Saturday, February 03, 2007

Jonny's Back - With A Vengence

Six Nations Game 2 - England vs Scotland (42-20)

What can you say? For someone who has not played international rugby for 3+ years, and has barely played more than a handful of club matches in that time too, you just have to admire Jonny's skill and determination to then come on at Twickenham and play a blinder of a game.

Whether or not you agree with the try that was awarded to Jonny in the second half, you can't deny he made a huge impact in the game.

Harry Ellis [right] was held up over the line after a few minutes, then two teams traded a couple of early penalties, then Jonny punted over another before Simon Taylor's try from a crap England lineout. Paterson converted and all of a sudden, England were down 6-10.

To be fair, most of England's lineouts were solid, and Scotland didn't seem to compete much in the air, which was a surprise.

I thought Ellis played a blinder of a game too, as did Brian Ashton who thought it was his best game in an England shirt.

A few more penalties later (to England), and all of a sudden, Billy Whizz [left], another player recently out of the Interanational wilderness, strikes for his first try of two during the game. And England went in to the break leading 17-10.

Thankfully for the English fans, there was more of the same in the second half, with Martin Corry stealing a lineout, followed by a huge shove from the forwards, a tackling error from Sean Lamont, and Jason Robinson was over the line for his second.

So, two gambles in selection from Brian Ashton paid off - and so did the third, that of Centre Andy Farrell [right]. He was passing and distributing well, made some good breaks and generally looked like a far more experienced Union player than he actually is. He worked well with Mike Tindall, too, which is great news for the midfield.

A few more points for Jonny, plus a late consolation try for Scotsman Dewey, and the final score was 42-20. Other notable points from the game - Danny Grewcock was winning his 67th cap, which made him the most experienced England man on the field. He made some great lineout jumps and generally behaved himself discipline-wise. And Jonny's 27 points beat Rob Andrew's record of 24 for a Calcutta Cup match.

Jonny and the rest of us were hugely relieved the only injury he picked up was a fat lip, and he said the rest of the game went like a dream.

So, a great start for England. Bring on Italy next week!

Or read my Ten Word Review

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