Ireland were able to help rugby hero Brian O’Driscoll bow out on a high with only their second win in France in 42 years. The day started with France, England, and Ireland all with a chance to win the competition depending on how the day went.
France needed to win if England lost, England needed to either triumph over Italy with 50pts more than Ireland and Ireland just needed to win if England didn’t close down the point difference.
Italy 11 – 52 England
England came out looking like they had a point to prove but Italy struck first with an Orquera penalty putting them ahead after 6 minutes. England didn’t take long to reply and Farrell pulled level on 10 for Brown to break through to score the first try on 13. Farrell’s conversion then made it 10-3 showing a sign of things to come.
A second Orquera penalty made it 6-10 only for Farrell to pick his spot from close range to sneak a try and finish off the conversion to make it 17-6. England were playing knowing that they needed to go all out.
A second try from Brown and a conversion by Farrell rounded it off to make it 6-24 in England’s favour at the break. England also broke the second half deadlock when Vunipola scored the try and Farrell finished off the conversion to make it 6-45.
Italy saw a surprise try from Sarto but Allen missed the conversion leaving it 11-45. A ruthless England pulled further away with a Robshaw try and a Farrell conversion making it 11-52 meaning England needed France to win.
Wales 51 – 3 Scotland
Neither Wales or Scotland had anything other than pride to play for but this by no means meant a quiet affair. Gatland’s men played a fierce kicking game and looked as though they wanted to dominate the Scottish side. In fact Scotland’s only points came from a Laidlaw penalty which opened the scoring after 4 minutes.
Wales opened their account after 9 minutes when Biggar grabbed a penalty to make it 3-3 before a 16th minute Williams try made it 8-3 after Wales had been hammering the Scottish backline. Biggar duly made it 10-3.
Scotland saw Hogg given his marching orders after 23 minutes and to rub salt into the wounds Biggar’s penalty made it 13-3 to Wales. Two more tries from North and Roberts with Biggar conversions made it 27-3 at the break to Wales.
An early second half try from North made it 32-3 but this time Biggar missed the conversion. However after Roberts’ try on 48 Biggar made up for it making it 39-3.
Faletau and Williams tries made it 49-3 to Wales before Hook’s conversion finished off the points scoring leaving the final score 51-3. Scotland have every right to be disapointed with themselves.
France 20 – 22 Ireland
England fans would have been looking up after just 2 minutes when Machenaud capitalised on a Chris Henry penalty to make it 3-0 early on and just 12 minutes later he struck again to make it 6-0 to the home side leaving Ireland with a tough challenge.
After 21 minutes Sexton gave Ireland a glimmer of hope as he managed to penetrate the French line to score a try. This made it 6-5 to Ireland but uncharacteristically Sexton was not able to convert what should have been a straight forward kick.
O’Driscoll and Murray soon pulled apart the France defence for Trimble to make it 6-10 after 26 minutes and this time Sexton was on form with the conversion making it double the French tally at 6-12.
A try from Dulin on the 32nd minute and the subsequent conversion from Machenaud left the score at 13-12 at the break. As it stood England would win with the French in second.
On the 48th minute Ireland looked revitalised only for O’Driscoll to be denied a dream try. Sexton however was able to capitalise and scored the conversion to make it 13-19. His penalty then made it 22-13 to Ireland.
Down but not out a French try came after 63 minutes from Szarzewski who managed to scramble the ball onto the post, TV replays showed that the hooker appeared to have dropped the ball but the referee called it a try. A Machenaud conversion made it 20-22.
France thought they had won the game at the end when Chouly thought he had a try, the ball was over the line but the referee said the pass before hand was forward meaning talismanic Brian O’Driscoll gets a dream send-off from Ireland.
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