Both Scotland and Italy have played England this year, and both, having played the better rugby, lost to a competent and workmanlike England team who continue to surprise pundits and fans alike by winning matches they perhaps should have lost! Italy scored 2 tries by backs Venditti and Benvenuti directly from pressure on the England players just before half time a key moment in that match, which with the conditions, suggested a notable home win! Not to be outdone on the big occasion, new cap Owen Farrell nailed 5 kicks at goal to add to yet another charge down try from Charlie Hodgson to record a second win away from home for England.Italy will be kicking themselves just as Scotland had the previous week, for the crucial errors in key minutes to close the match out. A bit more control from the Italian half backs, and an odd substitution of stand off Burton, at a critical moment lost this rare opportunity. Concerning for the Italian coach will be the rib injury suffered by Castrogiovanni, offset by the continuing stunning form of both Parisse and Bortolani and the other aggressive Italian forwards.The extreme weather in Rome was matched and indeed exceeded in Paris where the weather won! A delayed and inconsiderate decision at virtually the last minute to cancel the France v Ireland match was by far the most contentious decision in the history of the 6 Nations.This match should have been cancelled early that morning at the latest, and perhaps even on the Saturday, and not 10 minutes before kick off! A capacity attendance were left deflated but not surprised by the correct decision to cancel the match in the dangerous sub zero temperatures. Why on earth did the rugby authorities allow such a late scheduling of this match in the middle of the winter, at a Stadium with no sub soil heating? The date of the rescheduled match means that Ireland play 4 Internationals within a 4 week period. A tough call for the Irish!The third match of the weekend was the “big one” where surely the Scottish side would turn the season around, score a few tries and win a match. It wasn’t to be, and after 40 minutes of huffing and puffing, and another knock on at the Welsh line, the Wales v Scotland match exploded after half time.The Welsh team having been under the cosh took advantage of a school boy error by Cusiter, who misfielded the restart kick to give field position, and then a try to a charged up Welsh side. Whatever was said in the Welsh changing room at half time worked. Scotland team management are planning to suggest that future International matches are played for 80 minutes without a half time break!Wales ran out, on paper comfortable winners, but this new look Scottish side, with new cap Stewart Hogg electric and verging on a “Man of the Match” performance, the on form half back pairing of Blair and Laidlaw, and as stuffy a set of forwards as you will find in the 6 Nations, might well surprise a few sides before our visit to Rome in mid March!The Match Tickets, Kilt, Passport, Euros and hip flask of Glen Grant are all organised for that weekend. The Speyside contingent arrives on the Friday and leave on the Monday, and we are already looking forward to Italian hospitality!