IT’S the final weekend of this season’s Six Nations and the big question is, of course, will England complete the Grand Slam by beating Ireland in Dublin?
Their performance in thrashing Scotland, 61-21, was just outstanding, and if the backs caught your eye, there was also plenty to admire in the pack.
They did the basics very well with Courtney Lawes dominating the line-out and Joe Launchbury his usual driving, grasping, relentless self. I also thought Maro Itoje put in a good shift as did Nathan Hughes and Billy Vunipola when he came on. What depth Eddie Jones has at his disposal.
Another Jonathan Joseph hat-trick would certainly help England’s cause, but Ireland will do everything they can to try to stop the visitors posting their 19th consecutive win and making history. And remember – they did it to New Zealand last year.
Scotland should finish with a win as they take on Italy at Murrayfield in the opening game, and, let’s be honest, they have been a good side in this Six Nations and played some good rugby. France host Wales in the second match.
I thought Wales were good in beating Ireland, and what a brutal game it was – you could almost feel the hits through the TV. George North upped his game and put in a good performance, but what was Robbie Henshaw thinking of when he entered the maul in front of Rory Best?
On the club front last weekend, London Irish’s youngsters showed real potential as they beat Yorkshire Carnegie to reach the British & Irish Cup semi finals, but it wasn’t one of the greatest for our other local outfits as only Berkshire Shire Hall managed a win in overcoming Chipping Norton.
Redingensians Rams found visitors Old Elthamians too strong, while Reading Abbey crashed at Banbury and are now in the South West One East relegation zone along with my boys Reading, who suffered our biggest defeat of the season at Chippenham as relegation was confirmed.
It would be terrible for the town if both Abbey and Reading go down, but unless the former can pull a rabbit out of the hat by beating at least one of the top three sides in their final four games, it looks likely.