Rugby: France wins Six Nations

Saturday, March 17, 2007

France has won the 2007 RBS Six Nations Championship today, following their victory over Scotland at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis. Earlier in the day, Ireland beat Italy at the Stadio Flaminio, Rome, and, following the France-Scotland match, Wales beat England at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

Italy vs. Ireland

The first match of the day, Italy versus Ireland, kicked off at 1430 local time (UTC+1). It was won by Ireland, 51 points to 24. Ireland were up 21-12 at half time, and looked certain to win 51-17, but for a stoppage-time touchdown by Roland de Marigny, which ultimately cost Ireland the title. Ireland's points came with eight tries (four converted), four of which came in a 13 minute period early in the second half, as well as one penalty. Italy replied with two tries (both converted), two penalties, and two drop goals.

France vs. Scotland

The second match, France versus Scotland, kicked off at 1630 local time (UTC+1), with France needing to win by at least 24 points to knock Ireland out of the running for the championship. It was won by France, 46 points to 19. Scotland started brightly, scoring a converted try in the first 7 minutes, but by the end of the first half, France were up 20-14. As with Italy, France got a decisive try, in terms of the championship, this time coming in the last play of the game, by Elvis Vermeulen. France's points came with six tries (five converted) and two penalties. Scotland scored three tries (two converted).

Wales vs. England

The final match of the day, and the tournament, Wales versus England, kicked off at 1730 local time (UTC), with England needing to win by 57 points to win the championship. However, Wales ended the tournament with their first win of it, by 27 points to 18. Wales took the lead with a third minute try by James Hook, and did not lose it throughout, except for a short period in the second half when England pulled it back to 18-all. Wales's points came from two tries (one converted), a drop goal, and four penalties. England scored two tries (one converted), a drop goal, and a penalty.

Tournament results

These results meant that France were level on 8 table points with Ireland, and won the championship with a points difference of +69 to Ireland's +65. They were awarded the trophy in an empty Stade de France after the Wales-England match. England came third with 6 table points, Italy fourth with 4 points, and Wales and Scotland in the last two places level on 2 table points, with Scotland taking last place, and the Wooden Spoon, with a -58 points difference to Wales's -27. This year's competition is considered by many as the closest in years.