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From K_Tolo on 606:
"They were top-class today, no doubt about that. Too many Irish mistakes, not all down to good French play either. However, take nothing away from the French, they were magnificent - they could have won by double that score but for some desperate last-ditch tackling."
From stonecoldsober on 606:
"Too many errors from Ireland, not enough clinical play. France were superior than us in every way and are deserved winners. I can see them going all the way this year. No other team are even close."
A lot better today, I think you'd have to say. Pulsating match over in Cardiff, with Shane Williams picking Scotland's pockets with the final move of the game, and a masterclass from France in Paris. Some bad news from that earlier game, Thom Evans looks to have suffered a bad back injury, so our thoughts are with him. Right, thanks for being with me today, I believe I'll see you all again tomorrow for Italy v England, meanwhile fill your greedy, fat faces with skeleton bob... is there nothing we don't do for you?
Already video highlights up on the website of the day's tries, and don't forget Italy v England tomorrow at 1430...
So, France remain on track for the Grand Slam - looks like a cracking little outfit they've put together here. Class all over the pitch, allied with plenty of solidity and spite. And what about that man Bastareaud? A tank in attack, a dam in defence. The French team doing a lap of honour... bit of work yet chaps, bit of work yet...
FULL-TIME: France 33-10 Ireland
Nice feet from O'Driscoll, the old boy's still got it - he beats a couple of men before checking his run and spinning the ball wide. But the French are like piranhas, chomping all over the receiver and taking him down. There's the whistle, France comprehensive winners over last year's Grand Slam champions.
78 mins: DROP-GOAL France 33-10 Ireland
France drive backwards in the scrum, getting their own back after the last one, and Michalak smashes his penalty kick to the halfway line. Ferris with a hand in Nallet's face at the line-out - not nice, but Nallet made a meal of it, it was as if Ferris was wearing an armoured gauntlet. Michalak
puts a cherry on top of the France display with a late drop-goal.
O'Driscoll brings the ball back left and is superbly tackled by Parra. Earls is then drive back on the opposite side of the pitch, before Bowe very nearly punches through. Some big hits going in as the clock ticks down, this time it's Szarzewski with the crunch on O'Connell.
Ireland's pack drives the French off the ball at the scrum and the visitors win a penalty. Sexton kicks to touch, line-out five metres out...
Sexton is on for O'Gara by the way. What a performance by Mathieu Bastareaud by the way, and what redemption after all that nonsense in New Zealand last year. Ireland turn it over and Ferris does well to keep the ball in play. D'Arcy bounces off the tackle of Parra before skipping past two more men, but is eventually snagged and all comes to nil once again.
70 mins: PENALTY France 30-10 Ireland
La Marseillaise ringing around the Stade de France, and for the travelling Irish fans it will be like being poked in the ear with a sharp stick. Cracking kick from Parra
, the lead 20 with 10 minutes to play.
Parra hits the upright with his penalty attempt before David Wallace knocks on... no, it came off his chest. Michalak's first touch is a cross-kick which D'Arcy fields. He kicks it away, and the ball is booted back into Ireland territory.
Ireland having to run from deep now, and Bastareaud puts the big hit on D'Arcy on the Ireland 22. Too much rugby in your own 22 is a recipe for trouble, and Ireland concede a penalty... on comes Michalak for Jauzion in the French midfield.
65 mins: TRY France 27-10 Ireland
Brilliant from Ireland, shooting their cuffs and showing some class of their own. O'Driscoll, who else, makes the initial break, flips it to Ferris, who flips it back before O'Driscoll passes inside to David Wallace
for a try. Hint of a forward pass, but Ireland won't mind. O'Gara with the conversion.
62 mins: DROP-GOAL France 27-3 Ireland
Bastareaud shows his defensive capabilities this time, wrapping up Earls in the tackle before turning the ball over. Parra
sits in the pocket and bangs over the drop-goal. Ireland drowning in a sea of French class.
