RBS 6 Nations Round 2 Preview

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Round two of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations begins in Rome with both Italy and Ireland anxious to record a first win of the campaign. The omens are not good for Conor O’Shea’s charges, Italy never having won a round two fixture, whilst the visitors will be all out to kick start their 2017 campaign.

The focus then switches to Cardiff with top of the table Wales needing no more motivation to stop England’s record winning run dead in its tracks. The Englishmen however will not be fazed as they have been responsible for two of Wales’s last three defeats at Principality Stadium in the Championship.

The Sunday game sees France taking on Scotland in Paris with the hosts needing to turn around a disappointing run of results to keep alive their challenge for the title. On the other hand Scotland must surely have their best chance of a rare victory in Paris, a feat that has eluded them since 1999.

It’s once again all to play for in the race for this season’s Championship.

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ITALY v IRELAND – ROUND 2 PREVIEW 2017

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STATS & FACTS

  • Italy’s only victory in the RBS 6 Nations in their last sixteen games was against Scotland in Edinburgh in round 3, 2015.
  • Italy have not won a test match at Stadio Olimpico since beating today’s opponents, Ireland, there in the RBS 6 Nations round 5, 2013.
  • The Italians have lost their round 2 encounter every year since they joined the RBS 6 Nations in 2000.
  • The Irishmen have not won away from home in the RBS 6 Nations since they last visited Edinburgh in round 5, 2015.
  • Ireland have not begun a Championship campaign with a pair of defeats since they were whitewashed in 1998.
  • Ireland have lost just one of their last twenty-two test matches against Italy: 15-22 at Stadio Olimpico in 2013.
  • Ireland’s only three defeats in Italy in a test match were in Treviso in 1995, Bologna in 1997 and Rome 2013.

LAST YEAR IN DETAIL
12 MARCH 2016 (Round 4) at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
IRELAND (25) 58, ITALY (3) 15

Ireland: 15 Simon Zebo; 14 Andrew Trimble (1T), 13 Jared Payne (1T), 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Keith Earls; 10 Jonathan Sexton (3C, 1P), 9 Conor Murray; 1 Jack McGrath (1T), 2 Rory Best, 3 Mike Ross, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Devin Toner, 6 CJ Stander (1T), 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Jamie Heaslip (2T)
Bench: 16 Sean Cronin (1T), 17 Finlay Bealham, 18 Nathan White, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Madigan (1T, 2C), 23 Fergus McFadden (1T)
Test debuts: Finlay Bealham RBS 6 Nations debuts: Finlay Bealham, Kieran Marmion
Replacements used: Fergus McFadden for Andrew Trimble (20), Andrew Trimble for Fergus McFadden (28), Fergus McFadden for Robbie Henshaw (36), Robbie Henshaw for Fergus McFadden (40), Ian Madigan for Johnny Sexton (49), Sean Cronin for Rory Best (49), Nathan White for Mike Ross (54), Ultan Dillane for Devin Toner (54), Kieran Marmion for Conor Murray (59), Rhys Ruddock for CJ Stander (61), Finlay Bealham for Jack McGrath (65), Fergus McFadden for Jared Payne (71).
Tries: 9 – Trimble, Payne, McGrath, Stander, Heaslip (2), Cronin, Madigan, McFadden Kicking: Sexton (3/6 Con, 1/1 Pen) Madigan (2/3 Con)

Italy: 15 David Odiete (1T); 14 Leonardo Sarto (1T), 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Mattia Bellini; 10 Edoardo Padovani, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani; 1 Andrea Lovotti, 2 Davide Giazzon, 3 Dario Chistolini, 4 George Biagi, 5 Marco Fuser, 6 Francesco Minto, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 8 Sergio Parisse
Bench: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Quintin Geldenhuys, 20 Braam Steyn, 21 Alberto Lucchese, 22 Kelly Haimona, 23 Luke McLean
Test debuts: Pietro Ceccarelli, Oliviero Fabiani, Alberto Lucchese RBS 6 Nations debuts: Pietro Ceccarelli, Oliviero Fabiani, Alberto Lucchese
Replacements used Quintin Geldenhuys for Marco Fuser (26), Braam Steyn for George Biagi (35), Pietro Ceccarelli for Dario Chistolini (54), Oliviero Fabiani for Davide Giazzon (54), Kelly Haimona for Gonzalo Garcia (54), Luke McLean for Edoardo Padovani (59), Alberto Lucchese for Guglielmo Palazzani (61), Matteo Zanusso for Andrea Lovotti (71).
Tries: 2 – Sarto, Odiete Kicking: Padovani (1/1 Pen) Haimona (1/2 Con)

