Scotland’s openside Blair Cowan:  a massive penalty offender. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho 3:12

Charles R Swindol is convinced that life is 10 per cent what happens to him and 90 per cent how he reacts to it. The loss of a lineout can at times ha(...)

Wales’ Sam Warburton is tackled by Ireland’s Jack McGrath at the Millennium Stadium. Warburton was simply immense in both defence and at the breakdown. Photograph: Crispin Rodbwell/Inpho 6:29

According to Winston Churchill to improve is to change but to be perfect is to change often. With six and a half minutes left Ireland were four point(...)

Wales,  with the exception of Samson Lee and Luke Charteris, are all superb at the breakdown. And their flankers think their way around very similar to Australians.  Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty

I wanted England to beat Wales in Cardiff. The Welsh were Ireland’s greatest threat and them losing first time out at home was important. With Wales t(...)

Ireland’s Conor Murray kicks to the corner for Robbie Henshaw;s try against England at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

So Steve Hansen believes we should be scoring more tries up here in the Six Nations. I have some sympathy for the All Black World Cup- winning coach. (...)

Peter O’Mahony gets in ahead of Chris Robshaw in the lineout. Tommy O’Donnell had a hand in a complex move off a lineout shortly after coming on, showing the players’ knowledge of their roles. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO 6:46

Whether you have talent or not, in business or in sport, the most important predictor of success the world over is grit. On 28 minutes Paul O’Connell (...)

 George Ford and Jonathon Joseph have been  combining superbly for club and country. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

When it comes to England, I’m a five second man. There are many battles ahead on Sunday such as my absolute favourite: Mike Ross and Joe Marler at scr(...)

France’s Vincent Debaty  made a big impact on his introduction against Ireland and had a hand in the French try. Photo: Franck Fifefrank/AFP/Getty

Last Monday I highlighted the crucial timing of the bench’s entry. This of course is only part of the story. Not long ago being selected on the bench (...)

Paul O’Connell and his team-mates had the character and fitness levels to withstand the charge of the French bench in the second half. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Great AK was right; ‘no amount of analytical physics can open a door’ but in the end energy, team spirit and tactical nous can close many a French(...)

France winger Teddy Thomas offloads against Scotland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 7:01

Ad Utrumque Paratus, the motto of many academies and universities, comes to mind. It means ‘prepared for either’, where the book and the sword were be(...)

Tommy O’Donnell breaks away from the Italian defence to score Ireland’s second try at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty 2:48

I start where I left off on Friday – patient play with green grass field position in mind, allied to Italy’s non-engagement in the breakdown, will pro(...)