With the 2018 version of the Six Nations over for some time now, Ireland has not only been crowned the champions, but they also did in style by winning the Grand Slam (meaning they won all their matches). With that being said, let’s review the Six Nations.
Grand Slams are not meant to be easy, but Ireland made it seem like it was. Ireland was so good this tournament that there were some who said that they may even be the best in the world and with next year being the World Cup, that’s a big statement to be made. They won 11 more points than the next challenger and had a +78 point differential. Ireland cruised through the competition that it might not have even been fair as it seemed easy for the Irish.
The final match of the tournament for England against Ireland was supposed to be the match that ultimately determined who would win the Six Nations crown. Well, by the time the match came, everyone who predicted that was wrong. England had a strong side, but sorely underperformed. So much so that they finished fifth in the table. That is a total embarrassment. It was so embarrassing that they finished 16 points behind Ireland and even had a chance to stop their chance at winning the Grand Slam (spoiler: they didn’t even come close).
Wales Shows It Can Still Play
Pundits made it known that Wales was getting older and wasn’t likely to succeed all that much in this year’s Six Nations. However, despite that, Wales played extremely well as they finished second in the competition and honestly played the best against Ireland than any other nation did. They also seemingly got screwed over a victory against England, but they still played them well enough to make England play harder than they wanted to. Wales might be on the decline, but they have shown they can still compete especially after their surprising victory over Scotland in the first week of the competition.
Scotland Keeps Improving
Scotland looked to improve on their 2017 campaign and did so despite having a -27 scoring differential. They played hard nosed rugby and showed they could possibly be a force to be reckoned with very soon. While many thought they had a good chance at winning the 2018 title, they did not as a blowout against Wales hurt their chances. However, the progress was there.
France was expected to struggle this year in the tournament, but instead their defense allowed them to stay in many matches that even allowed them to finish fourth. While they struggled to score many tries (8), they only allowed six tries giving them a +14 scoring differential including holding Ireland’s offense to scoring only 15 points in the loss. They also upset England which shook the standings at that point.
Italy “Wins” Wooden Spoon Again
For the 13th time since joining the competition Italy earned the title of the Wooden Spoon award, which means it’s an “award” given to a rugby side that finished last in the competition. With Italy earning this title again it has even brought up debate as to whether they need to be replaced or even a promotion/relegation system should be implemented. That being said, Italy’s struggles continue and whether there is any progress in the country remains to be seen.