Scoring sequence: 6’ Trimble (T) 5-0, 14’ McGrath (T) 10-0, 14’ Sexton (C) 12-0, 23’ Padovani (P) 12-3, 26’ Sexton (P) 15-3, 29’ Stander (T) 20-3, 39’ Heaslip (T) 25-3, 42’ Payne (T) 30-3, 43’ Sexton (C) 32-3, 48’ Heaslip (T) 37-3, 49’ Sexton (C) 39-3, 53’ Cronin (T) 44-3, 54’ Madigan (C) 46-3, 57’ Odiete (T) 46-8, 58’ Haimona (C) 46-10, 63’ Madigan (T) 51-10, 74’ Sarto (T) 51-15, 78’ McFadden (T) 56-15, 79’ Madigan (C) 58-15.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia) Attendance: 51,700 RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match: Donnacha Ryan


WALES v ENGLAND – ROUND 2 PREVIEW 2017

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STATS & FACTS

  • Wales have won their last four test matches since their 8-32 defeat by Australia at Principality Stadium on 5 November – which was also their only defeat in their last ten tests at the venue.
  • Wales have not begun a RBS 6 Nations campaign with a pair of victories since they took the grand slam in 2012.
  • England are in the midst of their best ever run of victories in test matches – the sequence currently standing at 15 straight wins since Australia beat them in RWC2015.
  • England have won their last seven RBS 6 Nations matches, their best run in the Championship since 2002-2004.
  • England’s only defeat to Wales in their last five encounters was 25-28 at Twickenham in RWC2015.
  • England have visited the Principality Stadium on ten previous occasions since the millennium where their record is an even won 5, lost 5.
  • Since the 2010 RBS 6 Nations tournament Wales have lost only three games at Principality Stadium, and two of those were to England, in 2011 and 2015 – the other was to Ireland in 2013.

LAST YEAR IN DETAIL
12 MARCH 2016 (Round 4) at Twickenham Stadium, London
ENGLAND (16) 25, WALES (0) 21

England: 15 Mike Brown; 14 Anthony Watson (1T), 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell (1C 6P), 11 Jack Nowell; 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 George Kruis, 6 Chris Robshaw, 7 James Haskell, 8 Billy Vunipola
Bench: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Danny Care, 22 Manu Tuilagi, 23 Elliot Daly
Test debuts: None RBS 6 Nations debuts: Luke Cowan-Dickie
Replacements used: Mako Vunipola for Joe Marler (56), Danny Care for Ben Youngs (63), Manu Tuilagi for George Ford (63), Jack Clifford for James Haskell
(67), Kieran Brookes for Chris Robshaw (71), Luke Cowan-Dickie for Dylan Hartley (71), Elliot Daly for Jonathan Joseph (74), Joe Launchbury for George Kruis
(78).
Tries: 1 – Watson Kicking: Farrell (1/1Con, 6/6 Pen)

Wales: 15 Liam Williams; 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North (1T); 10 Dan Biggar (1T, 1C), 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Scott Baldwin, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Bradley Davies, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Sam Warburton, 8 Taulupe Faletau (1T)
Bench: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Rhys Priestland (2C), 23 Gareth Anscombe
Test debuts: None RBS 6 Nations debuts: None
Replacements used: Paul James for Rob Evans (53), Tomas Francis for Samson Lee (53), Ken Owens for Scott Baldwin (53), Justin Tipuric for Sam Warburton
(56), Luke Charteris for Alun Wyn Jones (63), Rhys Webb for Gareth Davies (63), Rhys Priestland for Dan Biggar (73).
Tries: 3 – Biggar, North, Faletau Kicking: Biggar (1/1 Con) Priestland (2/2 Con)

