The Wrap: Irrepressible Scots cap off weekend rugby feast

Geoff Parkes Columnist

By Geoff Parkes, Geoff Parkes is a Roar Expert

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    Observe any table of diners and you will identify a variety of eating strategies, everything from the indiscriminate hoovering of everything on the plate to selective avoidance of anything deemed to be too high in calories.

    I’m one of those diners who likes to save the best bits until last – the crispy skin of a perfectly cooked Barramundi fillet, or the soft, sweet pleasure that is a mouthful of slow-cooked lamb neck.

    And, on this kilojoule-heavy weekend of rugby, it was Scotland who were indeed the ‘best for last’, trouncing England 25-13 in a wonderful display at Murrayfield.

    It all began way back on Friday night in Dunedin where if the commentators said the match was “high quality” twenty times it was only because it was. Aaron Smith was on his game early, once again showing how fast, wide and flat service from the base can put intense strain on the defensive line.

    This was emphasized when the Blues were reduced to 14 men for ten crucial minutes, two strikes in this period proving the difference – although if he had been granted a second opportunity, Blues captain Augustine Pulu might have stretched harder to claim Rob Thomson’s chip kick in the 22 on the full, instead of checking his covering run to play Lotto with the bounce.

    Pulu was also denied by a cruel bounce late in the match, the ball trickling out just ahead of a flying Rieko Ioane, who surely would have tied the match had Pulu’s kick stayed in.

    Unlucky for the Blues, who remain winless at Forsyth Barr Stadium, but a reward also for a tenacious Highlanders side.

    Brad Thorn proved to be a hands-on coach, out early setting up the cones for the Reds’ warm-up. Or was that because his assistants didn’t travel to Melbourne, such is the strain on the Reds’ finances funding the contracts of excommunicated players Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt?

    After a nervous, dropsy and ill-disciplined start, it took 19 minutes for some rugby to break out, albeit an ‘accidental’ try to Duncan Paia’aua after a ball dislodged in a tackle fell into his lap. Next time Reece Hodge and Tom English will be well advised to play the whistle.

    Lukhan Tui’s ugly tackle on Will Genia meant the Reds were down to 13, setting Tui up to join his careless skipper Scott Higginbotham at the judiciary, and effectively killing off the contest before halftime.

    Scott Higginbotham

    (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

    Genia was at the heart of everything, riding heavy contact from friend and foe, stealing the ball from the back of the Reds scrum, running sharply and uncannily finding space with intelligent kicking. Up front, Matt Philip was the best of the Force recruits, a high work-rate complementing his towering lineout leaping.

    This was a night of firsts for the Rebels; a new team, a new coach, and Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese incredibly making his debut Super Rugby start. Their seven tries was also a club record.

    Afterwards, a contemplative Thorn talked about his side as if they are a two- to three-year project – happy with the effort of his players and the benefits of “exposing the young guys to the cauldron and letting them get in and have a go.”

    Given his roster, his own relative inexperience as a coach, and all of the off-field missteps the Reds have subjected themselves to, Thorn’s is not an unreasonable position. Whether impatient fans with more immediate expectations see it that way remains to be seen.

    A long season looms.

    At least Reds fans will have some fun in assessing how Bjorn Borg makes the transition from tennis superstar to Reds replacement halfback.

    The Sunwolves rock-solid set piece had coach Jamie Joseph’s stamp all over it, and it wasn’t until the Brumbies stiffened up their defence in the second half that the game was made safe.

    An eye test will be required this week for halfback Yutaka Nagare who mistook the goal-post padding for one of his teammates to gift Tevita Kuridrani a try at a crucial point in the game.

    Problems also for the turf at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, where it seems the ubiquitous Nematode worm has taken a liking to sushi.

    There seems to be an almost Barnaby-like obsession with how Damien McKenzie will adapt to flyhalf and, true to his personality and high-risk style, he finished the Chiefs match against the Crusaders with four try-assists – two for each side.

