Connect with us


Phuket Gazette World Sports: Slim pickings will be offered by Wales in finale of Six Nations



Everything to play for in Cardiff finale
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: After a painfully poor-quality weekend of Six Nations rugby that produced three tries and an off-the-chart penalty count, fans will hope that next Saturday’s title showdown between Wales and England in Cardiff lives up to its billing.

It will undoubtedly be a fantastic occasion with the Millennium Stadium at boiling point, though with so much at stake the chances of a feast of open rugby are probably slim.

England travel in search of their second title in three years and their first grand slam since the World Cup-winning year of 2003 following yesterday’s 18-11 victory over Italy.

Wales, however, will relish the chance of ruining England’s party and, having been well-beaten by Ireland in their opening game, have got themselves into a position where an eight-point win would see them retain the title they won last year.

A seven-point victory could see the title decided on try-count, where Wales currently lead 7-5, while a narrower Welsh win would see England crowned champions but miss out on the clean sweep, just as they did when losing their final game in Dublin two years ago.

Throw in the fact that the match is the last chance for players to stake claims for British and Irish Lions selection and that opposing flankers Sam Warburton and of Wales and England’s Chris Robshaw are among the front-runners to captain the party and all the ingredients are there for a day to savour.

Both sides will have to show improvements from their endeavors this weekend, which the coaches readily admitted to.

Wales ground out a 28-18 victory in atrocious conditions in Edinburgh in a match that featured a world record 18 penalty shots at goal and another record of 13 of them being successful.

They did at least manage a try, hooker Richard Hibbard driving over from close range, something that England failed to do for the first time in 19 meetings with Italy.


Stuart Lancaster’s team spent most of the second half defending in a cruelling match against a much-improved Italian side,as predicted by the Phuket Gazette (click here for article), and were only brought home by the goal-kicking of Toby Flood, whose reward for landing six out of six penalty attempts is almost certain to be relegation to the bench next week as Owen Farrell returns from a thigh injury.

“We’re delighted to get the win, but relieved,” said Lancaster after his team were forced to defend for most of the second half. “It’s a quiet changing room and we know we will have to improve in some areas for the Wales game.

“We’ll take the positives but also the things we need to do better. There was, though, a lot of good stuff to build on so we’re not overly depressed.”

Which is hardly surprising for a man who led England to second place in last season’s Six Nations and now to a shot at a grand slam.

Nobody knows better how to manage the expectation and excitement of a grand slam decider than Clive Woodward, the last England coach to achieve the sweep.

“All the little bits and pieces didn’t quite add up and they’ve got to learn from this,” Woodward told the BBC. “They are going to have to tweak the team a little bit next week but it will be a completely different game.

“It’s just a massive match. Warburton was absolutely man of the match yesterday and we’ve all been looking forward to these match-ups and Lions selection does come down to these big games,” added Woodward, who coached the Lions in New Zealand in 2005.

Lawrence Dallaglio, an integral part of Woodward’s all-conquering side, felt that Sunday’s struggles might have been a blessing in disguise.

“You have to say England have not been at their best but in a funny sort of way going into Cardiff next week it’s not the worst thing that could happen,” he said.

“If they had run many, many tries in the build-up would have been very different.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Video14 hours ago

Siam Paragon Bangkok International Fashion Week 2022

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Flash flooding to hit every region of Thailand

Thailand16 hours ago

Off-duty officer fires shots & fights with Bangkok cabbie

Sponsored24 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Thailand16 hours ago

Venomous snake emerges from parcel at sorting office in Thailand

Technology17 hours ago

Line Man Wongnai now Thailand’s largest tech startup

Thailand17 hours ago

Customer buys brand new Honda PCX motorbike with coins in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs18 hours ago

Drug chase ends in flipped car, 6 million spilled Yaba pills

Thailand18 hours ago

169 Thai police officers dismissed for serious violations

World18 hours ago

Edward Snowden received Russian citizenship

Thailand19 hours ago

American told to stop riding go-kart in Chiang Mai

Thailand19 hours ago

Thailand legalises abortion up to 20 weeks

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Nasal spray to prevent Covid hits stores October 1

Crime20 hours ago

China backs Philippines online gambling crackdown

Crime20 hours ago

Foreign gang allegedly extorts Russian couple of crypto worth US$50k in Thailand

Events22 hours ago

Meatfest will host meat cooking and eating contests in Pattaya

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11