Well, with one weekend of the 2006 RBS 6 Nations tournament remaining, the field is beginning to narrow, with France or Ireland looking favourites to lift the trophy following defeats for Scotland and England this weekend.
So how did last weekend shape up for the tournament’s London-based players?
On the up:
It was a great weekend for Raphael Ibanez (France, Wasps), who clearly enjoyed playing a part in France’s demolition of England on Sunday. As part of a French front-row that should have been outclassed in theory, he managed to look pretty comfortable in practice.
Similarly, Olivier Magne
(France, London Irish) was part of a French back-row that comprehensively out-performed its English counterparts.
As for Thomas Castaignede (France, Saracens), he proved that he’s still got the class to make the English defence look like slow-moving farm animals. We’re thinking donkeys. You can bet he enjoyed that.
After one of the worst England performances in recent history, it is clear that Josh Lewsey, Matt Dawson, Joe Worsley, Simon Shaw, Tom Voyce and Lawrence Dallaglio (all England, Wasps) were all contributors to the woeful loss to France. At their best, Matt Dawson was barely adequate (recovering from illness); at their worst, the normally superb Josh Lewsey handed France a first-minute try on a plate. Shockingly dismal.
Once again, Eoin Reddan
(Ireland, Wasps) enjoyed Ireland’s victory over Scotland
from the bench. It must be hard being a substitute Irish scrum-half when the supremely proficient Peter Stringer is fit for duty...
No London-based players featured in Italy’s stubborn draw with Wales on Saturday.
Finally, our tip for the bookies: instead of trying to predict who will win the tournament, we suggest putting a fiver on the likelihood of England’s head coach Andy Robinson being replaced within the next month.
Last Updated 13 March 2006