The End of the Six Nations

Though the England game was fairly academic (and the less said about it the better, Wales deserved the win) - the other two games were fascinating. It could not have been a more climatic end finale. Ireland beat Italy quite comfortably, but it wasn't enough to beat them, they had to gain a bigger points difference than France overall. This meant that that had to beat Italy by at least four points more than France beat Scotland by. The Irish won by 51 to 24, a margin of 27. This meant that France needed 24 points more than Scotland to win, 23 points for the result to be decided by the next column in the table (I forget which) and 22 to come second.

In the final seconds, with the French not having enough points on the board, the ball was bundled over the line. A try would have seen France win the 6 nations (short of a miracle in the as yet unplayed England match). The ref said that he saw a grounding of the ball, but given the import asked the television match official if there was any reason why he could not award a try. The TMO, being Irish, must have been in a quite uncomfortable position, damned either way. If he found in favour of France, he will not please folks back home, and if he found in favour of Scotland (and hence Ireland) there might be accusations of bias. He was helped that the referee asked him why he should not award a try, rather than if he should.

The decision was in favour of France, and they took the tournament.

It was just unfortunate that by the time the England game had finished, the Stadium had emptied - which took away somewhat from the presentation somewhat, however, there is little that can be done about that, I think.

I wasn't going to talk about the England game, but I will say this. When an English player dropped the ball for it to bounce backward, the Welsh commentator was saying it was knocked on, pointing out that it bounced. All of his colleagues pointed out that it bounced backwards (it was a knock, but not 'on'). He complained that he was 'surrounded by English' (i.e. he was right, everyone else was wrong). When a Welsh player did a similar thing later, he was fast to point out that it had to be 'on'. Given that the alternative commentary was from Radio Wales, where was the commentary from people not on the Welsh side? I don't want commentary that's noticeably favouring one team on a UK wide channel, but if that has to be the case, then why does the Welsh commentator take priority in England?

On the whole, it wasn't a big problem. It did grate a bit though, as did the 'it doesn't matter that we played badly all competition, as long as we beat the English' type of attitude. Perhaps I'm getting a bit more touchy as the only part of the UK without a parliament or even an assembly!