Scoring sequence: 9’ Farrell (P) 3-0, 18’ Farrell (P) 6-0, 20’ Farrell (P) 9-0, 31’ Watson (T) 14-0, 32’ Farrell (C), 16-0, 45’ Farrell (P) 19-0, 53’ Biggar (T) 19-5, 54’ Biggar (C) 19-7, 65’ Farrell (P) 22-7, 67’ Farrell (P) 25-7, 73’ North (T) 25-12, 74’ Priestland (C) 25-14, 76’ Faletau (T) 25-19, 77’ Priestland (C) 25-21.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa) Attendance: 81,916 RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match: Maro Itoje


FRANCE v SCOTLAND  ROUND 2 PREVIEW 2017

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  • France have lost their last three tests since beating Samoa 52-8 in Toulouse in November.
  • France have been defeated in their last three matches at Stade de France but have not lost four in a row at the venue since 1999-2000.
  • Since 1982 France have only once begun a Championship campaign with a pair of defeats, and that was in 2013 when eventually they were the recipients of the “wooden spoon”.
  • Scotland’s victory over Ireland in round 1 was their third successive win since their defeat to Australia in the autumn.
  • The last time that Scotland began a Championship campaign with two wins was in 1996, when they only lost out on a grand slam at the final hurdle.
  • Scotland have won three of their last four matches in the RBS 6 Nations – the defeat being to Ireland in Dublin in round 5 last year.
  • Scotland’s victory over France at BT Murrayfield last year ended a ten game losing streak to the Frenchmen, whilst the last time that Scotland won successive tests against France was in 1963-1964.
  • Scotland won on their first ever visit to Stade de France in 1999, but have lost on each of their nine visits since.

LAST YEAR IN DETAIL
13 March 2016, (Round 4) at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
SCOTLAND (18) 29, FRANCE (12) 18

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (1T, 1P); 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor (1T), 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser (1T); 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (1C, 3P); 1 Alasdair Dickinson, 2 Ross Ford, 3 WP Nel, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Jonny Gray, 6 John Barclay, 7 John Hardie, 8 Josh Strauss
Bench: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Moray Low, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont
Test debuts: None RBS 6 Nations debuts: None
Replacements used: Peter Horne for Finn Russell (5), Ryan Wilson for Josh Strauss (61), Stuart McInally for Ross Ford (67), Moray Low for WP Nel (72), Tim Swinson for Richie Gray (77)
Tries: 3 – Hogg, Taylor, Visser Kicking: Laidlaw (1/3 Con, 3/3 Pen), Hogg (1/1 Pen)

France: 15 Scott Spedding; 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Virimi Vakatawa; 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Maxime Machenaud; 1 Jefferson Poirot, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 3 Rabah Slimani, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 7 Yacouba Camara, 8 Damien Chouly
Bench: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Vincent Pelo, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Sebastien Bezy, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Maxime Medard
Test debuts: None RBS 6 Nations debuts: None
Replacements used: Sebastien Vahaamahina for Alexandre Flanquart (51), Uini Atonio for Jefferson Poirot (61), Vincent Pelo for Rabah Slimani (61), Loann Goujon for Yacouba Camara (64), Jefferson Poirot for Vincent Pelo (64), Jules Plisson for Francois Trinh-Duc (68), Maxime Medard for Maxime Mermoz (68),Camille Chat for Guilhem Guirado (69), Sebastien Bezy for Maxime Machenaud (74)
Tries: 2 – Guirado, Fickou Kicking: Machenaud (1/1 Con, 2/2 Pen) Trinh-Duc (0/1 Con, 0/1 Pen)

Scoring sequence: 5’ Guirado (T) 0-5, 16’ Laidlaw (P) 3-5, 22’ Laidlaw (P) 6-5, 33’ Hogg (T) 11-5, 36’ Taylor (T) 16-5, 38’ Laidlaw (C) 18-5, 40’ Fickou (T) 18-10, 40’ Machenaud (C) 18-12, 47’ Hogg (P) 21-12, 52’ Machenaud (P) 21-15, 58’ Machenaud (P) 21-18, 66’ Visser (T) 26-18, ’75 Laidlaw (P) 29-18

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Attendance: 67,500 RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match: Stuart Hogg


 

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