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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Four-way tie in Six Nations

With the results of today's two Six Nations game finally in (it took nearly six hours before any website managed to publish the result of the Scots game) the Six Nations is now wide open with four teams on four points, though England's points difference is significantly larger - possibly decisively so.
The first game of the day saw Scotland record a narrow 13-10 victory over Italy in Edinburgh. Italy beat Scotland last year - their only Six Nations win to date - and a repeat looked very possible when Licia Stefan opened the scoring for Italy with a try after nineteen minutes. Tanya Griffith replied for Scotland just before half-time, but with their conversion missed the home team went in 5-7 down at the break. 

Italy extended their lead to five point with a penalty early in the second half, but six minutes later Griffith scored her second try to bring the scores level followed two minutes later by Louise Dalgleish’s penalty gave Scotland a lead they held on to the final whistle.

The big game of the day was still to come, however, with Wales fresh from their win over England bidding to win for the first time on French soil. The game broke new ground off the field before it even began. Interest was such that it was broadcast -live and free - on the internet by the French rugby union, the first time the French had webcast any women's international. A complete recording of the game is available (below), though for how long is unclear:

Its pretty painful viewing for any Welsh supporters, however. Kitted out in the new yellow and black Welsh "away kit" (in honour of St David's Day, apparently) Wales went into the game full of confidence but it was France who in total command throughout a first half played almost entirely in the Welsh half, going in 17-0 ahead.

Things did not improve at the start of the second half when second row Clotilde Flaugere scored her second try in the opening minute, but they responded well and in the 59th minute Non Evans scored what would be Wales’s only points after good work from fly half Naomi Thomas put her into space down the right wing. That really was the end of Welsh resistance, however, and a fourth French try rounded off a comfortable 27-5 win for the home team.

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