Six Nations Live

Six Nations Live

IT Fri, Mar 16
 

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  • 14:17
    You've just joined us as Welsh wing Alex Cuthbert crosses for a try and Leigh Halfpenny adds the conversion to settle nerves. Dimitri Yachvili had given France the lead with a penalty.
  • 14:19
    France are enjoying plenty of ball but their forcing the odd pass. Wales are starting to get into a rhythm into what has been an entertaining first quarter. It's light years removed from the turgid fare in Rome where Italy's 13-6 victory gave them a first win in this season's Six Nations and a hapless Scotland the wooden spoon.
  • 14:21
    In the Women's Olympic hockey qualifier at UCD, Ireland have got their campaign off to an excellent start with a 5-1 win over France. The Irish men will be hoping to book a place in tomorrow's final when they play Malaysia later this afternoon and adge a step closer to London 2012. Only the winner of the tournament gets that coveted place.
  • 14:23
    France have conceded a penalty, wing Alexis Palisson adjudged not to have released the ball in the tackle. Halfpenny bisects the posts from the 22 metre line.
  • 14:24
    In the English FA Cup Everton and Sunderland drew 1-1 at Goodison Park.
  • 14:26
    Lionel Beauxis is just kicking away ball after ball now as the French are becoming a little introverted rather than pursuing their usual expansive style.
  • 14:28
    In the All Ireland Club Hurling Final Loughiel Shamrocks of Antrim have beaten Offaly's Coolderry by 4-13 to 0-17.
  • 14:29
    Sorry. Too much sport going on here. That Women's Olympic hockey qualifier is on in Belgium rather than UCD. The Irish men are of course on later this afternoon in Belfield.
  • 14:33
    France have been penalised again. It'll be the last kick of the first half and Halfpenny is the man charged with extending the home side's lead and nudging them closer to a Grand Slam. He's hit the post and Harinordoquy gathers. Referee Craig Joubert blows the whistle for half-time.
  • 14:35
    France, after a bright opening, just don't seem to know what style of rugby they should pursue and have fallen down between a kicking game and the wider approach they adopted in the opening 10 minutes of the half. They look a little lost. Not sure too many Welsh supporters will care about the aesthetics of their own team's performance as long as they to continue to hang onto the lead.
  • 14:39
    With 90 minutes to go to the kick-off at Twickenham, you can spend half-time during the match in Cardiff reading Gerry Thornley's preview of the Irish game here

    Here's Matt Williams take on Ireland's chances in London here
  • 14:41
    It's not quite hymns and arias in Cardiff but unless France completely change their patterns and decide they're going to have a real cut, then a Welsh Grand Slam, their third since 2005, looks a certainty.
  • 14:44
    There were precious few highlights from Italy's 13-6 win over Scotland at the Stadio Olimpico but here's how the home side won their first match of the tournament. Read
  • 14:45
    They've just started again at the Millennium stadium.
  • 14:46
    Wales have lost their captain Sam Warburton to injury. He didn't reappear for the second half and has been replaced by Ryan Jones.
  • 14:48
    The 20 year old Clermont Auvergne wing Jean-Marcel Buttin is on for the injured Clement Poitrenuad and on cue his just launched a brilliant counter-attack and forces Wales to concede a penalty close to their own line.
  • 14:50
    Beauxis lands the penalty and French coach Philippe Saint Andre has freshened his front row replacing William Servat - possibly his last game for France - and Jean Baptiste Poux with Dimitri Szarzewski and Vincent Debaty.
  • 14:51
    France had raised the level of their performance and Wales look like their feeling a little pressure at the moment.
  • 14:52
    Beauxis misses a snap drop goal, a dreadful choice given the quality of the lineout ball and the numbers outside.
  • 14:54
    Great turnover from stand-in Welsh captain Gethin Jenkins. Wales need to hold their nerve and trust the patterns that have got them to this point in the tournament.
  • 14:56
    It's great stuff in Cardiff, the ball it getting plenty of air.
  • 14:58
    Wales awarded a penalty a couple of metres inside their own half and Halfpenny's scrum cap is off: he's having a go and what a wonderful strike, clearing the crossbar with plenty to spare.
  • 15:00
    Francois Trinh Duc is on for France in place of Palisson. That'll require a reshuffle in the visiting backline.
