Jeremy Guscott's Six Nations Q&A

 

Among the topics Jerry discusses this week are:

- Cian Healy's stamp on England prop Dan Cole

- Talk of an English Grand Slam

- Another scintillating try from Scotland's Stuart Hogg

- If Chris Robshaw and Owen Farrell will make the Lions XV

- The awful state of the Dublin and Paris pitches

Jerry answers questions posted on the website at the start of every week - entries are now closed for this Q&A. This week's answers appear below.

I was watching the Ireland v England match with my eight-year-old son and was horrified at Cian Healy's stamp. I told my son "stamping has no place in a game of rugby". However, both you and Keith Wood came on and tried to explain/condone/justify the same sickening act. How can you seriously sit there and try and justify an act that was deliberate, had intent, was malicious and could have broken Dan Cole's ankle? Mike from Tresamble

Simple one. What's your opinion of Healy's stamp and punches. What in your opinion should his ban be? Tommo

Hi Tresamble/Tommo, neither myself nor Keith were attempting to justify the stamping by Healy, merely saying what a fine line it can sometimes be - you could easily interpret that as condoning it, but that is something I would never knowingly do.

In slow motion the action is enhanced and looks a lot worse, when you watch it in real time you could easily have missed it. Cole was guilty of bringing the driving maul down and fell lazily on the wrong side, impeding scrum-half Conor Murray as he tried to get the ball away.

However, the fact is Healy did stamp on Dan Cole's leg, and the Ireland prop is likely to get a ban of anything between two to nine weeks.

The punches were more arms than knuckle and bit embarrassing; I wouldn't imagine anything would happen as a result of those. Rugby can get ugly sometimes and what we witnessed is not what we want to see because it has no place in our game, but it happens.

Hi Jeremy, who was your stand-out player from each of the three games this weekend and why? MurrayNoble

Hogg scores stunning try for Scotland

Hi MurrayNoble, in the Scotland v Italy game home full-back Stuart Hogg caught the eye and has gone a long way to validating his fine performance from the week before. His two displays so far in the 2013 Six Nations have pushed him right into contention for a Lions spot.

In the France v Wales game all the Welsh forwards dug deep and grafted for the win, but my stand-out player is Andrew Coombs, whose carries and tackles made a major contribution to the Wales win.

In the Ireland v England game Owen Farrell gets my vote because of his composure in slotting those very important penalties - he's ice cool under pressure.

Hi Jerry, do you think that now England have shown maturity and held off one of, if not the best team in the Six Nations, they go one step further and win the Grand Slam? walsh99

Hi Walsh99, of course talk of the Grand Slam is going to be rife after that performance away from home against Ireland. Yes, they can win a Grand Slam, but it's not a given.

The French might be playing really badly at the moment but, knowing the French, they could easily find that missing link and click. I'd expect England to beat Italy at home but the final game, away to Wales, will be extremely hard.

Hi Jerry, surely Farrell and Chris Robshaw are playing themselves into the Lions team if fit? Ireland fly-half Jonny Sexton looks average to me - he is very similar to all the other fly-halves around the northern hemisphere. England youngster Farrell has the Jonny Wilkinson factor if you ask me. HERSH

Six Nations Spotlight - Owen Farrell

Hi HERSH, Farrell has done really well and it's great to see a player so young - he's still only 21 - perform with such confidence. Sexton still gets my vote for the Lions number 10 jersey because he has more of a running game than Farrell and gives the team more options.

Hi Jeremy, after the weekend, what would you think of a Scottish revival for the tournament? With the side coming together to avoid unforced errors (only two against Italy) and two more home games, against an Irish side struggling with injuries and a poor Welsh side, before an away game to an out-of-sorts France, could Scotland maintain their second place in the Championship? Hopeful Scot

Hi, there's no reason why Scotland shouldn't be confident playing Ireland and Wales at home, and expect good results. A lot of these games are going to be hard to call. Saying that, because of results so far, for Scotland to be second by the end is a big call, but not unthinkable.

Hi Jerry - do you think the England v Wales match at the end of the campaign will be the deciding game as to who wins the Championship? I think Wales will beat Scotland and Italy, so it could be a juicy decider! Tommy

Hi Tommy, it's a nice thought for English and Welsh supporters but there's too many games before then and results so far haven't all been predictable.

Mr Guscott, simple question. Would you agree that, in terms of quality of game, last week we got the feast this week we got the famine? TheLastKingofEngland

Hi LastKingofEngland, the weekend performances where determined by a number of situations that teams found themselves in after round one.

The weather at the Aviva Stadium for Ireland v England dictated we would have a territorial, kicking game. In Paris we watched two out of sorts teams scrapping for the tiniest of advantages to win, which led to a big arm-wrestle.

I enjoyed the Scotland v Italy game because the hosts went some way in proving to themselves that they've got it in them to play.

Hi Jeremy, do you think France will now make significant selection changes following their opening two games? Why are they playing so many players out of position? Raven

Highlights: France 6-16 Wales

Hi Raven, Saint-Andre has some massive decisions to make, most importantly, does he stick to what worked so well in the autumn (when they won all three Tests) but is failing now? Brice Dulin is now the only back missing from their successful autumn campaign following Vincent Clerc's recall to the squad after a thigh problem.

The forwards were more interchangeable in the autumn, but Saint-Andre has lost their minds and the players have lost their pride somewhere between now and last November. When they were winning in the autumn, playing men like Frederic Michalak and Welsey Fofana out of position wasn't talked about - now they're losing it is suddenly seen as the reason.

Hi Jezza, what is happening with the Six Nation pitches this year? It seems that no ground can withstand the weight of the packs. There has previously been talk of the International Rugby Board introducing artificial turf - has this weekend emphasised the need for such a rethink? Ebenharris

Hi, I agree, in Paris and Dublin the surface seemed to cut up very easily. Both stadiums are multi-use venues and the pitches also have more football played on them than the likes of Twickenham.

Football pitches are watered a lot more than rugby pitches and that might be a reason why they cut up so badly. Let's not forget just how wet it's been for the best part of the last year in north west Europe, and how little sunshine there's been as well to help the grass grow and knit the turf together.

Having watched both the internationals and a Premiership game, please can we introduce a new offence for "arm waving"! Am I the only one becoming weary of constant appealing for penalties at every ruck, maul or other "opportunity"? KingswoodKev

Hi, that's all down to the refs, if they keep on letting it go it will continue. They need to simply tell the offenders to stop and they will - but not before they're told to, unfortunately.