    Waikato Chiefs' Damian McKenzie sets up a penalty kick during their Super Rugby semi-final match between the Canterbury Crusaders and Waikato Chiefs at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on July 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Marty MELVILLE

    (Marty Melville/Getty Images)

    This column will try hard to park the matter to the side for six weeks or so, and assess McKenzie once he’s had some time in the role. Which I acknowledge may be wishful thinking on my part.

    A tightly contested match turned on a decision to award the Crusaders a penalty try and yellow card against flanker Lachlan Boshier for his high, goal-line tackle on Ryan Crotty.

    The incident immediately polarised commentators and fans where, to the letter of the law, the decision seemed technically correct, but also prompted genuine questions about interpretation and how defenders are legally able to prevent diving or sliding players close to the try-line from scoring.

    Don’t be surprised to find this one consigned to the ‘too hard’ basket for now.

    The other talking point was Mitch Hunt, who after his drop-goal heroics of last season probably thinks he can get away with anything on a Christchurch rugby field. Except for that moustache Mitch, you’re not getting away with that!

    In Sydney, Israel Folau nonchalantly confirmed his status as the best ‘catcher’ in world rugby, as the Waratahs and Stormers collectively showed plenty of endeavour but somewhat less skill.

    Midway through the second half, the Stormers were dominating the scrum and were more energetic in contact, and when Rob Simmons volunteered for a yellow card with a ridiculous lineout challenge, things looked bleak for the home side.

    However, coach Daryl Gibson has been talking up his side’s fitness and resolve for a reason and, aided by a malfunctioning Stormers lineout, they hung in while a man down, then finished the stronger, snatching a 34-27 win with a try after the siren.

    Of course, the final act had to belong to two maligned players, Ned Hanigan – against type – steamrolling over an opponent for the winning score, and Raymond Rhule – true to type – acting as his doormat.


    (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    After singling out South Africa’s wingers last week, the Lions’ Aphiwe Dyanti and Sylvian Mapuza scorched up the Ellis Park turf, proving too much for the Jaguares, despite their own livewire winger Baptista Delguy also grabbing a double, as the Lions won comfortably enough 47-27.

    One suspects that many fans would have enjoyed referee Jaco Peyper singling out Jaguares flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez and giving him a humiliating dressing-down on their behalf. Jaguares fans, however, might be less forgiving of Peyper ignoring a covering player in his haste to award a penalty try.

    South African honours this week went to the Bulls who, under new coach John Mitchell, showed a liking for keeping the ball alive and backing up, to upset the Hurricanes 21-19.

    Big man Lood de Jager seems to have found an agreeable home and locking partner in RG Snyman, the pair combining for a remarkable try. Loftus Versfeld once again looms as a testing venue for visiting sides to travel to.

    Despite TJ Perenara being denied a try in a tight call, the Hurricanes will be disappointed with their effort, almost arrogant in the way they refused to respect possession and build pressure, instead too often impatiently seeking the low-percentage, miracle play.

    With France chalking up an expected win against Italy by 34-17, Six Nations focus shifted to Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where Ireland stayed on track for a grand slam, edging Wales 37-27 in an intriguing contest.

    Jacob Stockdale

    (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

    Ireland dominated possession and the flow of the game for long periods, but Wales stayed in sight of an unlikely victory with flanker Josh Navidi throwing the final pass for two second-half tries.

    Their final desperate thrust came to naught, however, when Gareth Anscombe telegraphed a wide pass that Jacob Stockdale easily picked off to stroll in and seal the win.

    And so to the final offering of a wonderful weekend feast, the crispy Barramundi skin and juicy lamb neck, where Scotland recaptured the ferocious intensity they showed against New Zealand and Australia in November to stun England.

    In a match of many highlights, their second try was a triumph of reward over risk, with a vastly improved Finn Russell throwing an outrageous pass into what looked like traffic, but hitting a flying Huw Jones who scarpered 70 metres to set up the finish for Sean Maitland on the other flank.