60 mins: TRY France 24-3 Ireland
Harinordoquy barrels towards the Ireland line before Szarzewski picks up and reaches, but comes up short. France go left, and it's Bastareaud who cracks the nut, first bouncing off the tackle of O'Driscoll before offloading out of the back of his hand to Poitrenaud
, who dives over in the corner. Awesome, clinical, whatever you want it to be, and Parra kicks the extras.
Szarzewski, the most handsome hooker in history (and no, I haven't forgotten about Brian Moore) gets his throw stolen at the line-out, but Ireland's backs simply cannot break this French defensive line. Huge up-and-under from Trinh-Duc, that's got moon dust on it, and Earls does very well to take it... before knocking on...
O'Driscoll very nearly intercepts, but can't quite get his fingers to it and Trinh-Duc turns on the afterburners. Ireland scramble well to prevent the try.
David Marty replaces Vincent Clerc on the right wing. Malzieu very nearly scores in the left corner, hacking on a kick from Trinh-Duc but finding himself hauled into touch by Heaslip. Court on for Hayes, Marconnet and Szarzewski also into the fray, Servat off.
Heaslip with the pick up and go from in his own 22. Poitrenaud looks to run back a kick but loses his footing. Ireland turn the ball over, but it's the final pass, the offloads, that are killing the visitors at the moment - Ferris maybe should have kept hold of that.
Heaslip dummies and straightens, but Paddy Wallace knocks on. What a take from Harinordoquy before Parra sticks one in behind the Irish back three. Flannery brings the ball back, but Ireland fluff in midfield - Vincent Clerc hacks through, but is unable to gather with the line at his mercy and Heaslip all over him like a randy gorilla.
From eirebilly on 606:
"Every time I see Flannery's kick, I still can't understand why he is still on the pitch. Defo red card if I have ever seen one."
Second half under way. Intricate work from the Ireland backs, but O'Driscoll is unable to get the final pass away. Trinh-Duc shrugs off a tame tackle from O'Gara as if he's flicking away dandruff and goes on a gallop. But France give away a penalty and O'Gara puts his boot through the ball.
Raphael Ibanez on BBC One:
"The half had almost everything - physicality, intensity, a bit of drama, mistakes from both sides
and two tries from France."
Keith Wood on BBC One:
"Ireland played phenomenally well for the first 20 minutes. They were absolutely fantastic, very physical, and the game had everything, but then there was a bit of a brain freeze. The front row showed a lack of discipline and it drifted away from Ireland. There was a mad, flailing kick from Flannery and everything started going France's way."
Tom Fordyce in Paris on Twitter:
"Huge roars from the home fans as Ireland knock on with the line at their toes, and that's half-time. 17-10 would have spelled hope."
Cracking half of rugby that. Plenty of mongrel and grunt from both sides, but lots of class as well, with a bit of swashbuckle to go with the mindless brawn. Ireland are stood at the bottom of a very steep hill now though, you would expect the French to close this out.
O'Connell takes the catch and Ireland try to get the driving maul going, and do so. The ball goes to the short side, but Bowe can't gather and O'Gara is driven back. France constantly off-side in midfield, penalty after penalty for Ireland... O'Leary darts for the line, like a man trying to beat closing doors on the Tube, but is pincered by two men. Left again, but eventually it's knocked on and France kick to touch.
The French scrum rock-solid so far. O'Gara with the kick through, but Poitrenaud deals with it with ease, although Ireland will have a line-out on the French 10 metre. Poitrenaud with a fine take, and he runs the ball back into the Ireland half. There's been plenty of that, which is good to see. Paddy Wallace, though, gets the ball back and chips through again, and it's lock Lonel Nallet chasing back. He gets into a right pickle, Ireland win the penalty and O'Gara kicks for the corner.
France's forwards form a wedge and rumble into the Ireland half from the kick-off. Lateral from Ireland, before Ferris straightens and forces a penalty - hands in the ruck. O'Gara kicks for touch as Paddy Wallace comes back on for Rob Kearney - Earls to full-back, Wallace in the centre, D'Arcy on the wing.
