Rugby: Women's 6 Nations, League Challenge Cup & Gallagher Prem!


An action packed weekend of various rugby these past couple of days saw the start of the Women’s Six Nations Championship, the Rugby League Challenge Cup enter the later rounds, and the English Gallagher Premiership edging towards the business end…


Women’s Six Nations

After the completion last week of the men's competition, we now have the ladies' turn. 3 matches, same nations… and in this tournament England’s ‘Red Roses’ tend to reign supreme, so would that be the case this year?

Scotland v England

The short answer is yes! They were a little bit messy in the early minutes against the Scots but kept their noses out in front. Then in the second part of the first half they started tightening the screw and running in a few tries. Going in at half-time 38-5 (and already securing the bonus point) was more than comfortable and just a case of what the final score would be or if Scotland could close the gap a little in the second half.

There were less points in the second half but England still took it 19-0 meaning the rampant Roses ran in 9 tries for a 57-5 victory in Edinburgh. They were ruthless, dominant and will take some beating.

The other match on Saturday saw Wales win in Ireland 27-19 and Sunday’s match saw the victorious French continue their male counterparts form winning at home to Italy 39-6.

Once again, France look like they will be the ones to push England the closest, so the main battle will be when these 2 face each other. Wales can’t argue with a win, and it’s just a case of how they fare against the rest.

Early days, but a good start to the tournament.

Rugby League Challenge Cup

Now onto the other code of rugby - Rugby League. This is obviously the same sport in essence to Rugby Union but with some differences. Not least there are 13 players instead of 15, differences in the point structure, and methods when tackled etc. And there is a difference in intensity and very much a north of England bias. Of course, rugby aficionados know all about this, but there may be many casual onlookers who wonder what’s going on.


The Betfred Challenge Cup is the main domestic cup competition and we reached round 6, which is the round before the quarter finals so 8 matches in all over the weeknd.

King of the Castle & Giants Stand Tall

The two I caught were Leeds v Castelford on Saturday and Barrow v Huddersfield on Sunday.

Leeds have been a bit disappointing this season and this really was a crunch match to see if they could get their season back on track. They’ve historically been a good team, I remember watching Ellery Hanley and the rest rockin’ it back in the day. Although I seem to recall Wigan being the top team back then (who incidentally won their Friday night match 20-0 against Salford).

Alas, Leeds were a little scrappy in this match, and although improving in the second half, Castleford looked the more crisp and tightened the screws, ran in a few tries and took a comfortable victory 40-16 at Headingley.

Lower league Barrow put up a good fight on their own patch in an entertaining game, but Huddersfield were just too strong. Some great moments and a well contested match but the top flight side had the edge to win 30-16.

Gallagher Premiership

We’re getting to the business end now with all to play for. Hotly contested scrap for who finishes in the top 4 to head into the play-offs. A full set of fixtures, but I’ll concentrate on ‘my’ team here - Exeter Chiefs!


They played in the Sunday game versus top of the table Leicester Tigers in Devon. The Chiefs were somewhat scrappy I must say, and the Tigers asserted a 12 point lead at half-time. Second half, Exeter improved and got close but were always just that extra score behind and the Leicester boys took it 22-17. Exeter did get the losing bonus point, which may well be crucial but they sit very precariously in fourth place.

And with that victory, Leicester qualify for the next phase whatever happens in the remaining few games. Also, a mention for the Tigers winger Chris Ashton who equalled the Premiership try scoring record of 92 when he ran in 2 tries. He’s been at several different clubs, but whatever else you may say about the guy, that is some achievement.

Plenty to come in all 3 competitions but a little round up there of the weekend that was. How about you - are you in to rugby at all, and did you catch any of the weekend’s action?

~ Adam


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