    If it seemed that the impressive Jones’ day couldn’t get any better, it did, a thrilling 45m run securing his second try and a scarcely believable 22-6 half-time lead.

    England legend Martin Johnson was one of many after the match who pointed to complacency in the England camp – which tends to undersell just how good Scotland were in making the play in the first half and then keeping their composure in the second to close out the win.

    Where England’s game plan against Wales was right for the slippery conditions, against the daring and enthusiastic Scots it merely made them appear slow and ponderous. Eddie Jones graciously took the loss on the chin, but will perhaps need to reassess his big back-row – his pack looking unbalanced by comparison to the high work-rate of Scottish loosies Hamish Watson and John Barclay and hooker Stuart McInally.

    With two rounds remaining, Ireland assumes the box seat at the head of the Six Nations table. But with a visit to Twickenham against a smarting England in store, and only Italy not a genuine winning chance on any given day, there will surely be more twists and turns to come yet.

    Geoff Parkes
    Geoff Parkes

    Geoff is a Melbourne-based sports fanatic and writer who started contributing to The Roar in 2012 under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Union Conflict; The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy, was released in December 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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    The Crowd Says (129)

    • February 26th 2018 @ 7:26am
      Daveski said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:26am | ! Report

      This article made me hungry !! For more rugby but also some well-cooked proteins.

      • Columnist

        February 26th 2018 @ 7:58am
        Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Eat up Daveski!

        What did you think of the Rebels?

        • February 26th 2018 @ 8:49am
          Daveski said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:49am | ! Report

          The makings of one of the best second-third row forward combos in the comp Geoff but I think jury out on the front row. They looked to be in some trouble at scrum time until the cards came out.

          I like the look of the backline…. English, Maddocks, DHP will make some mistakes but there’s quality there.

          I really hope playing outside Willy G will be the making of Debrezcini who had a very ordinary first half but came good in the second stanza. Ultimately Meakes at 12, Hodge on the wing and Maddocks at super sub might be a stronger line up. Plus there is Korobeite to come back so there’s plenty of options.

          • Columnist

            February 26th 2018 @ 10:21am
            Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

            Agree that the Reds looked to have the better of the front row while it was 8 v 8, so that might be a slight concern at this stage – as it will be for the Tahs.

            I think that Wessels is committed to Hodge in the midfield and, as you say, he has plenty of options on the wing. I liked how Maddocks went and also Tupou when he came on.

    • February 26th 2018 @ 7:42am
      KiwiHaydn said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      Excellent wrap Geoff! I didn’t get to watch any games this weekend, but felt like I was there for most of these. Glad the Highlanders got a first up win, bring on the weekend.

      • Columnist

        February 26th 2018 @ 8:01am
        Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:01am | ! Report

        That means I’ve got nine full games up on you KH!

        I’ll admit to skipping France v Italy, and the NH club games, but I saw the rest and enjoyed every single one, even if there were a few early season fumbles.

        • February 26th 2018 @ 9:57am
          KiwiHaydn said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

          Lucky you! I enjoy the weekly insights Geoff (and the 13.5 hours you’ve saved me this weekend). Cheers

    • February 26th 2018 @ 7:42am
      Canetragic said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      A good round of rugby for sure but that disallowed Perenara try sure was puzzling?

      • Columnist

        February 26th 2018 @ 8:05am
        Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        It was a real 50/50 call Canetragic. To my eye he just got enough contact for the try but if it had been awarded I reckon that the Bulls would have been equally justified in feeling hard done by.

        You could also argue that TJP and his teammates could have influenced the game more by tackling better. There was way too much jersey grabbing.

        • Roar Guru

          February 26th 2018 @ 9:12am
          Harry Jones said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

          Slo-mo merely enhances our belief before we watch the replay.

          Angus G thought Nizaam used no arm; watched the video of him using an arm. Stuck with his initial (incorrect) look.


