England rode their luck once more against Six Nations Rugby 2017 Live Wales to make it two Six Nations wins from two this weekend, while Ireland registered a big victory over Italy.Scotland, meanwhile, couldn't follow up their impressive win against the Irish with victory on the road against FranceAfter another thrilling round of fixtures, Sportsmail's WILL KELLEHER picks his team of the weekendDespite what he calls the "massive blow" of losing captain Greig Laidlaw to injury, Hastings believes Vern Cotter's side can win next SaturdayAnd the Scots will be aiming to recover from the defeat by France in Paris.It's a big match and I think home advantage might be just about enough to get them over the line," said HastingsScotland began this year's tournament with a 27-22 win over Ireland but fell short away to France on Sunday, losing 22-16.
Over the same period, Wales have enjoyed a 33-7 triumph in Italy and endured the pain of a 21-16 home loss to England.It's an interesting game, with both teams having lost by the narrowest of margins last weekend," Hastings told BBC Sport.I just hope we see a game played with the same level of intensity that we saw in Cardiff and Paris at the weekend.It's going to be a cracker.Hastings lamented the absence of Scotland's "great leader" Laidlaw, the influential scrum-half who will miss the rest of the campaign with ankle ligament damage.He's got a cool head, his kicking is immaculate and he leads by example and I think he'll be a big loss to Scotland," said the former British and Irish Lion.But Scotland did a pretty good job against Ireland and came close to France but they will have to keep it up against Wales because they are a very fine team."
Another former Scotland captain, Al Kellock, told BBC Radio Scotland that the absence of Laidlaw's skills both as a scrum-half and as a captain "would be a loss to anybodyOn who might replace the Gloucester number nine as skipper, Kellock said: "I think they'll have to wait and see who is in good shape after the weekend. John Barclay took over as captain, closely followed then by Jonny Gray. Ryan Wilson will come back to fitness, who I would imagine will have his hat in the ring. Henry Pyrgos has already captained Scotland; he might be somebody who could come in and take over from Greig.The Six Nations Rugby 2017 Live Stream former Glasgow Warriors lock praised Ali Price for his contribution from the bench against France, as he replaced Laidlaw, and predicted the kicking duties against Wales would fall to fly-half Finn Russell, with full-back Stuart Hogg taking the long-range penalties.Laidlaw, 31, suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the 22-16 defeat by France last weekend.
The Gloucester scrum-half left the Stade de France on crutches on Sunday and his injury was assessed following his return.Scottish Rugby confirmed the 58-time capped player sustained ligament damage against the French.The extent of the damage is such that he will take no further part in the current championship," Scottish Rugby added in a statement.Laidlaw will see a specialist later in the week to determine the best course of management and estimated time out of the sportLaidlaw was replaced by Glasgow's Ali Price in Paris. John Barclay, who took over as captain, also departed with a head knock before half-time, only for his replacement John Hardie to suffer the same fate early in the second half.Scotland hooker Ross Ford believes the side will be able to "shoulder the burden" without their injured captain.Greig's a massive part of the squad and he's a great leader," said Ford.But we've got a leadership group together that's been there helping Greig out.
Whatever does happen, the boys will be able to step up and take that role on and move forward.We do it as a group and Greig's the focal point, but we've got a group of leaders there who can shoulder the burden and take it on.Speaking on Saturday before he knew the extent of his injury, Scotland head coach Vern Cotter said: "Greig has a big part to play as captain and half-back, but Ali played well when he came on and the guys behind adapted well.These things do happen and we had trained for it. John Barclay and John Hardie both had head injury assessments so we will have to wait and see how they come through the return-to-play protocolsEngland are the only unbeaten side left after the first two weeks with one point separating Ireland in second and Scotland in fifthAndy Robinson’s view: “Ireland will be kicking themselves for their first 40 minutes against Scotland, England are simmering, France will be patting themselves on the back and Wales will be saying that they stood up to England and performed well. Scotland will be disappointed with the result against France but the great thing for them is that they’ve been competitive in the first two games.
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The relentlessness of Ireland against Italy was tremendous. They were poor in the first half in Scotland, sorted it out in the second half and took that on into the Italy game. Italy have had one half, haven’t they? The first half against Wales. And even then they were under the cosh.If you look through the history of the Six Nations and this year’s competition, it has been pleasing to see that we’ve had one-score games. One of the mantras I’ve always liked is that if you can keep a team under 20 points, you’ve always got a chance to win the game. Wales v England was a cracking game of rugby and it’s testament to the two defences, how well both teams performed and the level of commitment and fitness. And if you look at the defensive performances of all these sides – if Ireland had defended better in the first half against Scotland they’d have had an opportunity to win the game – if they had kept them under 20.It is the first time in four years that five of the six teams have achieved at least one victory in their opening two matches
AR: “If you look at the French side, it’s back to the traditional qualities of French rugby. To be able to play with joie de vivre, with width and offloading at will but also having Six Nations Rugby 2017 Live a very good scrum and maul. All the best French sides had a pack that people feared and this pack is starting to get to those levels. Where France were being done is their discipline. What you saw against Scotland was a much cleaner performance in their accuracy and their defence. They looked like they wanted to tackle. It’s a shame for Scotland that they lost their leadership early on but in the end the French power came through and it was back to the early 2000s where the French pack could see out the game. But credit to Scotland, their back line is really exciting. Stuart Hogg just goes from strength to strength, he can do anything on a rugby field. He’s a really exciting talent to watch.