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Six Nations as it happened

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By Tom Fordyce

1902: So then - Ireland look good for the Triple Crown, Scotland the wooden spoon, Wales a major re-think and England.. well, how long have you got? See you next week for the deciders and denouements...

From BBC Sport pundit Andy Nicol: "If I think back to how I felt in Cardiff when Scotland had a draw and threw it away, then I suppose it's good, but Scot should have won that game. They had more than enough chances and yet again didn't score a try."

And now Jeremy Guscott: "I was delighted when Ben Foden came on - he showed energy and ambition. He's 5ft 8in and 12st and he smashed Kellock over like he wasn't there. When did you last see Steve Borthwick do that? He has pace so when is in a corner he can still make yards. England have not had a player who can do that since Jason Robinson retired."

This from BBC expert Lawrence Dallaglio: "England lacked dynamism and a spark. Scotland were there for the taking but England didn't get out of the blocks. They have some serious thinking to do before Paris."

1853: It's all over, and the strangest of hushes falls over Murrayfield - no-one wanted the draw, and the players are at a standstill.

FULL-TIME: Scotland 15-15 England

80 mins: England drive and drive - it's got drop-goal written all over it - Flood in the pocket, 35 metres out - Care spins it back... Flood for the Calcutta Cup... charged down! Charged down, and Scotland will hack clear - time is up...

79 mins: England scrum on the Scotland 10m line. Time nearly up. Endless re-sets...

78 mins: Foden goes - mugged by Sean Lamont, and there's a half-chance of a break - acres of space deep to be kicked into and chased, but he goes for the off-load and the ball is knocked on. There's a chance for someone to be a hero in these last two minutes - who will it be?

76 mins: It's chaos out there - frenetic, desperate, messy. Rory Lawson pinged for pulling back his man - Flood has a chance from one yard inside the Scotland half - the ball hangs in the air for an age, for an age... and hits the padded section on the post just below the crossbar. My giddy aunts...

74 mins: Who said 'draw'?

73 mins: Finally England have some ball. Stodgy drive, panicky passing. Youngs looks for Foden but they run out of room on the left win. Courtney Lawes on for Deacon.

71 mins: Bodies lying everywhere - Kellock is smashed backwards by Foden, remarkably, and then Danielli goes on a slicing dart. Scotland can't use that territory and possession, though. Godman on for Parks. How's the nerves?

67 mins: PEN Parks Sco 15-15 Eng ... and comes off the post into Scotland hands - they're on the line, they must score - no, ball goes left instead of right. Wasted again, but England are offside - oen under the bar, and over it goes this time. Danielli on for Southwell.

66 mins: Jonker looks ready to give a yellow card here - Flood is offside, but he's going to get away with it as he wasn't on the pitch when the previous warning was given. I think. Parks to bring it level from 49m on the angle - hits the post!

63 mins: PEN Flood Sco 12-15 Eng Re-set follows re-set. Easter drives, then Moody, then Cole - not much progress, but there's a penalty coming, and Flood can't miss that.

61 mins: England scrum five metres out. Moody on for Haskell, Steve Thompson on for Hartley. Johnson throws the dice.

60 mins: Jacobsen with hands in the ruck, and Flood will kick to the corner. Finally some field position for Johnson's men.

58 mins: Super work from Hartley, coming in after the tackle and forcing the pen as the ball-carrier hangs on. Flood with the chance from 42 metres - pushed wide. This is going down to the wire, isn't it?

57 mins: Great clearing kick from Flood. England now have three scrum-halves on the pitch, if you include Foden. Testing times.

1820: Monye is stretchered away, and Ben Youngs will come on in his place on the wing. What a time and position to make your debut.


1817: Monye now in a neck-brace, with four medical staff around him. Cross those fingers.

56 mins: Brown being helped off, and Alan Macdonald will replace him. Monye still down, and the stretcher is on.

55 mins: Cusiter snipes and is almost through - the ball goes wide right, and - ow-wow-wow. Kelly Brown and Monye crash into each other with a dreadful smack, and both men look sparko here.

53 mins: England go off their feet again, and Jonker's almost had enough. "Next one goes in the bin," he tells Borthwick. Parks with the chance from 30 metres - hits the post! Waste, and there's no-one following it up.