          • February 26th 2018 @ 3:41pm
            Jacko said | February 26th 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

            Yes I thought the same…it looked like the arm hit first

        • February 26th 2018 @ 3:45pm
          soapit said | February 26th 2018 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

          i think if ur carrying the ball you have to maintain control (whereas if its loose on the ground you only need downward pressure)

          its going as much sideways from his hand as down so i’d say no control.

        • February 26th 2018 @ 4:38pm
          Canetragic said | February 26th 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

          I’m probably wearing my yellow coloured glasses Geoff on that one, but yes agree 100% the Canes really didn’t do themselves any favours…..

    • February 26th 2018 @ 7:52am
      Fionn said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:52am | ! Report

      How good was Finn Russell’s pass? I’ve watched the replay a few times, and it looks just as good as it did watching it live. What a player he is. If he can work on his game management and consistency – wow!

      • February 26th 2018 @ 7:56am
        Daveski said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        Yeah that Russell – Jones combo when it’s on song is pretty awesome. It’s great to see all these very good 10s from the north firing and going to make for a very interesting RWC in two years time as it’s a position of real doubt for all the Southern Hemisphere teams ( though with the All Blacks they aren’t bereft of choice ).

      • Columnist

        February 26th 2018 @ 8:08am
        Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:08am | ! Report

        Brilliant pass Fionn. Off his left hand too.

        That’s what I loved about Scotland – they didn’t set out to stifle England or keep the game close and hope to win a penalty shoot out – they took the game on and lived or died by their own hand. An absolute triumph, must be up there with their greatest Test wins ever.

        • February 26th 2018 @ 8:43am
          Fionn said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

          It was a grea win.

          Huw Jones’ run for his second try was a particular highlight for me. There are some very good backs up in the north currently.

          I can’t wait for Scotland vs Ireland.

          • Roar Guru

            February 26th 2018 @ 9:13am
            Harry Jones said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

            And he could’ve been a nice Bok if SARU wanted to be a magnet for talent instead of a social engineer.

            • Columnist

              February 26th 2018 @ 10:24am
              Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

              Yes. Definitely one who slipped through the Stormers’ net there.

            • February 26th 2018 @ 4:08pm
              Bakkies said | February 26th 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

              To be a Bok he would require SA Citizenship.

              • Roar Guru

                February 26th 2018 @ 9:33pm
                Harry Jones said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:33pm | ! Report

                He wanted to do that …

      • February 26th 2018 @ 9:33am
        ozinsa said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        Two sumptuous passes in that try Fionn. The outrageous 25m pass to a gap not obvious to anybody but Russell and the beautifully weighted one to Maitland to close it out. Wonderful vision, skill and nerve

        • Roar Guru

          February 26th 2018 @ 9:56am
          Harry Jones said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          One of the best passes I’ve ever seen.

        • February 26th 2018 @ 7:28pm
          soapit said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:28pm | ! Report

          no coincidence both were pretty line ball forward (russel’s not moving forward far so not much relative movement to account for) reckon first just ok second just forward

          • February 26th 2018 @ 8:48pm
            ozinsa said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

            Never entered my mind to check. The first clearly went backwards and the by the time the second was thrown I was off my chair screaming and never gave it a thought. If you say so though. ?

            • February 27th 2018 @ 4:31pm
              soapit said | February 27th 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

              dont think its so clear on the first consdering he’s pretty much running across foeld. line ball ok id say.

              anyway wont go on about it and poop on the parade.

      • February 26th 2018 @ 2:22pm
        Dan in Devon said | February 26th 2018 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

        And fair play to the new Scotland coach who has backed this mercurial talent to play his natural game. Russell makes a lot of mistakes but this is the price for creativity and attacking play. Scotland’s outstanding support play and running enabled Russell’s deft touches to take flight. Was a tremendous performance from a team singing from the same hymn sheet.

    • Roar Guru

      February 26th 2018 @ 7:58am
      Machooka said | February 26th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Morning G… yes we all feasted over the w’end on what was a wonderful selection on varietal delicacies.

      Indeed, there was something for everyone on this extravagantly set table… a genuine global feast eh!

