The first week of the 6 Nations 2020 rugby union took place on the weekend of 1-2 February – brief highlights of every match are in this post.
This year, the tournament is the Guinness Six Nations, after many years as RBS 6 Nations.
Guinness Six Nations are publishing the official highlights on their YouTube channel, and, as these are embed-able, I’m collecting them together for the full match week, all the highlights, in one fast-loading page, just for people like me who are fans of the sport, and to remember in future months and years what happened!
I’ll add a small amount of context under each match. If you are furiously in agreement, disagreement, or weighed down with aggressive ambivalence, you can leave a comment at the bottom… enjoy rugby responsibly!
Wales v Italy (42-0)
Wales looked very strong again this year, with a barnstorming bonus point victory at home to a lacklustre Italy side, who will be most disappointed to be nilled.
Ireland v Scotland (19-12)
The history books will show Andy Farrell’s first match in charge of Ireland was a home win, but the evidence on Saturday will show this was very, very lucky. Scotland will still be kicking themselves for a while yet that they played this well for nought. Hogg dropping the ball over the line was a low point, but lots of time in the opponent’s half went begging.
On the other hand, Ireland looked bright when they pressed forwards, and will be pleased with how they picked up the points, even if they never really imposed themselves on this match.
In Ireland’s defence, a win is a win, and Scotland looked better than perhaps we thought; they’ve kicked on from recent building seasons. They could upset Wales, England or France in 2020… if only they can find the finishing touch.
Scotland got a losing bonus point, at least, which was more than some expected they would return with.
France v England (24-17)
England lost this in a miserable 0-17 first half, after which Jonny May inspired some hope. England’s scrummaging dominance in the last 20 minutes, should, one felt, have allowed them fully back into this match. This was definitely below par from England, while France rose to the occasion. Just a magnificent sporting encounter, amid terrific noise as only the French can provide. Magnifique.
England grabbing a losing bonus point while France did not collect an attacking one may prove to be important in later weeks.
6 Nations Table – Sunday 2 February 2020
If you’re looking in a mobile, the table above probably gets a little cramped for space… below, a simplified version which maybe easier to see!
Wales got off to the best of starts with their win over Italy – a perfect points return, and zero in the “against” column.
Ireland can consider themselves a little fortunate to have a win, while England and Scotland have to content themselves with 1 losing bonus point from matches they had possession and territory to win away from home.
This looks to be an entertaining renewal, this year, as France have raised their level, while any of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have the talent to win, but show a fans-may-hide-behind-their-seats level of consistency.