51 mins: PEN Parks Sco 12-12 England Haskell's turn now to be pinged for not releasing the man - southern hemisphere ref, James, it's not rocket science. Parks slides over a tester from wide to bring us back to parity. Glorious it ain't, tense it is...

48 mins: PEN Flood Sco 9-12 England England off-load and off-load - Scotland are called offside, which looks very, very harsh - accidental, surely. Flood's first chance to make an impact on the scoreboard, and he strokes it down the middle. England in front for the first time - and here comes Ben Foden, on for Armitage.

45 mins: Haskell has a pop, and Cole is then stopped in his lumpy tracks. Turnover ball, but Cusiter wastes it with a woeful kick straight into touch.

43 mins: Scotland making progress again - Evans has a joust against Borthwick, and Wilkinson gets a bash on the head. Looks all over the shop, the no.10, and Toby Flood will come on in his place.

41 mins: PEN Wilkinson Sco 9-9 Eng Daft from Jim Hamilton, kicking the ball out of Care's hands. Wilkinson does the honours from 35m. Rock-solid off the deck, wobbling with ball in hand, the fly-half.

From BBC Sport pundit Austin Healey: "It's a real test of Martin Johnson's leadership. We know how loyal he is, but fact is there needs to be changes - England weren't good enough in that half."

From BBC Sport pundit Chris Paterson : "I think Scotland taking a lead into half-time is hugely important. We've gone through the phases but haven't really got the points on board we've had liked. It's a tight game and nobody wants to make a mistake, but I've been very impressed by Scotland's attack and there are some encouraging signs."

From BBC Sport expert Lawrence Dallaglio: "I've been disappointed with England. They lost last time out against Ireland and I expected them to come out firing - I was expecting a lot more."

1748: Scotland had 66% of the possession in that half, and completed 106 passes to England's 32. Ooof. Toothless, but at least they're baring their gums. England have barely done that.

HALF-TIME: Sco 9-6 Eng Well, it's as pretty as a prop's backside. Absorbing? Ish.

From BBC Sport's Brian Moore (after a tedious series of re-set scrums): "If I was the referee, I'd say to both props 'if you can't keep this scrum up, you're both going off to the bin and we'll get people on who can - we haven't all come here to see you dig for victory'."

39 mins: DROP-GOAL Parks Sco 9-6 Eng Scotland trundle forward a yard at a time, Parks goes back in the pocket and hacks over the ugliest three points of the year so far. Still counts for three though...

36 mins: Endless scrum re-sets. Terrible mess. Ref Jonker needs to get tough here.

33 mins: Scotland go through the phases and get quick ball, but England defend well and Parks gambles on another wasteful dropper from distance. Nowhere near.

31 mins: PEN Wilkinson Sco 6-6 Eng Murray was pinged for bringing down the scrum - Wilko lines it up from 38m ish, and he's nailed that. Leading points scorer in tournament history again, overtaking O'Gara.

30 mins: Hello - fisticuffs o'clock. Hartley has a swing at Ford, and borthwick isn't happy with Euan Murray here - fingers are pointed. "That's dangerous!" he shouts at Cusiter, who tells him to take a stroll somewhere fragrant.

From eirebilly on 606: "Scotland are playing very well today. It must be a worry for England that Wilkinson is continuing to sit so deep in attack. He almost stands in the inside centre position and it is really slowing England's attack down."

29 mins: Monye is dumped on his rumpo by Morrison. England are awarded a pen which Care taps and goes, but the vim dies a slow death out wide and Armitage knocks on. Let's put it down to nerves.

26 mins: Dear oh dear. Hartley with a crooked throw on the England line-out. Harumph.

24 mins: England finally win a line-out but are driven backwards 10 metres and are then turned over. Scotland spread it right but Southwell lobs it straight into touch. You can almost here the hoots of derision drifting on the wind from the southern hemisphere.

22 mins: Parks goes for a daft dropper from about 40m on the angle and misses by several streets. Greedy-guts.

20 mins: Parks loves that cross-kick - good snag from Monye under pressure. Scotland in the ascendancy.

18 mins: PEN Parks Sco 6-3 Eng Another Scotland pen as they seek the five pointer - Wilkinson looks like he's picked up a stinger there. This time Parks will go for the slots - easy peas. England must have been close to a yellow there.

17 mins: Parks with the cross-kick - Evans gathers, and England are pinged for not releasing the man. They kick to the corner...

