England come out on top in their crucial tie with Six Nations holders France.
England came out on top in Saturday’s vital game with France thanks to a single Ben Foden try. The first half of ‘Le Crunch’ finished 9-9 with three penalties each, but Les Bleus failed to deal with England’s explosive second half restart and Foden crashed over for the decisive try. England’s front line stood firm and, to coach Martin Johnson’s delight, prevented France from taking any points in the second half. Jonny Wilkinson sealed the win, scoring a penalty with his first kick after replacing Toby Flood. The 17-9 defeat ended France’s unbeaten run of eight consecutive Six Nations victories. England now have an excellent chance of winning their first Grand Slam since 2003, but will need to focus on their remaining two games, starting with Scotland on March 13th. England vs Scotland tickets are on sale now, with prices starting at around £125.
Ronan O’Gara once again inspired Ireland to victory over Scotland, but by a much narrower margin than their performance merited. The Irish were their own worst enemies as, despite scoring three tries to Scotland’s none, they repeatedly gave away penalties in the 21-18 win. Scotland again conceded early, but will take heart from the fight-back and will perhaps be disappointed to not take any points from the game. Chris Paterson and Dan Parks kept the pressure on with some excellent kicking, but ultimately Scotland could not handle O’Gara who finished with 11 points including a try and three conversions. Wales vs Ireland tickets are on sale for the team’s next tie at the Millennium Stadium on March 12th.
Wales overcame Italy in a fascinating end-to-end game that could have gone either way. Italy will feel unlucky to have lost at the Stadio Flaminio, but were plagued by missed tackles and kicks as has so often been the case this year. Morgan Stoddart was the stand-out performer in Wales’ 24-16 victory, scoring a try and also preventing flanker Alessandro Zanni from scoring when a try seemed inevitable. Italy always had a chance in what many expected to be a tight game, but they were finally finished off when James Hook scored a drop goal. Italy now have the daunting task of facing France at the Stadio Flamio on March 12th. Italy vs France tickets are available from £36.