Ireland just about shaded the weekend, though Wales' first half performance was probably the best 40 minutes. France were a close third. The other three were way back. England just about edged out Scotland for fourth. Italy came in last. The best game was Ireland/France - by a long way. After Scotland's terrific performance against S Africa in the autumn, I was not confident of victory in Edinburgh. But Wales were terrific for an hour. And since our game against Ireland is in Cardiff, today's performance was enough to make us favorites for the Six Nations Championship, and the Triple Crown. Too soon to talk 'Grand Slam' yet. What did we learn this first weekend.
The Twickenham game demonstrated that no team can play without a scrum half. In the second half, Italy looked a match for England, even with their fifth choice scrum half. Most surprising aspect of the game was the domination of Andrew Sheridan by the Italian prop, who's just returned from injury. England were woeful. I cannot understand why a collection of such strong talented players can produce such a c*** performance.
The Ireland/France game at Croke Park was just fantastic. Pace, power and skill all over the field. Ireland were on fire, and had to be to beat France yesterday. The Lions captain is going to be an Irishman - but I'm not sure which. O'Driscoll was back to best.
Wales played like champions for an hour. The pack were awesome. Pushing the Scots off the try line, on their put-in was the best moment of the match for me. Lee Byrne is easily the best full back in the world. I can see Jamie Roberts and O'Driscoll pairing up as Lions centres. Lets hope Ryan Jones is back next week. Despite all the above, every Welshman will be nervous about next weekend. However well we played today, and however badly the Old Enemy played yesterday, next week's showdown is going to be the big one. I'm feeling tense already.