John Inverdale presents highlights and in-depth analysis of the final round of fixtures from the 2017 Six Nations, including Ireland v England, France v Wales and Scotland v Italy.
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Range on England's Grand Slam parade in Dublin, Ireland, the team that
beat the Euell Black's provedal bridge too far for the England team.
Did anybody really know what was going on? And a third win in the
Championship for the first time in decade for Scotland, a fond,
farewell for Vern Cotter. And we have three lions in their shirts to
discuss a weekend when maybe the rugby wasn't great but the drama was
worthy of Sherlock. Jerry Gusmao, Keith Wood and Mike Phillips.
England went for a second Grand Slam and a record 19th international Vic
trim it was a red rag to the Irish bull.
and a record 19th international Vic trim it was a red rag to the Irish
bull. Well, Eddie Jones' described this as
a once in a lifetime opportunity for his players. They are in touching
distance of sporting immortality. Ireland, masters of the ambush as
they proved against New Zealand in Chicago and famously against England
here in 2011 and 2001. Two changes to the Irish pack where Iain
Henderson is include in place of deaf intoner at lock and a late
change in the back row. Stander switches to number 8 and Peter
O'Mahoney off the bench. One glaring absentee, where Connor Murray's
shoulder injury keeps him out. A hugely influential figure. Replaced
by Marmion. Vunipola returns to the starting
line-up for Eddie Jones' outfit an effective appearance off the bench
last week, now deemed fully fit P otherwise the pack is the same.
Courty Lawes an impress presence against the Scots last week. After
going off prematurely, Elliott daily has come through the concussion
protocols to take his place on the left wing, a change on the right
where a try-scoring performance against Scotland sees Anthony Watson
nudging out Jack knoll. Cian Healy and scan Scannell should make a
difference for Ireland. Expect big showing for England from the likes
of Vunipola and Te'o. Furlong, Haskell flying up, taking him low.
Still the Irish come. Did he yo. Out of his stride. It's there for Payne
-- Zebo. Slips through for Daly. Away for Earls and then forward and
the chance is gone. What a chance it was. They still have the penalty.
Great intensity. They are coming one out runners, towards the end of t a
bit fortunate with a half chargedown, Rory Best rolls the dies
with the reverse pass one-handed. A gentle looserer for Johnny Sexton.
Ireland on the board. Tails up. Vunipola trying to free up those
arms. Youngs back. England seemingly going nowhere, so the up and under.
Again, it may just have gone forwards from Jared Payne. We are
going back for the penalty anyway. One off day with the boot against
the Italians for Owen Farrell, otherwise in excellent kicking nick.
Farrell turns quickly. 26 in the Calcutta Cup a week ago. Three on
the board now. Marmion Z, ebo. Watson giving him no
space. O'Brien. England having to dig very deep defensively. They
scrambled possession but the arm is outstretched. The referee doesn't
like T off their feet at ruck time. Another Irish penalty. -- doesn't
like it. . England can't get a solid enough tackle in, in the face of
sensational clearout work. The Irish are rucking past the ball. England
not getting a sniff of a turnover. Even the behee moths, like Billy
Vunipola, they can't get their hands on the ball and then they get
blasted out of the way by Irish forwards. Vunipola chanced his arm
there and conceded a penalty. Now the volume levels will be turned up
inside the Aviva stadium. Rory Best, knowing that this is a golden
opportunity. It goes to the tail. Again, it is O'Mahoney. Ireland with
the drive. They're very close. Henderson thinks he's over.
There was Henderson. There is no debate. There is no debate to be
had. The try awarded to Ireland and Iain
Henderson and the first side fire the first shot this afternoon. A
fifth score in the green of Ireland for Henderson. What a figure blow it
might prove to be. You have to think Henderson picked pour power, over
Devin Toner. Vunipola gives away the penalty and the Irish execute
perfectly. Two more to the tally. Ireland into
double figures and England with big questions to answer. Nobody said it
was going to be easy. England are hurting themselves at the moment.
Conceding penalties. Lack of discipline, Vunipola forced into a
mistake. And Ireland, a tied Scannell wave of green. -- a tidal
wave of green. A mess from the Irish line-out
there, a variety. Haskell sets it up. McGrath comes piling through.