  • 15:01
    Trinh Duc is gone to fullback with Buttin shifting to the wing.
  • 15:02
    One more score for Wales and it might break the French resistance.
  • 15:04
    Garrycastle lead Crossmaglen Rangers 0-5 to 0-4 after 15 minutes of the All Ireland Club Football final at Croke Park.
  • 15:07
    Great cross-kick from Beauxis to Buttin almost catches Wales napping. French penalised for an early engagement at a scrum on the Welsh 22. Ooh, la, la; that's so frustrating for the visitors. Louis Picamoles is on for Bonnaire.
  • 15:09
    Referee Joubert misses a French knock-on but to the delight of an anxious home crowd the touch judge does not.
  • 15:11
    Luke Charteris and Lloyd Williams are on for Alun Wyn Jones and Mike Phillips. 17 minutes to go. France penalised again at scrum time. A free-kick. Wales go for another scrum.
  • 15:12
    Wales give away a penalty at a ruck for not rolling away. Beauxis punts down the touchline and takes play into the Welsh 22.
  • 15:13
    Fritz bashes it up, then Picamoles, then Szarzewski but six metres from the Welsh line, France concede a penalty at a ruck.
  • 15:15
    Saint Andre is furious. A bit of kick-tennis which Wales win, thanks to a great punt from Rhys Priestland. Julien Pierre on for Pape.
  • 15:16
    Wales have certainly got the benefit of any 50/50 interpretations from referee Joubert.
  • 15:17
    Wales seven points ahead, 11 minutes remaining and they're in the French 22.
  • 15:17
    George North goes into a ruck like a back and gets penalised.
  • 15:20
    France have a lineout on the Wales 10 metre line. Beauxis up and under, Halfpenny loses it, ball breaks free but Harinordoquy bucthers a try scoring chance by not passing to an unmarked team-mate outside.
  • 15:22
    Fate seems to be smiling kindly on Wales. Hang on they've been penalised at a scrum. Morgan Parra, just on for Beauxis, lands the penalty. Sweaty palm time for the home side. Six and a half minutes to go.
  • 15:24
    Great run from Halfpenny. Wales have a lineout..........no wait Joubert has adjudged that Trinh Duc threw away the ball after being bundled into touch. Halfpenny takes off the scrum cap, the Welsh supporters belt out hymns and arias, as the Welsh fullback stands over the 22 metre penalty.
  • 15:25
    He makes no mistake. Seven up, four minutes left.
  • 15:26
    French discipline beginning to crumble. Concede a penalty and then a further 10 metres for questioning the decision.
  • 15:27
    Wales on the French 22. PIck and drive, jamming it around the fringes. It's horrible to watch. Priestland takes on the drop goal but it drifts right and wide. 90 seconds.
  • 15:28
    Wales win the re-start. Nothing flowery about what they're going to do with it now.
  • 15:29
    30 seconds left, Wales still in possession. Grand Slam time. Hymns and Arias now reaching a crescendo. France penalised.
  • 15:29
    Priestland kicks to touch. Wales are Grand Slam champions.
  • 15:32
    It's party time in Cardiff. There won't be a square inch to be found in a pub in the Principality. It's a second Grand Slam for Welsh coach Warren Gatland (2008, 2012). Dan Lydiate is man of the match.
  • 15:33
    Players are soaking up the approbation of their delighted supporters. Chip Alley is Cardiff is going to get some business later this evening.
  • 15:37
    The Ireland Men's hockey team drew 1-1 with Malaysia in Belfield a result that earns them a place in the Olympic qualifier final tomorrow at the same venue. They'll play Korea, against whom they drew, during the pool phase of the tournament.
  • 15:38
    The presentation party is ready to welcome the Welsh squad to the podium in Cardiff to receive their medals and then the Six Nations trophy.
  • 15:41
    Welsh captain Warburton holds the trophy aloft. It's just 20 minutes to kick-off in Twickenham as England host Ireland in the final match of the 2012 Six Nations Championship.
  • 15:43
    There's plenty at stake in London quite apart from pride and bragging rights. If Ireland win they climb to fifth in the world rankings but will drop to eighth if they lose. England will retain their fourth place if they win but plummet to seventh if they are beaten.
