Sunday, 18 March 2007

France 2007 RBS Six Nations Rugby Champions

Five weekends and fifteen games later, it’s all over and France is the 2007 RBS Six Nations Rugby Champions.

But what a final Super Saturday, with three teams fighting for the title. First into the ring was Ireland vs. Italy in Rome; they had to win by a large margin to put the championship out of French reach. With 80 minutes up, instead of being contented with the margin they had Ireland went for another try, only to fail and see Italy score a try, making the final score Italy 24 - 51 Ireland. The gauntlet had been thrown down; France would have to beat Scotland by 24 clear points to win the championship.

France looked to be cruising easily towards to a well deserved Championship. Then in the last few minutes of the game Scotland scored a try to reduce the margin to 20 points and give Ireland the Championship. We then saw a sustained French effort - with 80 minutes up, they had to ensure the ball remained in play and score a try. Under the pile of bodies on the right, is the French hero Elvis Vermeulen scoring the try which gave France the Championship.

All eyes then turned to Cardiff for the Wales vs. England match. England could still win the championship if they beat Wales by 54 clear points. Not a realistic possibility, and even less so when Wales went 15 to nil up.

In Wednesday’s blog I unfortunately said, Shane Williams had the opportunity to make himself Prince of Wales - I must have put a jinx on him. He did his normal electric runs, but instead of passing the ball for what would have been certain tries he held on hoping to score himself. As a result, at half time instead of being well out of reach Wales were only 3 points ahead.

But another Prince of Wales was crowned. With a contribution of 22 points James Hook was magnificent as indeed were the Welsh pack.

At the end, but to the relief of the Welsh Nation and particularly the Welsh Coach Gareth Jenkins, Wales won 27 - 18, avoiding the Wooden Spoon.

The Welsh fans were overjoyed, you would have thought they had won the championship, not narrowly missed finishing up with the wooden spoon

At the end of the day, in an empty stadium the French team was presented with the trophy.

Now we look forward to September & October and the World Cup.

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