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Six Nations 2020 - Round 4 Verdict

Again, it's somewhat unusual to be passing judgement on a weekend of Six Nations action that, with the postponement of the Ireland v Italy game, justifiably feels incomplete.

Still, there were two "interesting" games to comment on:

England v Wales

Hmmm. Difficult to know what to make of this one. England won, but there is no way this was a 3 point game. England were the better team, without a doubt. Itoje and the English forwards bossed the match and England's kicking game was superb, especially after Henry Slade came on at fullback. One Welsh breakout aside, this was pretty one-sided until a mad final few minutes where the combination of referee Ben O'Keefe and TMO Marius Jonker brought Wales back into the game.

In O'Keefe's case I don't think it was a conscious thing, but it definitely felt like his decisions were favouring the Welsh the more the match wore on, whilst with Jonker I'm not so sure. And I'm not even querying the Tuilagi red card - given the height of the challenge he was a tad unfortunate but it was reckless and on balance the decision was probably correct - but Jonker's lack of consistency (Welsh headshots on Youngs and Tuilagi and some incredibly dubious clearing out by Jones being studiously ignored) is what got my goat.

Scotland v France

With all the uncertainty in the world it is nice to know that the French rugby team's capacity for self-implosion will still surface from time to time. They had been uber-disciplined so far this Six Nations, but they were clearly rattled early on by Scotland and the decision by Mohamed Haouas to punch Jamie Ritchie in the face during a first half flare up effectively ended French Grand Slam ambitions there and then. Scotland played well enough but, facing 14 men for around 55 minutes, were handed this one on a plate.

What the result would have done in normal circumstances is set up a cracking final weekend of rugby with three teams still in the hunt for the title. Sadly Covid-19 has put paid to that, with there being no indication as yet as to when the championship will conclude...

TF team of the week:

15. Henry Slade 14. Anthony Watson 13. Nick Tompkins 12. Sam Johnson 11. Sean Maitland 10. Dan Biggar 9. Antoine Dupont 1. Joe Marler 2. Jamie George 3. Zander Fagerson 4. Maro Itoje 5. George Kruis 6. Jamie Ritchie 7. Charles Olivon 8. Josh Navidi




This post first appeared on Total Flanker, please read the originial post: here

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Six Nations 2020 - Round 4 Verdict

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