New Zealand answered their critics following a record defeat last time out against the Aussies last weekend. Does this redeem them from last weeks loss away in Australia?
Christian Wade is making waves in the NFL world. Scoring a 65-yard touchdown in his first ever game. Christian Wade is currently with the Buffalo Bills after taking part in an international training system which saw him compete for a change to be signed by an NFL franchise.
Wade left the premiership last year after falling tired of rugby life to take the oppurtunity to try and make it in the NFL.
First Half Analysis
A game of power, both teams now their style of play and it is attritional to say the least.
Leinster have ultimately looked to have won the first half, with a crucial 7-8 minutes of dominance that saw Itoje end the half 10 minutes early with a sin bin and Leinster score a converted try to take them to 10 point lead to nil.
But with Sarries in with nothing to show they came into the game and in the red evened the score at 10-10 to go into the break.
Leinster are winning possession and territory. They also have 21 defenders beate to 12 for Saracens.
There was no working back up to the game in the second half. Leinster were knocking on the door for the first 10 minutes and Saracens again forced into a huge shift to keep the men in blue out.
Newcastle Falcons may have been consigned to the Championship next year, but they still showed their class with this try against Gloucester.
Despite all the chat about it looks like Newcastle are heading to the Championship next year and no ring fencing will take place for the Premiership teams.
Newcastle finished off this effort with Flood, Williams and Dunbar linking up with a strike run which then continued with offloads between the 3 before finding Micky Young in space to run in under the posts from well within their own half.
Falcons still went on to lose 28-19 at the Kingsholm Stadium.
Danny Cipriani is included in a shortlist for the players’s player of the year awards. The English fly-half has put his mark on the Gloucester team and it seems like a match made in heaven. Not that the year started off well after being arrested during pre-season, but the ten has pulled the strings in his trademark style this year and Gloucester sit third in the table with Cirpriani a major reason for that.
Included in the list alongside Danny is Henry Slade, Cobus Reinach, Faf de Klerk and Santiago Cordero. Aside from having two nines this would make one hell of a back line.
Danny is arguably one of the most talked about players this year, with more than enough lines written about his general snubbing from the England setup despite staring in the last game of the summer tour in South Africa.
Cordero has been setting the premiership alight for the Exeter Chiefs this year, he will be looking to sign off with a premiership title before he leaves for Bordeaux next season. Cordero is leading the defenders beaten stats this year, with 98 beaten over the season so far.
Henry Slade has been the top 13 in the country this year. The link man in the outside channel, Slade has taken a real step forward helped by his consistent starting place for club and country at Outside Centre.
Cobus Reinach is the joint leading try scorer this year, sharing this with Jonny May. But Cobus has been a star in almost every game he plays, his accelleration and top speed allowing to finish off some impressive try of the year contenders.
The Premiership is awash with South African scrum half talent, next up is Faf de Klerk, possibly the leading scrum half in the world in many peoples eyes at International level at the start of the season.
The winners are due to be announced on the 8th May.
The Young Players’ Player of the year is also drawn, featuring England Internationals Tom Curry and Joe Cokanasiga featuring alongside Alex Dombrandt, Gloucester winger Ollie Thorley and Northampton centre Rory Hutchinson
Saracens are back in business in the Premiership. Wasps would have been feeling confident after taking apart Exeter last time out. But Saracens hit their straps early and by half time were in a dominant lead.
Highlight of the game has to be Will Skelton striding in from 25m out. But seeing Nathan Hughes back in form is great to see, with the 8 storming over in the second half.
Wasps end the weekend back down to earth with their playoff hopes looking unlikely, but Saracens are clearly hitting form at the right time and certainly look favourites for the title.
Battle of the Scottish teams took place, with Warriors keen to get back on top of rivals Edinburgh.
Kyle Sinkley has again come in for criticism this week after seemingly losing his cool during Harlequins game against Clermont Auvergne last weeked.
Andy Goode was commenting during his regular weekly podcast with Jim Hamilton on the Quins game in which they went on to lose after a strong comeback in the 2nd half.
Goode believes the momentum of Quins was halted thanks to Sinkler losing his cool. For more on it give the clip below on YouTube.
Harlequins went on to lose the game 32-27 in the Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final.
