With round 2 of the u/20 Six Nations done and dusted, and the teams enjoying a well-deserved break before round three starts 22 February 2019, it is time to reflect on the past two weeks' performances and maybe risk a prediction or two for the rest of the Championship.
Ireland - 9 league points
Ireland started the tournament with what must be the shock of the tournament. They defeated the experienced and bookies' favourites of 2019 England with 35-27. Surprisingly "wooden spooners" Scotland frustrated Ireland to a 24-5 win on Friday allowing them only 4 league points from the match. Head coach MacNamara said, "Scotland made it very, very difficult for us, so you have to give them credit for a pretty obstinate defensive performance". Ireland, however, is still on top of the log with 9 league points.
England - 5 league points
England who is/was the bookies favourite to win this championship has lost their first match against Ireland, who is currently unbeaten. On Saturday afternoon they had a must win against the 2018 champions France. Saturday's win of 31-19 earned them a bonus point win which was largely due to the performance of the English pack. Such was the dominance of the pack that a try, penalty try and two penalties were their direct contributions to the English total of 31 points.
France - 5 league points
France raced to an easy win against Wales (32-10) in their first-round match earning them the maximum 5 points for their effort. In their second match of this championship, they came up against a determined English side who were dominant from the set-pieces throughout. England secured a well-deserved 24-12 lead at half time. The second half saw a better performance by France with each side only scoring a converted try a piece, to end the match with a 31-19 win for England.
Wales - 5 league points
After a big loss of 10-32 against France in their first match of the championship Wales surprised everybody in recording a bonus point win against an Italy side which was very confident after their first-round victory against Scotland. Wales who lead 21-0 at half-time continued their dominance in the second half and won 42-12 on the back of a brilliant hat trick by Taine Basham to record their first win for the 2019 Championship.
Italy - 5 league points
Italy's first-round win (32-22) against Scotland earned them the full 5 league points but they came up against a Welsh team that proved too hot to handle for Italy. Italy was never in the picture against Wales and went down 12-42 in a match where they defended most of the time.
Scotland - 0 league points
Scotland season thus far can be described as too many mistakes and lapses of concentration to earn a win. Scotland lost against Italy (22-32) in a match where they left things too late with mistakes in judgement cost them certain points on the board. Against Ireland (5-24) they came up against the league leaders whom they frustrated the whole match, however, again too many mistakes cost them converting frustration into winning points.
In conclusion: Ireland is in the lead with 4 league points at the moment and must be the favourites to win the 2019 championship but England, France, Wales and Italy are all on 5 league points and are just waiting for the Irish to make a mistake. Scotland is improving with every match and could be the team to determine the winner of this championship. They will be quick to remind you of last seasons' win against the English (24-17) which cost England the 2019 Championship.