3 Plastic pitches for Rugby Six Nations ?

The greasy conditions in Dublin yesterday must give the authorities cause to seriously discuss whether plastic pitches - like the one Saracens are pioneering at their new stadium Allianz Park- are the way forward for international rugby.

It cannot be right that a competition as glamorous as the Six Nations should be diminished as a spectacle by the playing conditions.

It's unfair to penalise big prop forwards for slipping when they have to scrummage on a very muddy pitch and find their feet are going backwards under the bone-crunching pressure.

England would have wanted to play a more open game, as they did against Scotland, but it was not a match for risky off-loads and adventurous play. Stuart Lancaster's England took another big step forward in the way they handled the pressure of playing a fired-up Ireland team.

But the biggest plus from this success was the way the forwards handled the frustration of several tight decisions going against them and the way they responded.

The conditions contributed to the sense of drama on an afternoon when the view from the halfway touchline resembled a scene from M*A*S*H in the way the forwards came on and off.

The conditions dictated the style of game and it made the forward battle even more important.

Most of the crucial penalties went against England. But they showed very good composure in the way they did not panic, kept control and did not chase their tails when Ireland levelled at 6-6 midway through the second half.

It's usual in a really hard forward tussle that no single forward stands out. Chris Robshaw was voted man of the match for another heroic captain's display in which the official stats made him top tackler in the match.

Article sourced from The Daily Mail

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