      Sadly, some dishes didn’t make the grade… notably the Haggis being sent back to the kitchen for having no arms in it’s tackle!?! And try explaining that one to your paying guests.

      Hands! Hands on the table was dealt with rather severely too… is it a Sth African trait/ cultural thingy?

      Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed myself sampling a bit of everything while not indulging too much and totally pig out… yep I skipped the French and Italian cuisine. These days it tends to me flatulence 😉

      • Columnist

        February 26th 2018 @ 8:10am
        Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:10am | ! Report

        Morning Chook.

        Yes, Angus Gardner was a bit hasty with the ‘no arms’ ruling. Sometimes a good, hard tackle is just that – a good, hard tackle.

        • February 26th 2018 @ 8:42am
          Fionn said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

    • Roar Guru

      February 26th 2018 @ 8:16am
      Harry Jones said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      The Dunedin game was a bacon burger with a fried egg on top and an amber beer with parmesan fries.

      The Rebels’ big win was a decent pizza with too few ingredients on it; it was missing peppers, perhaps.

      The Brumbies game was garlic-infused popcorn paired with a Bellini.

      The Chiefs game was angel hair pasta with a long dark hair from the sweaty waiter in it.

      The Waratahs win was a platter of oysters gone horribly wrong, leaving all of us wrenching and vomiting into sad dry toilets.

      The Lions-Jaguares tilt was a controversial fusion of bratwurst and sauerkraut; it ended with cheap whine and drunkenness.

      The Bulls match was two solid extra long piece of biltong, the taste locked in by salt and chili.

      France-Italy was tasteless escargot on a dirty taco.

      Ireland-Wales was an omelet with really strong coffee.

      Scotland win was slow-roasted goat curry with mango chutney and a Tuscan red.

      • Columnist

        February 26th 2018 @ 8:30am
        Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report


        I expect that there was many a bottle of Tuscan red – and anything else in a bottle or can – downed in Edinburgh yesterday Harry!

        • Roar Guru

          February 26th 2018 @ 8:35am
          Harry Jones said | February 26th 2018 @ 8:35am | ! Report

          That had to be a top 3 Scottish win ever? Lovely lines run, precise passes thrown, and a tunnel scuffle with Owen!

          • Roar Guru

            February 27th 2018 @ 12:20am
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | February 27th 2018 @ 12:20am | ! Report

            Some lovely comments from England legend Martin Johnson on BBC about the tunnel scuffle. When the pics were shown to him at halftime he called it England’s only highlight from the first half and when the host later said he had asked Wayne Barnes if it is possible for a player to be sent off before a game has started, Barnes had replied it is not, Johnson said he really wished he knew about that when he played (while smiling devilishly).

            • February 27th 2018 @ 4:09am
              Goatee said | February 27th 2018 @ 4:09am | ! Report

              Yes, NV… he made me chuckle too!

      • Roar Guru

        February 26th 2018 @ 9:03am
        Machooka said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        Good observation whilst praying to the porcelain Harry… as the facilities of the SFS leave a lot to be desired 😉

        I ate a delicious dozen of those magnificent Sydney Rock oysters yesterday… all good. As expected!

        • Roar Guru

          February 26th 2018 @ 9:14am
          Harry Jones said | February 26th 2018 @ 9:14am | ! Report

          Oysters are like Quade Cooper

        • February 26th 2018 @ 11:16am
          Muzzo said | February 26th 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          Yep I used to indulge in some of those during my time in Sydney, & I can tell you mate, that they don’t hold a candle to the good old Bluff oyster, & I think Highlander, could attest to that.
          Anyway, I thought you were taking to the wing, Mate?

      • February 26th 2018 @ 10:13am
        Goatee said | February 26th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        ‘Oh flower of Wallace, when will we see yer likes again…’

        The Scottish supporters had their answer from around 5pm GMT… or earlier if you count the scuffle that broke out in the tunnel before the warm up.

        Nicely done, Geoff. Thanks.