  • 15:45
    Watching the RTE rugby promo. It's scary and not in the way they meant it. Every Irish stereotype present.
  • 15:49
    George Hook and Brent Pope are fighting about Jonathan Sexton. Somebody's going to have to put all the toys back in the pram when this is over.
  • 15:54
    It's been raining pretty much all day in London. The England and Ireland teams are due out momentarily.
  • 15:59
    A moment's silence for New Zealand's Jock Hobbs and Welsh legend Mervyn Davies. Time for the anthems.
  • 16:01
    A look of grim determination on the faces of the Ireland players during Ireland's Call. There's plenty of tension there.
  • 16:02
    England players are belting out God Save The Queen. It's raining heavily again.
  • 16:03
    England will kickoff through Owen Farrell.
  • 16:04
    We're underway. Sean O'Brien gathers the the ball. Eoin Reddan box-kicks. Irish knock-on. England scrum.
  • 16:05
    Cian Healy slips and is penalised. Farrell will take on the posts, looking to add to the 43 points he's scored in five tests.
  • 16:07
    It's not the prettiest ball flight but it's accurate. First blood to England. Sexton re-starts long.
  • 16:07
    Lee Dickson slices his clearance kick. Ireland lineout just inside the England 22.
  • 16:08
    Jamie Heaslip knocks on after a perfectly flighted throw to the back.
  • 16:10
    Dickson's next clearance kick is half-blocked but goes into touch. Reddan did very well to get his hand on it. England win the lineout.
  • 16:11
    Rob Kearney's up and under is too long and English fullback Ben Foden clears over the halfway line. Ireland win the lineout. Reddan box-kicks.
  • 16:12
    Nice inter-play between backs and forward for England but Botha knocks-on in midfield.
  • 16:13
    Croft turnover but Ireland win ball back and a great charge up the touchline by Earls but this time it is an Irish turnover and England clear.
  • 16:14
    Great chip from Gordon D'Arcy. Dickson fumbles the ball into touch. Ireland lineout eight metres from the home side's line.
  • 16:15
    Donncha Ryan loses ball forward after Heaslip wins lineout. First burst of Swing Low
  • 16:17
    Great cut-out pass from Best to set Earls free that time. Conditions are very difficult. Fields of Athenry rings out. Long range drop goal from Kearney hits an upright. Wonderful effort, very unlucky. Ireland offside.
  • 16:17
    Ryle Nugent has just said that Kearney has come back to his absolute best if not better. Eh?
  • 16:18
    Great work from Ireland captain Rory Best to force a turnover.
  • 16:20
    Sexton up and under. Foden spills the ball under pressure and Brad Barritt plays the ball from an offside position. The Irish outhalf lines up a penalty from 23 metres 15 metres to the left of the posts.
  • 16:21
    Straight and true, Ireland are back on level terms.
  • 16:22
    Great clearance kick from Andrew Trimble under pressure brings play to the halfway line.
  • 16:23
    Great Irish aggression in defence but Sean O'Brien is penalised for contesting the ball off his feet.
  • 16:24
    Superb surge from O'Brien from a turnover at the lineout but D'Arcy and Trimble gets the wires crossed and the ball is knocked on.
  • 16:25
    Ireland's scrum is penalised again but Farrell sends penalty down the touchline, taking play to the Irish 22.
  • 16:27
    Scrum. England put-in 30 metres from the Irish line.
  • 16:29
    Reddan is penalised for kicking the ball out of the England scrum. Silly stuff and a cheap penalty. Best is warned by referee Nigel Owens about the number of penalties Ireland are conceding. Farrell lands the penalty.
  • 16:31
    Ireland's discipline needs to improve. Great turnover O'Brien but D'Arcy has drop goal charged down. Wasn't a good option.
  • 16:32
    Ireland scrum on England 22, slap bang in the middle of the pitch. Good attacking opportunity.
  • 16:36
    Lots of huff and puff from Ireland but they haven't really threatened any line breaks. Handling is very difficult. Referee Owens has spoken to the respective captains about an incident which appeared to suggest gouging. It appears Best brought his attention to something. Owens said he didn't see it and there have been no replays.
  • 16:38
    Ireland scrum 30 metres out. England win it. Ben Morgan races 30 metres. An Irish hand knocks the ball out but D'Arcy slices his kick into touch on the full. Too many errors.
