KSA Shark ©

RBS 6 Nations Overview

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 7 Feb 2009 at 07:19
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Since five became six and Italy were welcomed on board nine years ago, the trophy has been landed by just three different countries – England, Wales and France.

Yet the destination of this season’s RBS 6 Nations silverware is perhaps tougher to predict than ever before.

Sportinglife reports that the most recent form guide – the autumn Tests two months ago – suggests Wales are shining lights to successfully defend their Six Nations title.

The challenge for Wales though, is to achieve something not even achieved during their 1970s golden era – winning back-to-back Grand Slams.

But they are a meagre 6/1 chance with the bookmakers to repeat their 2008 clean sweep and Six Nations title success, despite three of their games – against Scotland, France and Italy – being away from home.

Autumn form suggests the bookies may have it right, given that Wales were the only Six Nations side to beat Tri-Nations opposition during a demoralising November for northern hemisphere rugby.

Wales’ victory over Australia underlined their quality – and with an outstanding coaching team of Warren Gatland, Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley again at the helm, their tournament favourites’ tag is fully justified.

England were last crowned Six Nations champions in 2003 – and nothing happened during the autumn to suggest they will end that trophy drought this season.

The emergence of full-back prospect Delon Armitage apart, England had precious little to cheer after a demoralising autumn series when they were beaten by Australia, South Africa and New Zealand – conceding 102 points in the process.

New boss Martin Johnson knows his team must deliver. But after what should be a routine opener against Italy, they face games that will make or break their campaign – Wales in Cardiff, followed by Ireland at Croke Park.

Already written off in many quarters, which England will turn up? It could be the roaring lions or the timid pussycats.

Scotland might not have won anything, yet they produced one of the more remarkable statistics of last season’s Six Nations tournament – 656 passes completed, but just three tries scored.

Unless Frank Hadden’s men can find ways of breaking down opposition defences on a consistent basis, rather than rely on goal-kicking to win games, they will continue to struggle.

Their forwards will be a handful for most opponents – hooker Ross Ford and prop Euan Murray could be Lions Test starters in South Africa later this year – and they know an immediate statement can be made by knocking over Wales at Murrayfield on the opening weekend.

Scotland’s professional sides Edinburgh and Glasgow have both performed well this season – suggesting that at 16/1 for the title, the Scots could be worth a flutter – but their lack of tries remains an enormous concern.

The record books show Ireland have won three Six Nations Triple Crowns – but the title continues to elude them in such regular fashion that it has assumed millstone proportions.

Munster’s consistent success in Europe; the thrilling talent of young Leinster backs like Luke Fitzgerald and Rob Kearney; Brian O’Driscoll’s continued mercurial presence in midfield; Ireland, without question, have a lot to be excited about.

But was it not ever thus?

Coach Declan Kidney takes charge of his first Six Nations campaign, yet one cannot help thinking it will be the same old story of promise and potential – but no Six Nations trophy in the cabinet.

Across the Channel, no one quite knew what approach – if, indeed, he had one – France coach Marc Lievremont adopted towards selection in 2008.

Young players came and went, and his line-up that finished last year with an 18-13 defeat against Australia contained just six survivors from the one that started it – including captain Lionel Nallet – against Scotland almost 10 months previously.

Like Wales, France face three games on the road – visiting Ireland, England and Italy – although their mid-tournament Friday night appointment with the Welsh could prove a critical game in terms of the competition’s final outcome.

One would think Lievremont may adopt a more settled outlook on selection this time around, having found his bearings as a Test coach last year – but only time will tell.

Despite the revered former South Africa coach Nick Mallett taking charge of Italy for last season’s Six Nations, it was a campaign that contained wildly fluctuating fortunes.

Italy beat Scotland and ran both England and Ireland close, yet their crushing defeat against Wales in Cardiff illustrated a tactical naivety that can still unhinge their game.

