Another busy weekend for the Rugby Six Nations which saw Ireland win the Triple Crown for the third time in four years after beating Scotland 19-18 in a stiffly fought match which left Ireland’s points scorer Ronan O’Gara breathless. Some tremendous tackles from the likes of Sean Lamont prevented the scoreline really opening up, and a few flare ups on the pitch illustrated the tension between the teams. A flat Irish performance kept their championship hopes alive, whilst Scotland’s comeback after such a downheartening result against Italy a fortnight ago illustrates the importance of Chris Paterson to the side (statistically the best kicker in the world at the moment).
Later in the day, Italy pulled out a well deserved 23 – 20 victory over Wales to beat their previous record in the Six Nations championship. With ten seconds left on the clock, Wales forewent a penalty to tie the game in order to push for a win by kicking to touch. Perhaps time they included some rudimentary arithmetic with the training. Disappointing for the Wales team, but an important step forward for Italy in the Six Nations championship.
And in a strange game a Twickenham, the championship was really carved open as England edged out a lacklustre France with a nervous start to a game plagued with basic errors from both sides. The result leaves France in top spot on points difference, but denies them a Grand Slam victory, and opens the championship up to four potential victors—France, Ireland, England or Italy, the first three in charge of their own championship hopes. All will be decided on St. Patrick’s Day—perhaps it will finally be Ireland’s year!