Ireland 29 England 16: Grand Slam Triumph for Ireland
Ireland secured their fourth Grand Slam as they ground down a much-improved England side, who were reduced to 14 men.
It was a tight and tense finale to the tournament, which ultimately ended in triumph for the side ranked number one in the world.
Two early Owen Farrell penalties put England ahead in Dublin before the Irish hit back with a Dan Sheehan try.
England, who showed great improvement after their record defeat to France, suffered a huge blow when Freddie Steward was sent off on the stroke of half-time.
Robbie Henshaw and Rob Herring tries either side of Sheehan’s second of the game ensured Ireland’s first Grand Slam in five years, and first won on home soil.
England notched a deserved second-half try through Jamie George, but were unable to pull off a major upset and spoil Ireland’s party.
Scots see off brave Italy in dramatic finale, France cement second place.
Scotland sealed third place in the table with a dramatic bonus-point win over Italy at Murrayfield.
A fantastic Duhan van der Merwe finish and Blair Kinghorn score – with Italy down to 14 – opened a half-time lead. Kinghorn crashed over after the break but Tommaso Allan’s try and a Paolo Garbisi penalty dragged Italy to within five points, initiating a grandstand finish.
However, Scotland survived intense late pressure. The Italian’s came close to driving over close to the posts on a number of occasions, knowing a converted try would be enough to give them a famous win. However, Scotland gained possession in the last play and rather than kick the ball out to guarantee victory they bravely went for the bonus point. They drove away from their own line and it was Kinghorn, surging onto the final pass, who went over to complete his hat-trick and give the Scots a joyful end to a pleasing campaign.
France ended their Six Nations campaign in second spot behind Ireland, despite a 41-28 bonus-point win against Wales in Paris. The French have played some fantastic rugby at times this campaign, however, their loss to Ireland proved decisive.
World Cup 2023: Ireland and France among favourites
As the curtain comes down on an exciting Six Nations, attention will begin to focus on the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The tournament, hosted by France, will run from September 8 until October 28.
Rugby Union World Cup 2023 Latest Odds
While Ireland are ranked number one in the world, they are currently third favourites for the World Cup. Many pundits feel that the French, ranked second in the world, will make home advantage count. France have never won a World Cup, but they are a serious and respected rugby playing nation and they will be a difficult team to overcome on home soil. Ireland beat New Zealand in a test series in the Autumn, however the Kiwi’s, currently rated as the third best team in the world, have the World Cup pedigree and are tipped to bounce back.
England, despite their recent hammering by France have made progress under Steve Borthwick and many feel they will continue to improve. Scotland performed better than many thought in the Six Nations and their odds have come down, though SBK are giving them a very good price at 41/1. Wales had a difficult campaign but it is thought that Warren Gatland will be able to extract some more improvement from his squad over the next six months.
|Wales||33/1||Betfair/Paddy Power/Boyle Sports/BetVictor|
|Japan||250/1||Betfair/Paddy Power/Boyle Sports/BetVictor/bet365|
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