Mallett’s team start this time around against England at Twickenham – where previous Six Nations visits saw them lose 80-23, 40-5, 39-7 and 20-7 – but Ireland, Wales and France must then all visit the wonderfully-atmospheric Stadio Flaminio in Rome.

A sixth-placed finish again looks likely. But if anyone can turn them around, Mallett is more capable than most.


  • Not to late to get your pool entries in.

    (I will only approve you if you are an England supporter though.) 😉

    Website: http://www.superbru.com/sixnations
    Pool code: chiptabs
    Pool name: Sharksworld

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.02.09 07:23:39 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • bettingzone.co.uk’s Tips for the weekend.

    England v Italy

    England always used to look forward to this fixture as it meant a relatively straightforward victory for them en route to a crack at the Six Nations title. How times change – or not if you’re an England fan. Anyone taking more than a glance at England’s chosen backline for their opener against Italy should be amazed to see the likes of Andy Goode and Mike Tindall in there. Granted, Tindall has played some decent rugby for Gloucester this season but is surely no more than a solid club player at this stage in his career whilst Goode cannot be the only choice at number ten for England despite some high-profile injuries and dips in form. Yet, this is the starting XV that Martin Johnson has chosen to go with for a game that England will be expecting to win at Twickenham on Saturday. The problem is that by trying to be safe, Johnson may well have picked a side that plays right into the Italians hands. The Azzurri have made a bit of gamble themselves by picking flanker Mauro Bergamasco at scrum-half but if he can wind up Ellis for the majority of the match (which shouldn’t be difficult) then England could be in for a long afternoon. It should be a fearsome battle between these two and it could be bloody too. If Italy can keep it tight and really turn the screw on Ellis and Goode, then they can frustrate England and run them close. It’s a little disconcerting to see the Italians lose so many matches after coming so close but an Azzurri upset is on the cards sooner rather than later and England could be on the receiving end. The 7/1 about an Italy victory is very tempting but the 16-point start on the handicap is an absolute steal.

    Verdict: England by five.

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.02.09 07:25:34 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Ireland v France

    The tie of the weekend comes at Croke Park on Saturday evening when Ireland host France. Neither side exactly set the tournament alight last year and will want to change that – and both teams have as good a chance as the rest of achieving this. Keith Wood mentioned this week that this year is probably the last chance saloon for the current crop of Irish players if they want to win a title for their country and this is probably right. However, there is nothing like leaving the best ’til last and Declan Kidney’s men have a real chance of ending 24 years of hurt. The French under Marc Lievremont seem to be struggling to adopt a style of play, having thrown the ball around for the first half of 2008 then concentrating more on the breakdown and fringes in the latter half of the year. They have the talent amongst their squad to be Six Nations champions every year but can quite often get the basics wrong and they do look a little rudderless at the moment. This is forgivable as they are one of the youngest French squads for years but whether the French public are as forgiving is another matter. This is a game that can go either way and it wouldn’t be surprise to see France put Ireland to the sword. However, it’s very unlikely that the Irish will allow themselves to be controlled in this manner and in front of their own fans at Croke Park, they can eke out a victory.

    Verdict: Ireland by three.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.02.09 07:26:14 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Scotland v Wales

    Scotland take on Wales at Murrayfield on Sunday afternoon knowing that first time out is probably the best time to catch Warren Gatland’s men if you want to beat them. Wales are overwhelming favourites to retain their Six Nations crown after winning the Grand Slam last season and being the only northern hemisphere side to put up any sort of resistance to the likes of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in the autumn internationals. However, their last two Grand Slam winning campaigns started with fairly wobbly wins over England and it’s fair to say they are a side that grows in confidence as tournaments progress. Scotland looked on the brink of something during the autumn and should put up much more of a fight than they did last season. However, their progress may not be over yet and whilst there should be much more to come, it may be that they need another year to achieve this. Wales are a class act but they may well find things a bit difficult this season and I very much doubt another Grand Slam is on the cards. They are deserved favourites but whether they are value at 2/1 is a moot point. I think the layers have given Wales far too much respect here and given the fact that Scotland could easily shake Gatland’s men up here, it’s worth throwing a few quid the way of Frank Hadden’s men as they are more than capable of winning at Murrayfield.

