Campbell Burnes has written on rugby since 2000 for a wide variety of publications, both in print and online, whilst also contributing to television and radio shows. His major gigs have seen him at Rugby News magazine (2005-12), in which he covered 50 Test matches, and the New Zealand Herald (2014-17). Burnes is one of the few in rugby media to have played international rugby, having appeared for Manu Samoa in 1995 and 2000 (seven games) as a No 10.Read more exclusive columns
Six Nations Wrap: Round 4
Campbell Burnes 12 Mar 2018 Getty Images
It all means that Ireland has now gone five years unbeaten at the Aviva in the Six Nations, and has a shot at a third Grand Slam, after the 1948 and 2009 sides. The Crusaders’ assistant coach Ronan O’Gara will be watching the St Patrick’s Day Twickenham clash with England intently, as his nerveless late drop goal against Wales helped Ireland to the 2009 Grand Slam.
Scotland played with tempo but not the requisite accuracy and it must he frustrating for coach Gregor Townsend, who has the makings of a decent team, but is now facing the minor placings again.
Tries from @JacobStockdale @SeanCronin2 & @ConorMurray_9 & a MOTM performance from @KearneyRob saw Ireland record a bonus point 28-8 win against Scotland. #TeamOfUs #NatWest6Nations #ShoulderToShoulder #IREvSCO pic.twitter.com/6CkmhrlplQ— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 10, 2018
Italy again showed signs of more breadth to its game, but do not have quite the talent, Sergio Parisse aside, to operate effectively under such ambition. George North made a pleasing comeback in the No 14 jersey and picked up a double.
Gatland will not be happy with two yellow cards, one of which was harsh, but he will be happy that his squad depth is growing.
So all it needed was for England to follow the script and bounce back with a bonus point win in Paris to set up the decider at Twickers on Saturday.
Instead, a staunch defensive display from France stymied England’s startling lack of intensity to the tune of 22-16. The breakdown continues to cause England headaches. It does not command the ball here and is heavily pinged. In an otherwise dreary encounter, the key moment was the penalty try awarded to France for Anthony Watson tackling Benjamin Fall high while he was in the act of scoring. From New Zealand TMO Ben Skeen’s recommendation, Watson was binned and a penalty try given. It was reminiscent of Lachie Boshier on Ryan Crotty in the first Kiwi round of Super Rugby.
What more drama awaits the final Six Nations round this weekend as Ireland seek to make it a match to remember against the old foes?
15 Rob Kearney (Ireland)
14 George North (Wales)
13 Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
12 Hadleigh Parkes (Wales)
11 Jacob Stockdale (Ireland)
10 Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9 Conor Murray (Ireland)
8 CJ Stander (Ireland)
7 James Davies (Wales)
6 Johnny Barclay (Scotland)
5 Sebastien Vahaamahina (France)
4 Cory Hill (Wales)
3 Tadgh Furlong (Ireland)
2 Guilhem Guirado (France)
1 Cian Healy (Ireland)
Don't miss your chance to get advanced access to tickets for the upcoming Steinlager Series against the French.
Join the team now to get started: https://t.co/LTat9d3u3U#TeamAllBlacks pic.twitter.com/jFKP7NE5E2— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) March 6, 2018