Ah bliss. The first weekend of having the Rugby Channel installed and I tuned in to the eagerly anticipated match (for me) – Scotland V Ireland. I’ve been keen to see Ireland as I really do think they are a serious contender for the Webb Ellis trophy come September. As much as I dislike the moaning Brian O’Driscoll, I have to admit he is a fantastic centre. He breaks the line consistently. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a game when he hasn’t scored a try. (Except for the one that he has been –ahem- injured in).
On a gloomy Saturday afternoon at Murrayfield, the game was a disappointment. Scotland – although remaining tryless – did give Ireland good competition through Chris Patterson’s boot and Scotland’s committed braveheart defence. Ireland couldn’t seem to find their straps. After watching the Blues V Lions, they all looked a bit too puny and slow. Slow to the breakdown. Slow to run. Slow to tackle. There was a lot of stick it up the jumper endeavour, not matched by any flair or toughness in the forwards by either team. I think on this evidence – maybe Ireland will not be so threatening after all. I might even put myself out on a limb here and predict that England – as hapless as they have been, may come out on top out of the home nations come September.