    Verdict: Scotland by four.

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.02.09 07:27:00 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Either these guys have got money to throw away or most of us have read this last game completely wrong.

    Scotland to beat Wales?????????? 😯

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.02.09 07:32:37 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) : once again, no reminder emails.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.02.09 10:09:42 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Ksa- you need to approve McLovin’s application

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.02.09 10:11:19 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    But he’s not an England supporter!?!?!?!?!??!?

    I suppose he is a half decent Sharksworlder so I suppose I will have to approve it. 👿

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.02.09 10:20:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 8) : Had to think long and hard about who I ‘support’. But my mother claims to have an Irish great grandfather (yet unproven) so I went with the Irish. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.02.09 10:24:13 by McLovin Reply

  • Oh and I also love Guinness. A lot. 😎

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.02.09 10:24:45 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 9) :

    At least you picked England for a win. 😉 or else i would never have let you in. 😆

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.02.09 10:27:48 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 11) : You’re too kind. 🙄 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.02.09 12:43:04 by McLovin Reply

  • England v Italy up next.

    Swing Looooooooowwwwwww, Sweeeeeeetttttt Charioooooooooooooooot!!!!!!!

    Coming forth to cary me HOOOOOOOOMEE.

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.02.09 16:49:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Alaska’s great race is taking precedence at the moment.

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.02.09 17:19:58 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 10) : i think we’ll get on

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.02.09 17:20:57 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @McLovin (Comment 10) :

    @robdylan (Comment 15) :

    Howcome we all get along? I can’t STAND the stuff. Any dark beer is a no no for me.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.02.09 17:25:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • 12 – 0 to England after 19min.

    Maybe my margin was to small.

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.02.09 17:26:52 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • SB picks for England v Italy

    Gerhardt England 24
    molly England 21
    PaarlBok England 21
    McLovin England 19
    Sandshark England 18
    PtaShark England 16
    ss England 15
    JustPlainSHARK England 15
    Wallywong England 14
    Whindy England 14
    geraas England 13
    I-Tie England 13
    robdylan England 11
    Villie England 9
    Milissa England 7

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.02.09 17:30:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • England 22 – 6 Italy

    Half time

    The graphic isn’t to clear, but it looks like England are under a yellow card at the moment.

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.02.09 17:50:54 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Haskell back on for England 5min into the second half after a Yellow.

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.02.09 18:08:40 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • England 29 – 11 Italy


  • Comment 21, posted at 07.02.09 18:40:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Cueto goes over and scores NOT puting a foot in touch this time.

    Robbing me of the Closest pick point. 👿

    England 34 – 11 Italy 👿

    And Goode converts to Rob me of a margin point as well. 👿 👿

    England 36 – 11 Italy

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.02.09 18:48:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

    England 36 – 11 Italy

    Gerhardt Get’s the closest pick BP.

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.02.09 18:51:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Superbru picks for the Ireland v France game coming up.

    Whindy Ireland 12
    Sandshark Ireland 9
    PaarlBok Ireland 8
    McLovin Ireland 7
    Wallywong Ireland 7
    robdylan Ireland 7
    Villie Ireland 5
    geraas Ireland 5
    JustPlainSHARK Ireland 5
    I-Tie Ireland 4
    Milissa Ireland 3


    ss France 5
    molly France 9
    PtaShark France 10
    Gerhardt France 12

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.02.09 18:54:51 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • france are playing sum fine footy

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.02.09 19:24:08 by PJLD Reply
  • @PJLD (Comment 25) :

    this is a very good game this.