14 mins: PEN Wilkinson Sco 3-3 Eng Scotland's forwards go off their feet under their own posts, and Wilkinson settles his team's nerves. Level pegs.

11 mins: Good dynamism from Deacon, barrelling through. Wilkinson has numbers out wide but goes for the miss-pass and flings it straight into touch. Exactly the response from the Murrayfield crowd that you'd expect.

9 mins: Here come the Killer Bs, rampaging into the England line. Parks misses touch with a pen - wasteful - and the game is sloppy in its early stages.

6 mins: PEN Parks Scotland 3-0 England Cole is penalised for not releasing in the tackle, and Parks has chance 40m out - straight down the middle, and that's just the start Scotland wanted.

5 mins: Wilkinson has possession and space and opts for a cross-kick in search on Cueto - miles too long, swallowed up easily by the covering man.

3 mins: The pitch is cutting up badly at the first scrum, and ref Marius Jonker wants this re-set.

2 mins: Nice inside pass from Wilkinson, and Monye is half through, only to spill the ball in contact. Promising angle.

1 min: We're off - straight into a kick-kick-kick exchange. Cueto goes long and England have territory.

1658: Princess Anne decides not to sing the anthem that praises her mum. The day before Mother's Day. Is there some protocol I'm unaware of?

1654: Steve Borthwick leads his England team out as bagpipes wail an ear-splitting warning. and here's Dan Parks, leading Scotland out on the occasion of his 50th cap.

This from England manager (and former England forward etc etc) Martin Johnson: "Conditions are pretty good, so it should be fine. Scotland will have a certain amount of desperation, and that will make them play with fire, and we need to match that - but it also makes them vulnerable. Our guys are looking forward to playing again - it's been quite a long wait since the Ireland game."

This from Scotland coach (and former England forward) Andy Robinson: "There's a really special feeling here today. I've really enjoyed the build-up all week, and now it's all about delivering the result."

1640: You know how bad the weather is in Edinburgh - sleet, wind, freezing fog? Not this time. Sunny, warm, dry as a bone. No excuses.

From BBC Sport's Ben Dirs in Edinburgh: "My cabbie said he liked Brian Moore. I feel a wind of change up here..."

1628: Right - let's clamber aboard the Metaphorical Express and shoot over the Irish Sea from Dublin to Edinburgh. Wasn't the best of games in Ireland - can Scotland and England surprise us and produce something better?

From BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies: "Wales have had no platform, the pace has gone from their game and they've got real problems in their line-out. It's been a really disappointing Six Nations for them."

From BBC Sport's Keith Wood: "At least Ireland managed to rack up some points and they've a decent chance for the Triple Crown. But they are back on track."

1624: Just seen the Lee Byrne yellow card again - fair shout, in retrospect, because he slapped the ball away off the deck as O'Leary tried to spin it. If Scotland hadn't panicked in the last 10 minutes at the Millennium Stadium, Wales would be staring at a wooden spoon decider next weekend.

From BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies: "I thought Ireland were very flat and didn't create much at all - but they were very clinical and took their opportunities when they came."

FULL TIME: Ireland 27-12 Wales There we go - Ireland march on towards the Triple Crown, Wales sink lower down the table. Solid and professional from the hosts, sloppy and very disappointing from the visitors.

78 mins: Shane goes again with a grubber down the left, but the ball goes into touch. Ireland closing this one out clinically.

76 mins: DROP-GOAL Sexton, Ireland 27-12 Lovely strike from the youngster, and that will help his confidence.

74 mins: Wales have passed the ball over 180 times, Ireland less than half that - but look at the scoreboard.

72 mins: Ireland penalised again - Hayes turning in at the scrum - and Jones will kick to the corner. Wales gather and plough on, but Delve gets isolated and Ireland will clear. 15 pens conceded by Ireland, but as at Twickenham, they've used their smaller slice of possession far more effectively than their opponents.

70 mins: Huw Bennett on for Matthew Rees. Hook comes dashing on on the angle but Shane's pass to him is forward. Sloppy.

68 mins: Ghastly period of play, Wales going sideways, Hook coughing up the ball, O'Leary booting the ball out on the full. Game is drifting to an obvious conclusion.

65 mins: Lots of perspiration from Wales, but it's all a bit sideways. BOD wraps up Roberts, Halfpenny has no room out on the left and Ireland will have the line-out. Warburton on for Martyn Williams.