32 mins: TRY France 17-3 Ireland
Parra with the long pass and Bastareaud goes smashing through like a cannonball through the side of a galleon. France eventually ship it back left, Bastareaud acts as the decoy, and Jauzion
of Toulouse is over next to the posts. No problem for Parra with the conversion, France have their dander up...
29 mins: PENALTY France 10-3 Ireland
Penalty to Ireland for blocking at the kick-off, Cian Healey back into the fray. O'Gara
will kick for goal, Ireland need some points before half-time... and the Munster man provides them.
28 mins: TRY France 10-0 Ireland
Another scrum collapses, but these time Wayne Barnes apportions no blame. Ireland better that time, but Harinordoquy picks up and goes, before William Servat
burrows over next to the post. Parra with the extras, that sin-bin cost 10 points.
France get on a rumble, but Ireland suck the life out of them five metres short of the try-line. Malzieu is on for the injured Palisson, I believe, before France are all over Ireland at the scrum. Flannery being given a rough time by opposite number Williams Servat, Ireland eventually give away the penalty. France opt for the scrum, and how long before a penalty try?
Flannery forces the referee to reverse a penalty decision, going in on Clerc with no arms, and plenty of legs. Not sure how he's still on the pitch. Replays suggest he was lucky not to get a straight red.
Tom Court of Ulster comes into the front row, and Paddy Wallace is also on for, I'm not sure who. Actually, he's off again... All a bit confusing at the moment since that sin-binning.
18 mins: PENALTY France 3-0 Ireland
Cian Healey in the bin. France turning defence into attack, Trinh-Duc and then Harinordoquy haring free, before the Ireland prop puts in an early tackle. Parra
with a penalty in front of the posts and that three points. Could be more, these sin-bins are proving very expensive.
17 mins: France 0-0 Ireland
Kearney puts some heat on that clearance kick, the French haven't really got going yet. Another burgle by O'Connell at the line-out, before Ireland very nearly score: D'Arcy with the dart and he's clean through. He chips over, but the bounce of the ball isn't with him and the chance goes begging.
Diane, Paris, via text on 81111:
"Not sure what's going to get me first, the freezing temperatures even with five layers or the stress that those Frenchmen might win."
Poitrenaud kicks straight into touch, Ireland's throw on the French 10 metre line. Harinordoquy patched up. Ireland rumble, but the pass from O'Leary is wild.
O'Gara is charged down, but scampers back and recovers... not quite, holding onto the ball and France have the penalty. The French midfield all over the Irish attack like shrink wrap, but Ireland are being positive.
Alexis Palisson comes over all Serge Blanco, a couple of sidesteps and a couple of beaten men and he races clear. But Ireland hit back, Ferris to Heaslip who goes on the gallop. Ireland deep inside the French 22 now, but that's a good tackle by Jauzion on O'Driscoll. O'Connell picks up and goes, and it's not the quickest ball for Ireland.
Got to be honest, I'm hoping Ouedraogo doesn't have the ball too often, his name takes about a minute to type. Good kick by O'Gara, before O'Connell burgles the French line-out. France come clear, but it's all a bit lateral. Nice from Earls, swerving back infield and beating one man.
Ouedraogo finds some pace and races clear, but it snagged eventually. Here's a little stat for you: France have scored 20 tries in their last four home Six Nations matches against Ireland.
Flannery shows and goes and blasts a hole. But France have turned the ball over, Parra bringing the ball clear. Poor from Bowe, straight out, and France have the line-out back in Irish territory. Number eight Harinordoquy receiving treament.
Jauzion takes the ball up in midfield, before Parra snipes down the short side. Pascal Pape knocks on, before Clerc loses the ball in the tackle. Back in French hands, and that's nice work from O'Driscoll, chipping over before dragging Clerc into touch.
The referee is Wayne Barnes of England, and with a ping of his whistle, we're off. Francois Trinh-Duc kicks off, Ireland knock-on.
