Friday, March 16, 2007
six nations rugby ends tomorrow
Three teams (France, Ireland and England) are level at the top of the Six Nations table on six points, with the sides separated by points difference.
The French lead the way on +42, with Ireland not far behind on +38 and England +13.
* France, the bookies' favourites, need to beat Scotland at home on Saturday (15.30 GMT kick off)and maintain their points difference advantage over Ireland.
But if France lose, draw or win narrowly, the championship could well open up for a first Irish success since 1985.
However, crucially France have the advantage of playing after the final whistle will have blown on Ireland in Rome, so no matter what Eddie O'Sullivan's men do, the French will take to the field knowing the size of the task before they kick off.
* Ireland travel to Italy (13.30 kick off) and will hope to beat an Azzurri side weakened by injury and possible suspension by a big enough points difference to pile the pressure on France. Their best chance will lie in forcing the French force the pace in Paris.
* England will also at least know what they need to do to win the championship as they kick off last against Wales in Cardiff (17.30 kick off).
But for instance, if Ireland win by 10 points in Rome, that would mean beating a backs-to-the-wall Welsh side by 36 points. Realistically, they must win and hope both France and Ireland slip up.
italy vs. ireland kicks off at 8:30am over here, and i'm watching all three games.