UP AND RUNNING: all the latest from Phil Vickery

Quite amazing opening weekend wasn’t it?

As an England fan, I was delighted to see a young inexperienced side display mental toughness and discipline to get an all-important first win.  A lot of people have said to me that Scotland lost it rather than England won, but if you look at the way England played they contributed to that loss with their aggressive defence which forced Scotland into errors and did not allow them to get the ball wide.

The lack of penalties conceded by England in kickable range was very impressive.  Scotland and my old mate Andy Robinson will be devastated by that loss, but there were still good things they can take from that game.  What an impact David Denton had for a start.  France quietly cruised into their first win looking very classy against a determined and much improved Italian side, and then of course there was the game of the weekend – Ireland v Wales.  What a cracking game that was; full of passion, aggression and skill.

Looking ahead to this weekend I suspect we will see a pretty much unchanged England line up as Toby Flood has been sent back to his club which indicates Charlie Hodgson to start again.  I feel we may see more of both Ben Morgan and Lee Dickson, however coach Stuart Lancaster looks like he does not want to drop players after one game which means a similar starting 15 to last week.  Scotland off to Wales should be fascinating in terms of how Scotland bounce back against a quite rightly confident Wales who were superb in Ireland.  Tough task for Ireland to be facing France but don’t you just love the unpredictable nature of this competition?

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