Raphael Ibanez on BBC One:
"Bastareaud played really well and scored two tries last weekend. To be honest after what happened last summer it was perfect. Nobody really will ever know what happened last summer but the only thing he wants to do now is win for his team-mates."
Players lining up now in the tunnel, the tension is so thick you could spread it on some toast. O'Driscoll versus Bastareaud, that should be some battle, the rapier versus the blunderbuss. Minus three degrees in Paris, but no rain.
Many thanks Pranav, Dirs back in the chair. Right, not long now until the French kick off against those cheating Irish... not my words, the words of France scrum-half Morgan Parra. If I was him, I'd be watching my back. Only one win for Ireland in 38 years in Paris, this one could be a barnstormer.
It's absolutely brass monkeys in Parreeee at the moment, Gaby Logan and studio guests Raphael Ibanez and Keith Wood are sat in an open studio as strands of wispy breath which accompany their words of wisdom melt into the atmosphere. On the plus side, the weather will hopefully make for more running rugby as both sides attempt to keep warm in temperatures of minus two. That makes Shepherds Bush look positively tropical.
While Dirsy heads off to dip his steaming fingertips into a bucket of ice-cold water following that...monstrosity
of a match in Cardiff, it is I, Pranav Soneji, who will valiantly stand in until the start of what promises to be a match with more bite and bark than an angry pitbull convention in Paris. Expect the seismic shocks to be felt in Guam.
Jonathan Davies on BBC One:
"Absolutely incredible. You can't imagine how the Scottish feel. I can't believe what happened in the last 10 minutes of the match. The yellow cards were crucial - Scotland were in a position to win but they were silly errors. What incredible scenes at the end. I feel so sorry for the Scots, it was a tremendous effort, in particular Dan Parks, but what a game, what a finish."
You may never see a final 10 minutes like that in international rugby. And once again, you have to say it all stemmed from a sin-binning: Alun Wyn Jones last week, Scott Lawson this, both very naughty boys. Tough on Scotland though, not sure they deserved to lose that. Cardiff looks like it's gone ruddy berserk.
80+ mins: TRY Wales 31-24 Scotland
Scotland have to kick off, and Wales come smashing back at them, cudgel-like. Space everywhere, but Stephen Jones opts to kick... Leigh Halfpenny gathers, very nearly burrows over, before the ball is shipped back left... Andy Powell comes back inside, but there's Shane Williams in space, and he dives over for the winner. Extraordinary...
79 mins: PENALTY Wales 24-24 Scotland
Stephen Jones very nearly picks the lock, as Scotland fling themselves into tackles like lemmings. WHAT A FINISH! Roberts bursts through the middle, offloads to Byrne, Byrne kicks ahead and is cynically taken out by Phil Godman. Off goes Godman, straight red, and Wales opt for the draw, Stephen Jones kicking the three-pointer...
78 mins: TRY Wales 21-24 Scotland
Finally Wales are rewarded for their attacking intent - Shane Williams receives the ball standing still, but manages to slip the ball right, where eventually Leigh Halfpenny
receives the ball from Lee Byrne and scampers under the posts. Stephen Jones with the extras, three points in it.
The Cardiff faithful think they've clawed a try back, in fact they think they've clawed two back - first Wyn Jones can't quite get there with an outstretched arm, before Roberts barrels over, but gets pinged (rightly) for blocking.
Ten from 10 line-outs from Scotland, they've been solid all over the park. Shane Williams jinks and slinks but can't find a way through, before replacement hooker Scott Lawson is binned for going through the ruck and pulling in scrum-half Richie Rees. Phenomenally silly, he was already on a warning.
Wales finally get the scrum to work and what happens? They knock on. Cusiter with the box kick, Byrne runs it back and kicks, and Scotland win the penalty after a fine take from Cusiter. Time running out for Wales...
Warburton on for Williams in the back-row for Wales, as Scotland get a ticking off for offside. Wales opt for the scrum. Chaos at the set-piece, four attempts, and still nothing doing. Penalty to Wales, and they opt for the scrum again... we could be here some time...