    Ireland 13 – 10 france

    Start of 2nd half

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.02.09 20:03:55 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • 43min and BOD scores a great try

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.02.09 20:07:06 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • converted.

    Ireland 20 – 10 france

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.02.09 20:08:21 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Missed a score here


    Ire 20 – 18 Fra

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.02.09 20:24:03 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • 65min

    Try by Ireland


    Ire 27 – 18 Fra

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.02.09 20:33:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 26) :i got my tv hijacked.im having to watch alvin and the chipmunks

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.02.09 20:40:02 by PJLD Reply
  • In the last match with 5min to go i was on my own with a spot on pick and I got nothing. 🙁

    What is going to happen here?

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.02.09 20:44:42 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • france slot the PK

    Ireland 27 – 21 France


  • Comment 33, posted at 07.02.09 20:45:34 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • on 77min Ireland get a PK just outside the french 22 and O’gara puts me back spot on with my pick.


    Ireland 30 – 21 France

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.02.09 20:47:08 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @PJLD (Comment 31) :


    She is a Bulls fan dude, DON’T argue with her.

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.02.09 20:47:57 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Time up on the clock

    France on attack in the Irish 22

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.02.09 20:49:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • PK France right in front.

    Tap and go

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.02.09 20:50:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Ireland get PK 😳

    Clear to touch


    Ireland 30 – 21 France.

    I get the closest pick BP. 😎

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.02.09 20:51:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Whindy

    All on 2 from 2 and in with a shout for a GSP with one game to go.

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.02.09 20:54:50 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Sco 0 – 3 Wal 16min

  • Comment 40, posted at 08.02.09 17:20:00 by McLovin Reply

  • Second Scot out cold after making a tackle. 😯 Will probably get a yellow when he wakes up.

  • Comment 41, posted at 08.02.09 17:25:04 by McLovin Reply

  • And so he does. Ref at least waits till he comes round before showing him the yellow. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 42, posted at 08.02.09 17:26:58 by McLovin Reply

  • First Scot to be knocked out stayed on the field and is now puking. Ref says he must go off.

  • Comment 43, posted at 08.02.09 17:28:05 by McLovin Reply

  • Wales score a try soon after play resumes. 15 against 14 for the next 10min. Looking bad for Scotland.

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.02.09 17:31:14 by McLovin Reply

  • Half Time

    Sco 3 – 16 Wal

  • Comment 45, posted at 08.02.09 17:51:22 by McLovin Reply

  • Wales score 40 secs into the second half. 😯

  • Comment 46, posted at 08.02.09 18:02:14 by McLovin Reply

  • Sco 6 – 21 Wal 55min

  • Comment 47, posted at 08.02.09 18:18:59 by McLovin Reply

  • Williams scores.

  • Comment 48, posted at 08.02.09 18:22:40 by McLovin Reply

  • Sco 6 – 26 Wal 59min

  • Comment 49, posted at 08.02.09 18:23:43 by McLovin Reply

  • We are gonna have a plethora (big word) of GSP BP’s this week. 😎

  • Comment 50, posted at 08.02.09 18:25:09 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Wales have missed plenty of kicks.

  • Comment 51, posted at 08.02.09 18:26:55 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 50) : plethora? ❓ Is it a mammal? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 08.02.09 18:27:35 by McLovin Reply

  • Picks for this match.

    Wallywong Scotland 7
    Milissa Scotland 3


    Villie Wales 3
    robdylan Wales 7
    PtaShark Wales 9
    ss Wales 10
    PaarlBok Wales 11
    McLovin Wales 11
    Sandshark Wales 11
    Gerhardt Wales 12
    geraas Wales 13
    Whindy Wales 15
    molly Wales 17
    I-Tie Wales 19
    JustPlainSHARK Wales 20

  • Comment 53, posted at 08.02.09 18:27:39 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @McLovin (Comment 52) : related to the platypus (sp?) I think 😛

  • Comment 54, posted at 08.02.09 18:28:33 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 50) : not THAT hard to pick 3 winners in the 6N

  • Comment 55, posted at 08.02.09 18:28:57 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • The commentators sound so cool, when they are complaining, it increases the accent bigtime.