62 mins: PEN S Jones Ireland 24-12 Wales Dwayne Peel on for Richie Rees. Ireland penalised again for off-feet nonsense, but they're quite happy shipping three points. Andrew Bishop on for Lee Byrne, who looks injured to me.

59 mins: TRY Earls Ireland 24-9 Wales Lovely pick-up from BOD, O'Leary batters through like a centre and Earls is there again, handing off one man and rolling through Shane's tacle to touch down in the left-hand corner. Game over. Sexton misses the conversion.

57 mins: Sexton struggling with his kicking from hand today. Jamie Roberts starting to make in-roads, but Charteris is penalised for holding on. Wales guilty of wasting a big possession and territorial advantage in this half. Ian Gough on for Bradley Davies.

54 mins: PEN S Jones Ireland 19-9 Wales Ref Joubert is being very, very tight at the breakdown - both BOD and David Wallace repeatedly in trouble. Easy slot, and Wales stay alive.

53 mins: Welsh pen 30m out, and Jones will kick to the corner as Wales look for big points.

50 mins: PEN Sexton Ireland 19-6 Wales Earls kicks deep, and Byrne is struggling here - he gathers and takes the ball into touch, but is then penalised for throwing the ball away - penalty, right out wide. What can Sexton do this time... straight through the middle, and Wales will be kicking themselves.

48 mins: Massive shove from Ireland, and they rumble Wales off the ball. Sexton will kick clear, and Wales come away without a bean. Key moment?

47 mins: Another penalty for collapsing the scrum. Wales will ask for the scrum again. Big pressure.

46 mins: Good shove on the scrum, Richie Rees goes for the line - pen given, but Wales opt for the scrum 5m out.

44 mins: Better from Wales. They bash and burrow to within 10, but have Ireland turned that over? Scrum to Wales, decent attacking position.

42 mins: Kick follows kick follows kick. Who wants it?

41 mins: Ireland knock-on from the re-start.

1532: Big problems for Wales at the line-out, big holes in the defensive line. Shorten the first, fill the second. Rog for Sexton if it gets tight with 20 to go?

BBC Sport pundit Jonathan Davies: "This is exactly where we want to be - only 10 points behind!"

"When are Wales going to learn that you can't play Test matches with 14 men - especially against a side as confident as Ireland?" Former Wales skipper Colin Charvis

40 mins: HALF-TIME Ireland 16-6 Wales Great work from Earls this time, hacking through and almost gathering in the corner. Ireland's half.

37 mins: PEN S Jones, Ireland 16-6 Wales Wales with their best few minutes of the match - nice off-loading, the back row burrow and rumble. Shane has a dart, Roberts is held up just short and Keith Earls is penalised for handling. Three points from Jones, but Wales wanted more there.

34 mins: Ireland 16-3 Wales Hook in trouble at stand-in full-back - the kick goes deep, Hook chances his luck against BOD and gets very lucky as referee Craig Joubert penalises the Ireland skipper for going off his feet. Lee Byrne back on.

30 mins: TRY O'Leary, Ireland 16-3 WalesDear oh dear - O'Connell off-loads to his scrum-half 20m out, and where's the Welsh defence? Richie Rees nowhere, huge gap, and that was all too easy. Sexton fades the conversion wide - if he wasn't having such a place-kicking nightmare, Wales would be in even more bother. Another big old hill to climb, all the same...

29 mins: Wallace down clutching his face after a stiff-arm hand-off from Matthew Rees.

26 mins: TRY Earls, Ireland 11-3 Wales Quick pen from Ireland with Wales in disarray - O'Connell, BOD, Earls crashing through on the angle, and he rolls over to touch down. Wales half asleep there, and quick thinking from Ireland has brought them another priceless try. Ooof - terrible attempted conversion from Sexton - he's hit the post and missed from bang in front.

24 mins: Hook half through, but Wallace turns over Byrne - the full-back holds on too long, and he's been yellow-carded. Harsh.

22 mins: PEN Sexton Ireland 6-3 Wales Ah, lovely - inside pass from Sexton to Bowe, galloping through on a dreamy angle - Bowe needs support, but someone's been hauled back illegally. Pen in slottable position, Sexton does the honours. Kearney on for D'Arcy - Earls to centre?

