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 , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
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Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
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ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Preview
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
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Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
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Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
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ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
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Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
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Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
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Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
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Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26