  • 16:41
    England build the phases but Ryan and Healy force England to concede a penalty. There's precious little rhythm to the game, most of the play taking place in the middle of the pitch. Ryan knocks-on.
  • 16:43
    England have turned over another Irish scrum; absolutely obliterated it. Ireland then compound matters by giving away another penalty at the breakdown. This is a gimme for Farrell. He doesn't miss.
  • 16:44
    Five minutes to go to half-time and Ireland coach Declan Kidney is going to have to do some straight talking. Scrum coach Greg Feek is also going to earn his money.
  • 16:45
    Mike Ross may have been playing with an injury. Yep. He's been replaced by Tom Court.
  • 16:46
    Ireland win a lineout, go to a maul inside the England 22, but have possession stripped and England come away. Kearney catches, kicks and re-rathers brilliantly.
  • 16:47
    Sexton kicks down the touchline bringing play into the English 22. Two and a half minutes to the interval.
  • 16:49
    Ryan wins the lineout, O'Brien and Ferris punch it up but Trimble opts to offload when he should have taken the tackle and gone to ground. It's another miatkes that could have been avoided.
  • 16:50
    Ireland are awarded a penalty in injury time. Superb work from Ryan in contesting at the breakdown. Sexton has an opportunity from 21 metres about 15 in from the touchline on the right.
  • 16:52
    It's good and Ireland trail by just three points at the interval. England coach Stuart Lancaster will be livid. Dickson's dithering, and not for the first time in the half, cost the home side dearly.
  • 16:54
    There's so much to address for Ireland at the interval. Only O'Brien and Ferris are getting over the gain-line. The back play is far too lateral and the general Irish game management lacks variety. In fairness to the backs the ball they're getting is static. Conditions are very difficult but Ireland need to be more accurate in retaining possession.
  • 16:57
    That'll come down to good technique and better decision making in possession. Ireland are trying to play their patterns but they have to take into account a greasy ball. The Irish defence has been good but it's what they do with the ball that'll determine their fate.
  • 16:58
    England have spilled almost as many balls but they're more orthodox in what they're trying to do. Both coaches will reinforce the need to play territory, protect the ball better in contact and not try and force passes.
  • 17:02
    It'll be interesting to see if Ireland adopt a more pragmatic approach in the second half, taking ball up around the fringes and trying to suck in England defenders. They need to force the home side to commit more numbers to rucks, creating more space out wide.
  • 17:04
    The RTE panel are calling for the introduction of Ronan O'Gara with Sexton moving to inside centre. They'll probably get their wish before the 60 minute mark if things persist in the same vein for Ireland. Sexton starts the second half.
  • 17:05
    Healy loses the ball in contact. England are double teaming the Irish ball carriers.
  • 17:05
    It's all a little pedestrian from the visitors, one out runners, lacking support and getting isolated.
  • 17:06
    Ireland lose another scrum. Court is being twisted across.
  • 17:08
    The scrum is becoming a living nightmare for Ireland. They win this one under huge pressure but Reddan's poor pass to Ferris goes forward. If Ireland's set piece woes continue they are going to lose this match because the number of handling errors will mean plenty of scrums.
  • 17:10
    Reddan kicks poorly. Foden counter-attacks. Croft races clear but loses the ball forward as he goes to give what would have been a try scoring pass. Ireland scrum 15 metres from their own line.
  • 17:11
    England mince the Irish scrum, forcing the penalty. This could be a long 32 minutes for the visitors because the way this match is going there could be 50 more scrums in the match.
  • 17:12
    Farrell posts the penalty. O'Gara on for D'Arcy, O'Leary on for Reddan, Ben Youngs replaces English scrumhalf Dickson.
  • 17:15
    Morgan turns over ball and two rucks later England are penalised 24 metres out in front of their posts. Sexton kicks a third penalty. Ireland are hanging on.
  • 17:16
    O'Leary box-kick goes straight into touch. England lineout on Irish 22. Another silly mistake.
  • 17:18
    Excellent aggression in defence from Ireland.
  • 17:19
    Great chip from Farrell. No option for O'Leary but to carry ball over his own line. England scrum five metres out. This is a game defining moment. Time to get behind the couch. This might be grim to watch from an Irish perspective.