67 mins: DROP-GOAL Wales 14-24 Scotland
Parks, like a quarter-back marshalling his team-mates at the moment, puts up the cross-kick, but that's a phenomenal take from Shane Williams, leaping like a salmon and nicking the ball from two Scottish attackers. Wales think they've got it clear, but what a drop-goal that is from Parks
from miles out, the visitors 10 points clear again. Harem-scarem...
Parks finds touch in the Wales 22, but this time Huw Bennett finds his man. Scotland win it back and Alan Jacobsen, like a mini rhino, goes on the larrup. Parks goes for another drop-goal from a fair distance out and is charged down. But Scotland retain possession and Scott Lawson flips it to Barclay who goes on a rumble, not his first of the day. Rory Lamont skips through a couple of tackles but is unable to get the ball to Blair... Scotland knock-knocking...
Gethin Jenkins is off, that calf looks to have gone again. These scrums are a bit of a joke now at international level - another one goes down, and this time it's Scotland who are penalised. Stephen Jones gives the ball a clout, but Scotland burgle the line-out and break free.
Scotland make changes - Jacobsen and Lawson on for Ford and Dickinson. Halfpenny knocks on and it's Scotland's put-in. Scotland put a few phases together, before Wales win the scrum for accidental off-side.
56 mins: TRY Wales 14-21 Scotland
... forget what I just said, Wales have just scored - Shane Williams has lost none of that pace, that's for sure, he goes outside Sean Lamont with ease before passing to Lee Byrne, who crashes over in the corner. Stephen Jones misses the extras, but Wales are right back in the hunt.
Wales with all the possession, but it's like waves lapping up against some cliffs at the moment - slight erosion, but the Scottish cliffs don't look like they're about to collapse into the sea any time soon.
Rees, Jenkins, Bennett and Davies all on for Wales now. Byrne with the chip ahead and Rory Lamont gathers and retains the ball. Bread of Heaven now rattling round the rafters as Wales keep coming in waves. Hook sees space, cocks the hammer, but the ball dribbles over the Scottish try-line.
Turnover ball for Wales in the Scotland 22, and Wales are on the swarm. For a moment Scotland look vulnerable, but Hook fumbles trying to free his hands for the offload and Scotland clear.
Confusion in the Scotland ranks, no-one keen to claim the Welsh kick, before Max Evans very nearly latches onto an interception - catch that, and he scores. Hook very nearly picks himself a gap, but he's snagged. That was Kerry Brown who went over for that Scotland try that wasn't.
Halfpenny with the garryowen, the ball falls Cusiter's way, the Scotland scrum-half scampers down the line and manages to offload inside, but Sean Lamont gives a forward pass out to John Barclay (I think) who rumbles over for the try... only it isn't a try, because Lamont's pass was a shocker, miles forward. Big let-off for Wales, although Cusiter looked to be in touch.
42 mins: PENALTY Wales 9-22 Scotland
Richie Rees is on for Blues team-mate Gareth Cooper at scrum-half for Wales. Lee Byrne tries to rumble out of his own 22, stumbles and then gets pinged for holding on. Parks
doesn't miss from there, and Scotland extend their lead.
I believe, Anon (see below), that Shane Williams wears his rat's tail in honour of former light-welterweight king Kostya Tszyu. Here come the players, we'll have play in a couple of minutes...
Anon via text on 81111:
"Re Scotland v Wales. Can someone else confirm that Shane Williams has grown some sort of rat's tail in his hair? And then try to fathom why?"
Jonathan Davies on BBC One:
"Scotland have played very, very well, error-free rugby. They've played the positional game and turned pressure into points. There's been nothing flashy, except for the Evans try. Wales made far too many errors throughout the first half. They just haven't played."
Tom Fordyce in Paris on Twitter:
"Gasps of astonishment in the bars around St Denis as Scotland cross for those two tries. Is this a day for away teams to upset the odds?"
