Ireland winning the Six Nations? Completely reasonable. Italy finishing winless and with the wooden spoon? Happens almost every year? But England finishing behind Scotland in their worst tournament showing of the decade? That’s almost an earthquake.
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t change the top spot in the Six Nations all-time table following the 19th season in this format. It’s still England on top, rarely falling as low as they did this year, finishing fifth, losing their final three matches of the competition after a promising start.
But Ireland sweeping their opponent to win it for the 4th time in the last 10 years along with the Grand Slam and Triple Crown (their first since 2009) moved them above France, finishing 4th, extending their drought to 8 years, something that has never happened to the French side, whether in the Six or Five Nations format.
Scotland haven’t won the Six Nations since…well… it was the Five Nations; in fact in the final year (1999) before Italy joined. But they beat England in the tournament for the first time since 2008 to show that their terrific ability of late is finally finding an outlet in results. Getting thrashed by both Ireland and Wales wasn’t a pretty sight.
Italy were poor, scoring only 92 points and just once earning a bonus point for losing closely. It’s been three consecutive Wooden Spoons and 17 consecutive losses since their 2015 win over Scotland. The voices suggesting some sort of relegation system should be installed sound more and more logical, letting Georgia, the best European side outside the Six Nations, in.
All-Time Six Nations Table
|Team||Wins||Draws||Losses||Points (Including bonuses)||6N Titles|
Next year, it’ll be a pre-World Cup Six Nations tournament. England did dominate the tournament in 2003, the year they won the only Northern Hemisphere title. However, their disappointing performance in 2011 after winning the tourney and the overall lackluster performance by Northern Hemisphere teams in 2015 (including Ireland) suggests that any correlation between the Six Nations and World Cup success isn’t very strong.