Last night, the 2016 Six Nations came to a close with winners England finishing off their campaign with a 31-21 win against France. Eddie Jones’ boys bounced back from their World Cup disappointment extremely quickly by winning all of their five matches and therefore winning their first Grand Slam since 2003 .
England: Prediction-2nd Finished-1st
Starting the Six Nations with new coach Eddie Jones, England were expected to put up a good fight and maybe even win the whole thing. However, no one expected the utter domination that followed from the England team. They won all of their five games, and won them all comprehensively (apart from the late Wales comeback at Twickenham). Billy Vunipola ran the show for most of the series at No. 8 but other players, like Maro Itoje, Antonhy Watson and George Kruis, also made some great performances. Although this was a particularly weak Six Nations, it’s still a huge achievement to win a Grand Slam and I think there’s still a lot lot more to come from this England side.
Wales: Prediction-1st Finished-2nd
After the high of beating England and then the low of losing to South Africa at the World Cup, the Welsh came into this competition as an unknown quantity really. They were expected to challenge for the title, and they did just that, but they never really turned it on. They beat the teams they were expected to beat (Scotland, Italy) but had a poor start against the English and the Irish and never really recovered (although they managed a draw in the Ireland game). They were good, but not quite good enough to challenge England for the title. Improvement needed if they want to be the best in Europe.
Ireland: Prediction-3rd Finished-3rd
Once again this was a team who did good enough in the World Cup but not amazingly. Another team we didn’t know what to expect of. After throwing away a lead against Wales in the first game, Ireland stuttered a bit. They lost a scrappy game they should’ve won against France before being demolished 40-9 by England. They did recover to beat Italy and Scotland but the damage had already been done. A disappointing 3rd place in the end.
Scotland: Prediction-4th Finished-4th
Scotland were denied a dream World Cup semi-final by poor refereeing last Autumn but were still expected to put up a good fight in this Six Nations. They did just that beating Italy and France on the way to picking up a decent 4th place finish. They ran England, Ireland and Wales close to the wire and I think Vern Cotter’s side could be up near the top of the table if they keep improving. Things are looking up for the Scottish.
France: Prediction-5th Finished-5th
Absolute shambles. Only won 2 out of 5 games and one of those was a lucky win against Ireland. Have incredible potential going forward but all of that is demolished by their horrific defending. Last night Danny Care was able to find a gap and slip through the hands of two French tacklers before scoring! Needs a lot of improving if they want to maintain their status as a strong rugby nation.
Italy: Prediction-6th Finished-6th
By far the worst team in the competition. Put up a little fight and showed some quality but lost all their games and don’t look like they’re getting any better.