England Win the Grand Slam!
After winning all five of their games in the 2016 6 Nations, England earned the Grand Slam for the first time since 2003!
With the Championship over, we take a look at the games from the final round and how the tournament looked in numbers in our final infographic.
Wales 67 v Italy 14
Wales finished their 6 Nations in style, accumulating 9 tries against their Italian visitors thanks to some fast and free flowing rugby. It was a fitting end for the 2nd place side and an entertaining spectacle for a packed Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
That kind of scoreline is not created just by one team being good however. Italy sadly, like last week, were lacking. They were unable to get any points on the board in the first half and Wales found space on almost every attack. The performance will have done little to silence critics calling for an introduction of a relegation system. The new Italy coach will have a point to prove next year.
Stand Out Players
R Moriarty: Replaced an injured Tipuric early in the game and played with aplomb. Scored 2 of the 9 Welsh tries.
T Allan: While Italy may have been lacking for most of the game, a great piece of play came in Garcia’s try, made possible from a fantastic offload from Allan.
Ireland 35 v Scotland 25
What had the potential to be one of the best games of the Championship, ended up being a bit a scrappy game with flashes of brilliance from both teams.
While Scotland have certainly progressed during the 2016 6 Nations, an away visit to Dublin proved too much. Ireland dominated possession but it speaks to Scotland’s improvements that the gap on the scoreboard was not wider.
Tensions rose throughout the match and a number of brawls started on the fringes of play for the last 30 minutes of the game. Both teams seemed frustrated by the rather laborious refereeing of Pascal Gauzere and his call to send off Alex Dunbar would proved to be a decisive moment in the game. Scotland shipped most of their points when down to 14 men (Barclay was also carded in the first half) but Ireland deserved the victory, salvaging a bad start to the tournament.
Stand Out Players
CJ Stander: Was a bulldozer for the home side and his leap to score a try was instrumental in creating an Irish lead.
S Hogg: Has been outstanding through the tournament, his try in this game was one of the finest of the tournament.
France 21 v England 31
It was no sure victory but in the end England emerged in Paris as Grand Slam winners. With 10 minutes left to play there was only 4 points between the teams. It was Owen Farrell who put his team 10 points safely ahead of the home side and the relief on the English side’s faces when the final whistle blew showed how close the game had been.
It seems an appropriate statement of intent after the dismal World Cup and the Grand Slam will give the team confidence when they head to Australia this Summer.
Captain, Dylan Hartley, deserves credit for leading the team with great performances and a cool head despite the many criticisms his appointment drew. Will this England team become a dominant worldwide? We’ll have to wait and see but they will be happy enough being the best team and Europe for now.
Stand Out Players
M Machenaud: Scored all of France’s points to keep them in the game up until the final 10 minutes.
G Kruis: 13/13 Lineouts is not down to luck. Kruis has been a revelation for England and one of the best players of the tournament.