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The Critics’ Picks – February 2019 Edition

Critic: Matt Evans

Pick: Six Nations – England Vs Wales

After a less than impressive 26-15 victory at the Stadio Olimpico, Wales equalled the longest unbeaten run in their 138-year Test Match Victory. 11 wins on the bounce for Gatland’s men.

Between October 10h 2015 and March 11th 2017, England equalled the tier-one record for successive victories with 18 in a row. The wheels quickly came off England’s sweet chariot in 2018 though. But they’ve now been swiftly been repaired (much like England’s injury list).

My point? Records and stats will largely go out the window in this Anglo-Welsh battle.

The Millennium Stadium, as it is formally – and better – known, is a colosseum and provides the best atmosphere in world rugby, especially with the roof closed. The jingoistic Welsh fans and the players focus more than any other day for the crossing of the Red Rose banner over Severn Bridge, through Newport and into Caerdydd.

Wales may have forgotten how to lose but the Six Nations has arguably been the One Nations so far. England have been head and shoulders above the rest.

Nevertheless, recent history bears some significance for both squads. England received a chastening 30-13 defeat in 2013. Alex Cuthbert having a day to remember.

Wales famously spoilt England’s 2015 World Cup hopes too.

Yet, Jonathan Davies will still be wondering how he didn’t find touch last time the teams met here in 2017. Ford and Farrell gleefully accepted that gift and gave it to Daly to score a last gasp winner to keep England’s record-equalling run alive. Cuthbert was as good as a spectator on the wing in the final moment and hasn’t been seen since.

And Wales were unlucky not to win at Twickenham last year… A now characteristic punt for May to fetch over the try line gave England a promising start, but the Welsh were not helped by the officials and then ran out of time.

So can Wales break their own record on Saturday? Or will a near full strength England prove too powerful? In all likelihood, emotion will trump all, and the bounce of the ball or a refereeing decision may be the deciding factor

Critic: Max McGrath

Pick: Celebs Go Dating

My pick for this month from the world of film and tv is the return of Celebs Go Dating. A show that has the potential for boom or bust every series. Success is based solely on the casting choices made by the producers and in the past have both smashed it with certain celebrities such or given us weak and stagnant celebs that gage little to no interest. Last season failed to live up to expectation and presented a flat cast with flat dates. However, with complex additions from the world of reality tv, gold such as psycho icon Megan Mckenna or the personality I love to hate in Georgia Steel will surely provide some entertaining (if possibly explosive) dates for us to snoop on. Love Islands surprise star alma-mater in Jack Fowler and David Potts from Weekender fame will surely provide some well needed comic relief and are my tips to really improve their public stature following the show. The sixth series will all kick off Sunday 24 February.

Critic: Tomas Roberts

Pick: Manchester United Vs Liverpool

The biggest game in English football. Liverpool are looking to end their 29-year wait for a league title and Manchester United would love to spoil the party. A few months ago, Liverpool would have travelled to Old Trafford the clear favourites but not now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has turned United’s fortunes around, getting the best out of the players at his disposal and suddenly the Red Devils are firing on all cylinders. Liverpool, on the other hand, are coming off a midweek draw to Bayern Munich, where their prolific front three seemed slightly out of sorts, snatching at chances. It is a gigantic clash between the two biggest clubs in British football and the result could have a major impact in this seasons title race.