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An absolute nightmare to try and get hold of, Sinoti Sinoti was on it this weekend against Sale Sharks as he sent two defenders flying on a bursting run full of his trademark stepping prowess.
There is simply nobody like the Samoan in the game at the minute, completely unpredictable when trying to defend him with ball in hand.
His break was vital in the initial try for Toby Flood which brought Newcastle into the game at St. James Park.
The Falcons are now 3 on the bounce following the weekends win and very much in with a chance of survival. They now look set to battle it out with Leicester Tigers and Worcester Warriors in the relegation fight.
England 38-38 Scotland
A game and a half. England get the draw and Fordy crosses the line under the posts. One of the strangest games of rugby I’ve ever seen.
England try a maul and then hit wide but they cannot get over the line.
80’ England phases earns them a penalty, striving to get a draw out of this.
78’ England capitulated in this 2nd half, Russell rips the ball from Genge and before you know it, England back in their own 22 with a lineout.
76’ What a comeback this will be, Finn Russell running the show spots the game left in Midfield and Scotland roar through to score.
71’ England build through phases of play in Scotland half and go to the boot. Hastings calls the mark.
Farrell is off and Ford is on to replace him.
68’ Farrell gives away a penalty but Laidlaw puts it wide.
62’ England are on the attack from mistakes again give Scotland advantage with Maitland finding holes in the defensive line.
England 31-31 Scotland
60’ Scotland get a try from interception, Russell reading Farrells pass. What a game to watch.
England 31-24 Scotland
58’ Russell with a looping pass creates the space for a try. Scotland we’ll and truly back in this.
England struggling to regain control of the game.
55’ Scotland stepping up for this second half, England’s attacks not making the ground they were. Scotland wait until an England mistake. Finn puts Scotland into England 22 with a lineout after England give away a penalty.
52’ England firing back and create a break for Tuilagi. But avenge and Vunipola try to link a cause a knock-on. Scotland clear after a scrum.
England 31-19 Scotland
49” Try time again for Scotland. Chip over from Ali Price and then Bradbury crosses over after a good supporting line.
England 31-12 Scotland
47 Minutes – Scotland build and build, they end with a score in the corner for Graham to finish in the corner. Russell misses the kick.
44 Minutes – Daly kicks long and it goes out on the full. Scotland have ball in England half to attack from.
42 – Minutes an England flurry of attacking again. Dangerous attack falls apart after wayward passing. Scotland end with lineout in their own half.
Half Time – England relentless is only way to describe it.
39 Minutes – England again earning another penalty from pressure, England launch attach and a maul but it breaks down. England take it across the pitch from right to left, with Daly pinged for holding on.
Scotland miss touch and England are back at it again attacking the line, but eventually it breaks down for the end of the half and Ali Price kicks it out.
England 31-7 Scotland
36 Minutes – Farrell has his kick charged down form the halfway line and McInally gathering and finishing off, the hooker taking on the backs and finishing off a try. Well earned finish from the Scottish captain.
30 Minutes – From Scotland attacking with a lineout on the 5m, they mess up the play, give the ball to George who starts the counter attack which is finished off in style with an out the back offload from Slade to May. Scotland lost and in big trouble.
England 24-0 Scotland
23 Minutes – Another heavy attack from England ends with a penalty awarded in front of the posts. Farrell opts for 3 points.
20 Minutes – Ben Youngs nearly makes a try. England dominant after Daly returns a kick and offloads to Nowell who kicks through for Ben to finish, but a knock on is called.
19 Minutes – Scotland fighting for possession on in their own half.
England 21-0 Scotland
14 Minutes – Genge and Sinkler creating tries. The ball comes out quickly as Sinkler powers into Scotland 22, with Joe picking the ball and a quick dummy sees him finish .
England 14-0 Scotland
10 Minutes – Curry over the line, a quick and short lineout is driven over with the flanker finishing this off. Farrell adds the 2.
8 Minutes – Lineout from penalty is converted with a short line out and mail straight over the line. Training ground work paying off.
7 Minutes – Curry wins a penalty at the breakdown. ENGLAND ON THE ATTACK AND WIN ANOTHER PENALTY.
4 Minutes – Scotland have a scrum on their own
England 7-0 Scotland
1 Minute – Anything Wales can do, England can. No we’ll over for a try just past the minute mark.