Well well well, who would have predicted that? Scotland fizzing, Wales looking down in the dumps. The visitors were all over Wales there, bullying them in fact. And what about Dan Parks? Yes he's kicked a fair bit, but there's been a lot of variety as well. Any way back for Wales? You betcha...
40 mins: PENALTY Wales 9-18 Scotland
Wales earn a penalty just before the break, it's Stephen Jones
five metres in from the left touchline... over it goes, and he becomes the 10th player to reach 800 international points.
Thom Evans is stretchered off and we resume with a Wales throw five metres out. Blair is on the left wing by the way, as Gareth Cooper goes on a snipe. Big hit by Euan Murray on Andy Powell, the ball goes left, Byrne takes it up, loses it, gets it back, and Wales go right. Left again, and this time Lee Byrne overruns the pass from Roberts. Just no give in this Scotland defence, it's like watching hail ricocheting off a windscreen.
Nathan, N Yorks, via text on 81111:
"How can Ryan Jones justify his place in the Wales team? He's the most ineffectual number 8 I've seen for a long time in international rugby."
Thom Evans seemed to have jarred his head taking a hit from Lee Byrne, and Mike Blair will replace him. Strange old performance this from Wales, although you have to say Scotland have been magnificent. Evans still down, looks like a serious one.
Parks drifts back into the pocket, and only a lone charge-down from Martyn Williams pressures him into pulling it slightly left of the uprights. Massive hit on Thom Evans from Gareth Williams, but Evans keeps on charging. Roberts now on the counter, the ball is swung left, but Andy Powell opts to kick and the ball dribbles into touch. Alun Wyn Jones looks down and out - he doubled up with Williams on Evans - as does Thom Evans, and his one doesn't look good.
Dan Parks with another teasing kick over the top, but Byrne just manages to nab it before the onrushing Brown. Parks is playing a blinder, that's an absolute mule of a kick into the Welsh 22...
Rory Lamont we think will go to full-back and Max Evans will take his place on the wing. Things getting scrappy as half-time approaches, although Lee Byrne almost dynamites a hole in the Scotland defence, but the defence is granite.
Parks gives it some humpty, but Lee Byrne returns the ball with interest for a line-out on the 22. The Welsh getting their shorts pulled down at the contact at the moment, but that's magic from Shane Williams - beats Cusiter on the outside, leaves Paterson for dead with a step off his left boot, before Scotland kill it. Off goes Paterson, frustrating on his 100th cap, before Stephen Jones hooks his penalty attempt.
26 mins: PENALTY Wales 6-18 Scotland
Scotland have had 64% of the possession, and Wales have missed six tackles, which sums up the game so far rather well. Wales penalised for collapsing the scrum, and Paterson hands kicking duties to Parks... peach of a strike, three more points...
23 mins: PENALTY Wales 6-15 Scotland
Andy Robinson has every reason to look smug - all the talk was of Scotland playing an ultra-defensive game today, and they've got 15 points on the board after just 20 minutes. Wales penalty though, and Stephen Jones
slots it from distance.
20 mins: TRY Wales 3-15 Scotland
Wales looked spooked: Sean Lamont skips out of a couple of tackles and goes on a bullocking run, but decides to kick. Then John Barclay throws off a couple of tackles, the ball goes left, Parks puts through a grubber which is as sweet as a nut and Max Evans
is onto it like a rat up a drainpipe. Wales getting pummelled... Paterson misses from the left touchline, that's his first miss in the competition for three years.
18 mins: DROP-GOAL Wales 3-10 Scotland
Three more points for Scotland - plenty of phases, but they committed too many men to the rucks and only had one option: back to Parks
and see if he can stick over the drop-goal. That he does with some aplomb.
16 mins: PENALTY Wales 3-7 Scotland
More trouble at scrum time, and this time it's Scotland who are penalised, Euan Murray not binding properly. Stephen Jones
pops over the three-pointer and the deficit is four points.
Jamie Roberts rips into the Scotland half as Dan Parks goes for the intercept, but the Wales centre is snagged and hauled down before the hosts knock on again and Scotland get the scrum.
