No Doubt about It, Wales Have to Show Belief; Delme Parfitt Considers 10 More Things We Learned from the Latest Round of Six Nations Matches

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Byline: Delme Parfitt

NUMBER 1 IT'S ALL IN THE MIND away because of individuals' unwillingness to take on responsibility.

I AM not a consultant psychologist, but despite two victories on the trot, Wales appear to me to still be wracked by self-doubt.

When they got what was potentially a six-point swing in their favour at the end of the first-half against Italy to go in leading 21-11, there was every indication they could go on to a 30-point win. I see no evidence that they are backing themselves in the way they should. We must see some belief, some self-expression, or we will not see the best of this Wales side. Not by a long chalk.

But Warren Gatland's men went into their shells afterwards, committing schoolboy errors and kicking possession Against Ireland, as the home side, the onus will be firmly on them to set the tempo. I'd like to see them finally throw off the shackles and go out and play like they can.


The Scots were architects of their own downfall against Ireland THE reaction of Andy Robinson to Scotland's 21-18 defeat to Ireland at Murrayfield last weekend bore the hallmarks of a man under serious pressure.

Yes he had a point about multiple Irish errors not being punished sufficiently by Welsh fashion. Rarely, in the meticulously prepared world of modern Test match rugby do you see a try scored as easily as the one Jamie Heaslip harvested in the opening minutes of that game. He could have lit a cigar before strolling over.

referee Nigel Owens, but to suggest that was the reason for his team's demise was a smokescreen.

Scotland lost because they defended in the most shocking Frankly, it was embarrassing to watch and Scotland can now gird their collective loins for a wooden spoon decider against Italy on the final weekend.


IN the last month the Scots have provided us with a lesson in when not to talk yourselves up.

Come to think of it, perhaps they've been taking lessons in mind games from Warren Gatland... foolish. Pundits spoke of comfortably beating Wales, coach Robinson was also indulging in fighting talk. But Scotland forgot that when you are in the midst of a so-called revival, it stops dead in its tracks the moment you lose. No matter what the circumstances.

how to ensure pre-match comments end up exploding in your face!

Scoring three tries in what remained a comprehensive defeat to France in Paris in the opening match triggered a bout of bullishness which has since made the Braves look That so-called waltz in Paris was little to write home about in reality. Humility and caution should have been the order of the day, not deluded chest-beating.

NUMBER 4 ITALY'S LONG MARCH THE trouble with Italy as a nation is that, when it comes to sport, it is not renowned for its patience.

Where are they as we head towards the last hurrah? Where they always are, targeting their outing against Scotland for a brief bit of glory.

Pity then that the appointment of Nick Mallett, the growing experience of Six Nations rugby, the entry into the Magners League for their top two clubs...all are held up as reasons for Six Nations expectations to rise.

But it's going to be a long haul for the Azzurri, anything between five to 10 years if Even if they succeed it will not represent progress of any sort. But until the Italians begin to start producing a conveyor belt of quality players - and they have the population size - then their status in this competition will remain unchanged.

Sergio Parisse can't Mallett is right. do it on his own forever.

NUMBER 5 ENGLAND: GOOD, BUT NOT GREAT THE consensus is that as impressive as England have been thus far, they will not be causing disruption to the sleep patterns of the southern hemisphere big three in World Cup year. had the rub of the green last Saturday for me, the ball bouncing in their favour at least twice to deny Les Bleus what looked certain tries. …