Planet Rugby

Preview: Women's Six Nations, Round 5

14th March 2013 11:02

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Ashleigh Baxter for Ireland Women

Held: Ashleigh Baxter

Ireland have been crowned maiden Six Nations champions and are looking to secure their first ever Grand Slam victory this weekend in Milan.

As the competition ladder tightens up and we recover from our rugby hangover there is still plenty to play for as we enter the final round.

France will not be happy at the result of their last outing but can be proud knowing they were fearless in their approach and gained some valuable experience in high pressure situations. They will need to use this experience and be completely ruthless, outmuscle and bully Scotland into submission if they are to have any hopes of finishing second on the ladder. They will need to replicate England's 76-0 scoreline to stand a chance.

Scotland on the other hand, whilst remaining winless are really challenging sides this year and if they can retain the majority of this squad, they will definitely be contenders in the years to come. Head coach Karen Findlay will want the team to focus on their basic skills to put in a complete 80 minute performance. If they can do that, they may just pull off one of the possible major upsets of the weekend.

In order to automatically qualify for the Rugby World Cup in 2014, Italy must defeat Ireland and hope that England convincingly beat Wales. Italy, with home ground advantage, will be absolutely pumped for this game after being held scoreless by England in their last outing. The forward pack will need to really contest and challenge at the breakdown. More importantly their defensive patterns will need to be on point if they are to contain Ireland's potent backline.

Ireland will need to remain extremely focused on the task at hand and not let the potential Grand Slam victory become bigger than the game itself. Whilst on the cusp of greatness for their country, they still need to do all the simple, little things right and the results will follow. Already having played in high stakes last weekend, Ireland are sure to be confident they can work hard and grind out to win this game by minimizing their basic handling errors and correcting their line-out at set-piece time.

This will be the game to watch this weekend, depending on which side of the fence you sit. It can be a great day for the Italians to make the upset of the tournament and qualify for the Rugby World Cup or be a part of the green machine in Ireland's first ever Grand Slam victory.

England and Wales are both looking to finish their tournament on a high after both winning their last two Tests. For Wales, they are looking to create the possible upset that will see them qualify for the Rugby World Cup ahead of Italy. Whilst for England, they are now playing for pride as the realisation that they will not be hoisting the Six Nations trophy for the first time in eight years sets in.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, expect to see some real attacking running rugby in this match. There will be a very open feel as both teams exchange blows and the team that plays down the right end of the field and minimizes their error rate should win on the day. Whilst this all sounds simple, we all know how extremely complex rugby can be - these ladies just make it look effortless.

By Amanda Love

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
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Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
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Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
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ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
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Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
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Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
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Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
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Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411