        As an England supporter, I have to tip my hat to the Scots – they were magnificent. On this occasion, the young ‘pretender’ GT (even though there’s nothing at all, pretentious about him) schooled the ‘old dog’, EJ, on the tactical front. England were killed (with malice aforethought) at the breakdown. The composition/balance of England’s backrow for their remaining two games, will obviously be an area that EJ will have to address…

        ‘I expect that there was many a bottle of Tuscan red – and anything else in a bottle or can – downed in Edinburgh yesterday.

        I expect all those who had made reservations prior to the game, for Sunday lunch in the pubs and restaurants throughout the city, encountered the news from proprietors ‘that alcohol would not be served with their meal… because there wasn’t any left’.

        ‘England legend Martin Johnson was one of many after the match who pointed to complacency in the England camp – which tends to undersell just how good Scotland were…’

        To be fair, ‘Johnno’ had already highlighted before the game that as a player and participant in Calcutta Cup matches, previous form ‘went out of the window’ and that these matches were a ‘one off’. Furthermore, if as an England player, your mental approach was not spot on (particularly at Murrayfield) you were destined for trouble.

        Ireland, are now in the box-seat and IMO, will be too much for the Scots in Dublin. I also expect England to prevail against France, in Paris and also against Ireland in the final game.

        Deep down, I don’t believe the Irish will like coming to Twickenham, as favourites… and England (like the Scots, last year) will have a score to settle.

        • Columnist

          February 26th 2018 @ 10:27am
          Geoff Parkes said | February 26th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          Hi Goatee

          That’s the challenge for the Scots now isn’t it? To be able to reproduce that kind of performance away from Murrayfield.

          • February 26th 2018 @ 10:52am
            Goatee said | February 26th 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            Hi Geoff

            Yes, I believe so… and if they manage to win against Ireland, in a fortnight – and against England, at Twickenham, in next year’s 6N, it will confirm their status as genuine contenders, at RWC19.

        • February 26th 2018 @ 10:32pm
          HenryHoneyBalls said | February 26th 2018 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

          Hi Goatee. As an Ireland fan I don’t think Ireland will fear England at Twickenham on St Patrick’s weekend but I don’t think they will be favorites either. Ireland’s game revolves around breakdown dominance and England haven’t been good at the breakdown this six nations. That said there is a big challenge for Ireland in the form of Scotland before that clash and even a convincing win v Scotland I’m pretty sure Ireland will see England as their biggest challenge as the England back three with ball out wide are very dangerous.

          • February 27th 2018 @ 3:55am
            Goatee said | February 27th 2018 @ 3:55am | ! Report

            Hi Henry. I agree that IRE don’t, or won’t fear ENG at Twickenham… However, I disagree that they will not arrive there as favourites – which I believe they will after beating SCO in Dublin.

            Furthermore, with a GS on the line, and playing away from home, I’m not sure they’ll be comfortable with the ‘favourites’ tag. In my view, IRE are at present, a genuine ‘top 3’ nation and on balance, personnel wise (1 – 23) as effective as ENG but are lacking in consistency. They have demonstrated under Schmidt (and particularly, when playing ENG in Dublin) a capacity to ‘dig deep’ and play some inspirational rugby when a) cast in the role of ‘underdog’ or b) seeking to deny ENG a 6N title, or GS.

            The likelihood is, on St Patrick’s Day, they will not have these ‘extra’ incentives to lean upon – and they will be playing away from home, as ‘favourites’ for the GS.

            England by contrast, I suspect, will still be ‘wounded’ by the schooling they received from the Scots last Saturday… and also at the hands of the Irish in Dublin last year… and after a less than convincing win against the French, in Paris, in a couple of weeks from now, both EJ and the ENG team will be getting flak from the press. All of this, in my view, will get ENG over the line at Twickenham… And the tournament winners? Who knows?! Points +/- differential, to decide it.

            Henry… I’m with Neil Back on this one – I just LOVE this tournament!!

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