  • 17:21
    Scrum one. re-set. Scrum two. re-set. Scrum three?
  • 17:22
    England penalty. Owens has gone to the television match official to see if he blew the whistle before England scored a try.
  • 17:23
    Whistle was blown first. Penalty England. Will they go for a scrum? You bet they will.
  • 17:23
    Ireland are a whisker away from conceding a penalty try.
  • 17:24
    Yep. It's a penalty try.
  • 17:25
    Questionable as Morgan lost control. That looks a poor decision. Well it could be argued that the Irish backrow had splintered. Farrell adds the conversion.
  • 17:26
    England were marching forward but Morgan had lost control of the ball. It's semantics though as another re-set probably would have led to a pushover try. The next five minutes will be important for Ireland. The English chests are out, Swing Low Sweet Chariot is carrying around the stadium.
  • 17:28
    England are dominating possession and the Irish defensive line is starting to show some kinks. Poor pass from O'Leary, Bowe knocks on. Ireland are looking ragged.
  • 17:29
    Whisper it but Uncontested scrums may be on the cards at Court receives treatment. Ireland wouldn't complain.
  • 17:29
    Eamonn. Denmark Ireland must get their act together....mentally I mean and clean up their act. This game is here for the taking, The English side have not shown any real play yet.
  • 17:31
    England have just walked the Irish scrum back 20 metres. Irish backrow penalised for breaking off. 'Uncontested scrums,' are the only way Ireland have an outside chance of not shipping a heavy beating. Farrell lands penalty.
  • 17:34
    There's 15 minutes left. Great run from Earls but he doesn't spot Kearney on his shoulder. O'Leary tries the cross-kick to Heaslip inside the English 22 but it just eludes the Irish number eight. The one bright moment on a gloomy night for the visitors in London.
  • 17:35
    A technical glitch meant that Eamonn's first half observations only surfaced just now. He was right in what he said at the time.
  • 17:36
    Another scrum, another Irish penalty concession.
  • 17:37
    Ireland kick out on the full. The error-count from the visitors is off the scale.
  • 17:39
    England are playing intelligent rugby hitting the ball up with their big forwards and then kicking in behind. Kearney, arguably Ireland's best player on the day, knocks-on.
  • 17:40
    No arms in the tackle from Tuilagi. Should have been a penalty, Owens whistles for an Irish knock-on, one or two he could have chosen from subsequently. English scrum 10 metres from the Irish line.
  • 17:43
    English penalty. Youngs takes it quickly and dives over for a try. It's now a rout. Twickenham on St Patrick's Day is a depressing place for the Irish. Farrell misses the conversion but it hardly matters.
  • 17:43
    England are emptying their bench.
  • 17:44
    Fergus McFadden is on, Peter O'Mahony has been for a while, so too MIke McCarthy. Sean Cronin on the way.
  • 17:46
    Irish turnover from a lineout. England are doing as they please and yet another penalty conceded by the visitors. Thankfully England have not opted for a scrum. Farrell kicks the penalty.
  • 17:47
    Ben Morgan is named at man of the match. Deserves the accolade.
  • 17:49
    It's over. A blessed relief from an Irish perspective. England produced an intelligent second half display that took into account the conditions and their utter dominance in the scrum.
  • 17:52
    The strains of Swing Low can be heard over the post match interview with Morgan. The English team return to acknowledge their supporters.
  • 17:58
    The post mortem for Ireland could be quite painful. It'll start with the scrum but in truth virtualy all aspects of the Irish performance were substandard.
  • 18:02
    Ireland's worst performance in a Six Nations for 10 years with two wins and a draw. It will mean also that they will drop to eighth in the world rankings.
  • 18:04
    Ireland coach Declan Kidney explained that Mike Ross had damaged a shoulder about 15 minutes before he came off and then added that 'a few things came home to roost.'
  • 18:06
    Ireland's summer itinerary, three test matches in New Zealand in June, now looks a horrendous assignment.
  • 18:21
    Okay the Ireland Men's hockey team are in action tomorrow at Belfield. They take on Korea with the winner earning a place in the London Olympics. The teams drew 1-1 in the pool phase.
  • 18:25
    That's it. It's now back to the provinces for most of the Irish players and hopefully happier days in both the RaboDirect and Heineken Cup tournaments.