Paterson solid under the high ball, but he gets a right old clattering. Bit of ping-pong, before Parks slices off the outside of his boot...
Looks like Max Evans will be on shortly for the injured Paterson. Wales struggling to find any rhythm at the moment, and they engage early again, and Parks sticks up the garryowen...
9 mins: TRY Wales 0-7 Scotland
Good hands from Scotland, and they have an overlap down the right flank, but there are only forwards there. Sean Lamont it was who saw the space... and it's a Scotland try! Cooper and Hook slide off flanker John Barclay
and he canters over. That's his second for Scotland, and guess what happens next? Two points for Paterson...
Paterson looks to be struggling with a shoulder injury, although he looks to have run it off. Wales engage too early and it's a Scotland free-kick. Slow ball though, and that's what Parks is there for, "boom" goes his right boot.
Wales stretching the Scottish defence this way and that and they should have done better there - bit of space going left but Cooper fumbles the offload from Hook. Bit of uncertainty from the Welsh back three, before we get a spot of ping-pong, and the ball goes dead for a Scotland drop-out...
Good long throw to Kelly Brown at the rear of the line-out and the big man needs a couple of men to stop him. But that's not clever from Jim Hamilton, giving Adam Jones a bit of a shoeing, and Wales relieve the pressure.
Stephen Jones gets the game under way for Wales, and Scotland have an early penalty for holding on.
Plenty of Scots in at Cardiff, Flower of Scotland is getting a right old throttling. Land Of My Fathers almost takes the roof off the place. Oh wait, there isn't one. Well there is, but you know what I mean... However, the good news is it's a clear day in Cardiff, so at least the hosts might lob the ball about a bit...
Right, think that's all sorted, here come the Welsh, the Scots already out on the pitch. Crash, bang, wallop, what a noise...
Scotland coach Andy Robinson:
"We've got to score points when we're in the Welsh half, we've got to build the pressure. It's a good Welsh defence, they handled the English well at times. The key today is winning, but we'll try to play a mixed game..."
Apologies, we've got some technical problems... again... think we're back up and running now, although all my text appears to be merging into one incomprehensible blob of nonsense. Here's Andy Robinson...
Wing Leigh Halfpenny is back in the Wales side today, and the Cardiff man scored his country's third try against Scotland last year. It's his 11th cap. And of course Alun Wyn Jones retains his place, despite that bit of silliness against England last weekend. Just saw an interview with him, looked like he was going to cry. I agree with Jonathan Davies, getting a bit boring now...
Jonathan Davies on BBC One:
"Scotland, from their selection, don't look like they're going to pass it much. Dan Parks will kick it and the two centres will take the ball up in midfield..."
Some classic old footage on BBC One at the moment: just about every member of 'that' Wales backline could make you look like a ruddy idiot with a well-timed sidestep. Talking of sidesteps, Shane Williams needs just one try to equal Gareth Edwards' Welsh Championship record of 18.
From thistleboyexile on 606:
"Eventually someone with a clue about the game of rugby will notice Godman is simply out of his depth in EVERY match he has ever played for Scotland..."
Scotland have beaten Wales once in Cardiff in five attempts in the Six Nations, and Wales have won five of the last six meetings in the competition (they lost 21-9 at Murrayfield in 2007). If Scotland do win today, your man Chris Paterson will probably pay a key role - it's his 100th cap today, and he's the first Scotsman to reach that milestone. A legend?
1300: Hello my friends, hello. First up we've got Wales v Scotland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and the hosts are very heavy favourites with the bookies to win this (1-5, in fact, with the Scots a distant 10-3). Bit of a spat about roofs in the build-up, and I have to say I'm on Andy Robinson's side: it's like turning up to a shove ha'penny tournament and they're using wood instead of slate. Nightmare.
From knowsit on 606:
"As England have proved on many an occasion in Paris, if the French get 'spooked' and the weight of expectation gets to them, then they are there for the taking!"