Advantage here before Dan Cole drops the ball. That was a basic error
from Jack McGrath, he knows it. Owen Farrah says we'll have a go at the
post, please d Owen Farrell. Every point precious. Well both teams made
a number of mistakes in the first half. Ireland have barely made an
error. They've not given England anything. Even then, when they
turned it over, they were comfortable in defence. Easily
spread. McGrath had no need to play that. England haven't won a
collision really, so far in It is the cleanest of strikes for
Owen Farrell. And England, despite having been outplayed for so much of
this match are only four points adrift. Rory Best steaming up and
Itoje has transgressed here, so Ireland with the advantage. A free
ball effectively. That's gone forwards from Ringrose. Again the
penalty count really hurting England.
Complr Rory Best there, looking for some sort of protection for Sexton,
who he feels is being significantled out with late hits. He's going to
have a crack at goal. It is a long, long way out but
that's a monsterous kick from Johnny Sexton. One of his very best. And
Ireland's lead is restored. Slow gross here for England.
Inch-by-inch at the moment. The pennell -- slow progress for
England. Ireland approaching the maul from
the side. England will want more than three points from this position
if they can. They've made a full 15m here,
England, even if it hasn't been rapid progress. They are within 10
of the tryline. Farrell a shot to nothing with the advantage, sends it
high. It's too much for Watson to gather. The penalty stands.
Farrell, keeping England in touch. For all the Irish dominance, they
cannot quite shake off the English. Mako Vunipola, driven back hard on
the tackle. Ireland are so committed today. And
Ireland failing to roll away. That was one that could have gone either
way. England the beneficiaries this time. He has let plenty go in the
breakdowns, let the teams get on with T Ireland dominated that area
of the game. -- get on with it. Probably the first time, from my
memory, that England have won a penalty in that area. When you are
in this position now, he doesn't want to bite off more than you can
chew, Owen Farrell, he wants it stay calm but if you can get this inside
the 22, it is a huge game. Niall scan Scannell is coming on -- Niall
Scannell is coming on. Pressure on the shoulders of Jamie George.
Possession. Everything - and it's been stolen. Stolen in the lanout.
-- in the Ianout. Ireland have it and McGrath waits patiently over the
ball. England might get further chances
but there won't be too many. McGrath. A nasty one for Watson to
field. It's gone forward off the fingertips. McGrath gathers. A
clever kick down that touchline. The whistle has blown already and
here the intervention of Peter O'Mahoney. Absolutely critical.
Sinclair clashing into Leavy. Deep into the red. Ford for Launchbury.
Mako Vunipola, under huge pressure. Ford gathers it in. The green shirts
swarm. England in trouble. Mako Vunipola is kauchlingt just feverish
defence from -- is caught. Just feverish defence from the Irish
side. The knock-on from Mike Brown heralds the end. And Ireland bring
England crashing, just as they did here six years ago. There'll be no
slam. There'll be no knew World Record. The English, like the All
Blacks, undone by an inspirational wall of green.
Dylan Hartley haunted by the feelings of a similar ceremony six
years ago, he steps forward to accept the Six Nations trophy. The
championship is theirs. But bittersweet will not do their
emotions justice. A first defeat as England captain. A first defeat
under Eddie Jones are. The record equalling run brought to a
shuddering halt right a passionate green machine in Dublin.
We are all disappointed, Ireland played superbly, they deserved to
win. They shaded us in the line-out and at the breakdown and we
struggled to get any momentum will stop in the first 20 minutes, we
build confidence. Twice down the right-hand wing we almost got in
four tries, that gave us confidence. Ian Henderson was immense. He
deserved his try. Johnny slotting over a couple of clicks gave us
enough of a margin to keep believing. We knew it would take a
big performance. Credit to the boys, especially with the late change just
before kick-off, with Pete coming in, you have to give credit to our
boys. Discipline cost us. Ireland executed very well. Against a good
quality side like that, you can not have poor discipline. Compounding
errors, losing territory, then executing well. They are a good
side. We have 12 back-to-back Six Nations, one with a Grand Slam,
equal world record holders. As I said in the press conference, even
Don Bradman got a zero. We have to accept we were not good enough
today, learned from it and move on. Eddie Jones is human after all.
Italy bringing up the rear by some margin. Another aborted attempt for
England to try to get a Grand Slam in Dublin. Keith, did Ireland when
ordered England play below what their potential was? Ireland won it.
