Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Weekend Rugby Wrap

Weekend Rugby Wrap

Duhan van der Merwe of Scotland

Shaun Goosen takes a look back at the past weekend's biggest talking points from the Six Nations. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

England bounce back to overcome Italy 
England produced a much-improved showing to beat Italy 41-18 at Twickenham on Saturday. Eddie Jones’ men got the job done by bagging a bonus-point win, but many questions still linger around his squad at the minute. The players were much more willing to throw the ball around this past weekend after their rather robotic showing in the first round, but still look slightly uncertain of the game Eddie wants out of them. 

To their credit, Italy also looked a lot better and caused England some problems with their industry and intent. Unfortunately for them, they just couldn’t match England for the full eighty and fell off the pace later on as the game became more open.

Wales pip Scotland after Ferguson sending-off
In another epic Six Nations Test match, Wales narrowly beat 14-man Scotland 25-24 at Murrayfield on Saturday. For the second week in succession, Wayne Pivac’s charges only just had enough in them to beat a team down a man, and the final whistle would have brought more relief than elation to the Dragons’ squad. After winning just three of 10 matches last year under the new Kiwi coach — two against Italy and one over Georgia — they now find themselves joint-top with France after two rounds, albeit with some tougher Tests to come.

Despite holding a 14-point lead at one stage, Zander Ferguson’s sending-off had a real effect on Gregor Townsend’s hosts, who dominated for large parts of the contest and nearly sneaked it at the end after some sparkling play by Finn Russell and Duhan van der Merwe down the right touchline. They’ll need to pick themselves up quickly after this latest disappointment if they are to come back stronger against France in round three.

Resolute France squeeze past Ireland 
France beat Ireland 15-13 in Dublin on Sunday to go top of the Six Nations standings on points-difference. Fabian Galthie’s men were under the cosh for large parts of what was a fascinating game, but ultimately displayed a steely resolve to hang on for victory. With little doubt surrounding Les Bleur’s flair factor over the past two seasons, their latest result proved this side also has the resoluteness to withstand enormous pressure and come away with the goods — a trait that will only strengthen in the years to come.

Despite missing a number of frontline players, Ireland threatened to win the Test from the first minute to the last. Andy Farrell’s side may have lost both of their opening fixtures in the championship this season, but there’s every reason to believe he’s still building a squad capable of becoming a true force again on the international stage.

Written by Shaun Goosen.

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