  • Comment 56, posted at 08.02.09 18:29:17 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 55) :

    Have a look at comments number 2,3 & 4. 😆

    Seems the bookies got this last one wrong. I can’t believe they called a scottish win.

  • Comment 57, posted at 08.02.09 18:30:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Spinning was a blast tonight, BTW. 😎

  • Comment 58, posted at 08.02.09 18:31:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Williams yellow. Very harsh imo.

  • Comment 59, posted at 08.02.09 18:32:27 by McLovin Reply

  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 57) : they DID? Are they drunk?

  • Comment 60, posted at 08.02.09 18:33:09 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Jocks score.

  • Comment 61, posted at 08.02.09 18:34:06 by McLovin Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 60) : Scottish. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 62, posted at 08.02.09 18:34:32 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 59) :

    VERY HARSH!!!!

    The ref may have a credit card number lodged at bettingzone.co.uk. 😛

  • Comment 63, posted at 08.02.09 18:35:32 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Sco 13 – 26 Wal 70min

  • Comment 64, posted at 08.02.09 18:35:34 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 62) :

    Hardy Scots

    50 deg.F
    People in Southern England turn on the central heating
    People in Edinburgh plant out their bedding plants.

    40 deg. F
    Southerners shiver uncontrollably
    Glaswegians sunbathe on the beach at Largs.

    35 deg. F
    Cars in the South of England refuse to start
    People in Falkirk drive with their windows down.

    20 deg. F
    Southerners wear overcoats, gloves and woolly hats
    Aderdonian men throw on a t-shirt; girls start wearing mini-skirts.

    15 deg. F
    Southerners begin to evacuate to the continent
    People from Dundee swim in the River Tay at Broughty Ferry.

    0 deg. F
    Life in the South grinds to a halt
    Inverness folk have the last BBQ before it gets cold.

    -10 deg. F
    Life in the South ceases to exist
    People in Dunfermline throw on a light jacket.

    -80 deg. F
    Polar bears wonder if it’s worth carrying on
    Boy Scouts in Oban start wearing their long trousers.

    -100 deg. F
    Santa Claus abandons North Pole
    People in Stirling put on their ‘long johns’.

    -173 deg. F
    Alcohol freezes
    Glaswegians get upset because all the pubs are shut.

    -297 deg. F
    Microbial life starts to disappear
    The cows in Dumfriesshire complain about farmers with cold hands.

    -460 deg. F
    All atomic motion stops
    Shetlanders stamp their feet and blow on their hands.

  • Comment 65, posted at 08.02.09 18:36:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I’ll say it again, these ou’s sound so cool.

    Is there ANY chance we can swop them with Brosnihan and Boom Boom vd Westhuizen for the S14?

  • Comment 66, posted at 08.02.09 18:38:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Scots throwing everything at the welsh now


    13 – 26 Wales

  • Comment 67, posted at 08.02.09 18:43:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Patterson chips and goes down on the ball behind the line.

    TMO pending

  • Comment 68, posted at 08.02.09 18:44:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Knock on. 😳

  • Comment 69, posted at 08.02.09 18:45:22 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

    Scotland 13 – 26 Wales

    closest pick BP goes to geraas

  • Comment 70, posted at 08.02.09 18:49:29 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • go wales

  • Comment 71, posted at 08.02.09 18:53:04 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Plethora?? Who u trying to impress bru?? 😀

  • Comment 72, posted at 08.02.09 19:52:59 by wpw Reply
  • Wales to win the 6N again…

  • Comment 73, posted at 09.02.09 04:08:56 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @wpw (Comment 72) :

    Just trying to show I know a lot about mammals. 😛

  • Comment 74, posted at 09.02.09 05:47:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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