20 mins: Sloppy from both sides, Sexton clattering his garryowen straight into touch. D'Arcy getting some treatment for a bang.

16 mins: PEN Sexton Ireland 3-3 Wales Ireland put the ball through hands out wide, find Cian Healy and then work it the other way - Jonathan Thomas off his feet now, and Sexton has another chance to break his duck, 35m out and off to the left - yup, curled over with sweet contact.

13 mins: Better from Wales, Delve taking the line-out and rumbling on, Bradley Davies bashing on - BOD is penalised for going off his feet, but Jones pushes his kick across the nose of the posts. As you were.

12 mins: Spot of directionless kicking, and it goes a little quiet at the Park.

9 mins: PEN S Jones Ireland 0-3 Wales Better line-out from Wales, and S Jones will barrel through - Sexton is pinged, and that's a simple three-pointer to take the lead.

7 mins: Nice kick through from Lee Byrne, but O'Connell bags the line-out with consummate ease.

5 mins: Half-break from Sexton, but D'Arcy knocks on. Ireland on top in the opening exchanges.


3 mins: Fleet of foot from David Wallace, and Wales go offside in midfield. Sexton has a sinkable chance straight down the middle from 35m, but drags it to the left of the posts. Murmurs of consternation around Croke.

2 mins: Cheeky kick-ahead by Jones, but Ireland steal the first Welsh line-out. Ominous.

1 min: Stephen Jones gets us underway; Geordan Murphy bags the catch.

1441: There we go. Hairs on backsid... I mean, hairs on back of neck stand up. super scenes. All set?

1435: We'll have the anthems. Sing-song and silence as appropriate, please.

1431: The incomparable Brian O'Driscoll leads his men out on the occasion of his 100th cap for Ireland. Best player in Six Nations history (note Six not Five)?

1430: Here comes the Welsh team, walking slowly out through the tunnel. The delay will be a short one.

1426: Breaking news from Dublin: kick-off has been delayed. Lots of traffic problems around the ground. I'll keep you posted.

1423: Decent old atmos building at Croker. Flags being waved, refrescos being quaffed, lips being licked.

From BBC Sport expert Jonathan Davies: "Previous games have had a lot on them for both sides: Grand Slams and so on. Today, I don't think either side are going to win the championship now so hopefully they'll think 'let's throw it about a bit'."

1415: Reasons to be cheerful for Ireland: they've only lost five times at home in 26 matches since 2000. Fearful: Wales have got to play for 80 minutes at some point, haven't they?

1410: Reasons to be fearful for Wales: that Irish back row. Reasons to be cheerful: they've scored a try on every visit to Dublin since 1970. And Ireland conceded 14 penalties last time out at Twickenham.


From RKW Bred on 606: "Ireland to win by 6, Scotland to snatch a late win by 3."

From BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in Dublin: ""Leprechauns, leeks +daffodils in abundance@Croker. grey skies+gentle breeze, but all set 4 a craicer.""


1353: A sprinkling of stats to whet the appetites: Ireland have beaten Wales in eight of their last ten meetings. On one side, BOD with his 100th cap; on the other Martyn Williams with his 95th. Scotland (cover your eyes, wearers of the kilt) have won just one of their last nine Six Nations matches, and have lost four matches in a row. On the other hand (uncover eyes, kilters) they've beaten England in their last two meetings at Murrayfield.

1345: Now then. This is what I call a Saturday. Ireland v Wales up first (prelim thoughts: easy on eye, plenty of fun) followed by Scotland v England at 1700 (prelims: dour yet compelling).



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see also
Ireland 27-12 Wales
13 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations photos
13 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Scots legends relive 1990 Grand Slam
11 Mar 10 |  Scotland
England drop Wilkinson for Flood
17 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Robinson positive on Scots draw
13 Mar 10 |  Scottish
Wilkinson unfazed by poor form
09 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 15-15 England
13 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Championship legends - Brian O'Driscoll
10 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll plays down 100 'hype'
12 Mar 10 |  Irish
Centurion O'Driscoll hails Jones
12 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Williams eager for Bowe battle
10 Mar 10 |  Welsh
Ireland v Wales
11 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
England 16-20 Ireland
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Italy 16-12 Scotland
27 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott Q&A
08 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations table
10 Aug 06 |  Tables
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union


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