwise battled out for 4th, 5th or even last spot. This is not the sign of an especially unpredictable side.
This year they are 2 defeats from 2 and showing few – ok maybe 40 minutes – signs of much to frighten their next opponents. Even if they are Scotland who find winning away almost as tricky as France find selecting players in their rightful position. Take last week’s back 3 for example. A winger at Full back (who’d shown himself up when called on to perform the basic task of sweeping up the week before), a centre on the right wing and, just for good measure, another even more inexperienced centre on the left.
Why so annoyed? Because some of us really did grow up with a French team that played the game in a manner we wanted it played in. They represented all that was crazy about the infuriating, beautiful country. They ran from behind the posts, they smoked a cigarette at half-time and they had the scrum-half throwing the ball into the line out. They shrugged their shoulders at marauding Kiwis and dished out displays of attacking rugby from the gods. They produced great players. Now? Not so much. They try. Sort of. But they have a coach who looks older than Asterix and has lost his players.
Morgan Parra has had enough. He said he felt France could play like England but they never practiced. Anything. He must have wanted to be dropped. He has been. As has his half back partner. However, there is clearly something a bit more rotten in La République. Only 60,000 turned up to watch them be beaten by Wales. It was a Friday kick off which makes it hard to get up to Paris from the heartlands of France but it isn’t just that. Amongst a wider, countrywide malaise (which we mustn’t get into on a tongue in cheek blog post) their club game is too big. Big like Mathieu Basteraud and their 24 stone prop. TWENTY FOUR STONE!
If one was a rugby fan and one was looking for a little sign which shows how little French Club owners care about their National game then one would have had one a day or two ago. That sign? The re-signing of Dan Carter by Racing 92 to replace the retiring Patrick Lambie. Dites rien, Rodney, dites rien!!
What about the English performance. Well, mon brave it was magnifique. In every way. A couple of injuries but sad as we are to see Mako out for the remainder of the tournament it does mean he can rest. A bigger plus is we get to see Ellis Genge play alongside Kyle Sinckler. Now there’s fun. I wonder how Jamie George feels about it. I used to not have time for the props but along came the new(ish) English front row and I am now gripped. More please.
Guinness Six Nations, 2019 – Round 3
Anyway, the important stuff resumes this weekend. What do we think. Let’s be bold. And go for three away wins. Why three when Scotland are in Paris and find it so hard to win? Bof, you just never know which French team will turn up…