Close games this weekend in the Six Nations, especially up to half time when you could not have called any of the games and only Ireland managing to rack up a big win in the second half. But, massive congratulations to Wales for winning at Twickenham somewhere that has not been a happy hunting ground for them in the past and collecting the Triple Crown! As a team they have a very fine coach in Warren Gatland who has given them a great ethos. Then when you look at the talent they have and the sheer size of their backs you have to back them for the Grand Slam particularly as they take on France in Cardiff. Captain Sam Warburton was immense on Saturday and to me he epitomizes the spirit of the side.
Watching Scotland was frustrating for me so I can only guess what it feels like for Andy Robinson the coach. I still enjoyed their game against France and whilst understanding how gutted the Scottish players must be feeling at yet another loss you cant help feeling they are inches away from being a very decent side and getting a good win. They have some excellent players and have unearthed a fire cracker of a player in young Hogg who gave them an extra dimension in attack. The back row again were heros to a man and they very nearly pulled off a win against a French side bristling with world class talent. I thought the French however looked stuck in first gear for most of the game but they are such good players you just felt the minute they really needed to do something special they would just move up a few gears.
As for England – I felt pretty proud of them on Saturday as they came close to beating this excellent Welsh team. I felt the power and pace of Manu Tuilagi made a big difference and I admire Stuart Lancaster for the team he picked which had more go forward that the previous two. What was particularly pleasing for me was to hear the Twickenham crowd get right behind the team and there is genuinely a feeling of a fresh start and excitement about the new more hungry players out there. You can see that hunger in the way they defend which has been magnificent. They are a gutsy and passionate group of lads with plenty of skill and I am genuinely excited about the potential.
Big plus point for Lancaster though is finally seeing what this side can do in attack and young Owen Farrell really orchestrated things at fly half. Lee Dickson at scrum half did what he was picked to do which was to speed up and slow down the game at the right time and Ben Morgan at 8 definitely gave us a lot more go forward. I thought both sides had their chances but great defending by both the red shirts and the white shirts kept it close all the way through. Massively encouraging if you are England fan and to date this young and inexperienced side has let nobody down whilst doing a lot better than many thought they would. I have had so many people say to me that they are enjoying watching England play again after being disillusioned over the last couple of years and that is I believe down to the type of team Stuart Lancaster has created. It is obvious to everyone this group want to play for that shirt and are giving everything.