It was a game plan carved out of the ages, a dirty day in Dublin, leek,
the rain was pouring, and they got a lot right. It stemmed mostly around
unbelievable line speed. All the space that England had last week
against Scotland, they had none. England trying to get over the gain
line. They make a couple of decent stabs, but if you cut how the Irish
players are rushing up, it is a ten, 12, 13 book, quick up the outside.
If the ball has the -- if a player has the ball, he only sees green.
They are looking for another option. 30 metres back from the initial gain
line and it forces England into a dink over the top, and offside.
Interesting that New Zealand are gloating, they say, back to square
one for England, a team in white that can only play to their limited
capacity. How would you assess the English performance? They had a
great opportunity. You had to be so ready for this game, and a future
before when Ben Youngs said it was just another game, it was more than
that, a massive encounter. The pressure would be huge, away from
home, they should be used of it, they beat France last season. But
whilst there was great line speed from the Irish, there were a lot of
unforced errors. Continuation from last weekend against Scotland, when
Young's looks up, look at the line of English players, the ball should
have gone out and confronted them from the off. They were taking it
easy. This was executed last week against Scotland. The pass was not
on point. Maro Itoje the almost always get that spot on. No need to
give the penalties await, no need to go there and direct. You are giving
momentum back, a lapse of concentration from Courtney Lawes.
Giving the ball back to Ireland. George Ford is normally so accurate.
Aspiration. Has not got it on point. It is giving Ireland too much easy
possession. The first time Watson has the ball in space, he drops it.
And then Peter O'Mahony gets the ball for Ireland. The line speed was
good. It ended as it began, Mike Brown making an unforced error. You
think about New Zealand against Ireland in Dublin eight years ago,
where they went through those phases. If England want to be as
good as New Zealand, they have to be capable of doing that and they have
to be tougher and harder than what they showed yesterday. Did that game
pan out as you expected? I think so. After the defeat against Wales,
Ireland were up against it. Everything was at stake for England,
no way they were going to come out and lose that game. Tremendous in
attack and events. The line speed was superb. Jonny Sexton kept
getting up. He kept control and things. They stood up and wore the
jersey with pride. We will talk about Jonny Sexton, but let's talk
about Peter O'Mahony first, the man of the match. His performance was
exceptional, and there were two key moments. He was a nuisance, the most
aggravating player to play against. He is a harassment. He was picked as
a third line-out option, unbelievably quick. It is a
simple... It should have been stopped, but when the pressure comes
on at the end, it is Peter O'Mahony who is upfront again. He was in the
heart of everything. So many nuisance items in it, he is awkward.
But his line-out play, he won five of them, the most of any player, on
a dreary day. Some of the selection turned out to be great, and a late
injury for Jamie Heaslip at the last moment, and he came in with no
purple regime. We will talk about the Lions at the end of the
programme, but having been on tour three times, he screams midweek
captain, because his will to win yesterday took the... He was the
totem pole for the Irish side, and England did not have that player to
inspire you. Jonny Sexton may be the most brilliant playmaker, but he
gets involved in so much rough stuff, and England targeted him
yesterday. At times it was as if that was their only game plan, to
target him. Maybe they put too much attention until it. Every time he
got the ball, the focus was to get smashed. Some of them were literate
it, some of them were a fraction late. He got smashed time after time
after time. When he did, he got up and kicked penalties and played on.
He controlled the game after having this bombardment of pressure. He
kept getting up. The penalty, the long-range penalty, pushed England
at much further on. I played with him at Racing, he is competitive. He
reads the game so well. He was superb for Ireland. A lot of columns
today say England are not as good as they thought. If that an easy
reaction to one game? It was always going to be the case from some
corners. If you look at the 18 victories, compare them to New
Zealand's, in an era where New Zealand and Australia are not great,
in New Zealand, there was lower tier teams come up there was for England,
so the only way you can judge is when they play each other, and that
will be tough, because you will go for the side that plays at home.
They are very close in terms of ability. In terms of the match that
is possibly being set up for November, which is a huge cash cow
for both of the unions, would you like to see it, or would part of you
like to put it on the back burner try not to fabricate unofficial
World Cup final? Leave it for the real thing? I do not think it is
right they have not played against each other. It has been a long time.
You want to see the best teams against each other. They are not
going with the record at their back, but they have measured up well.
England have played some good rugby over the past couple of years, they
were magnificent last week. They are not as good as last week and not as
bad as yesterday. Where can they improve? Ben Youngs has been pivotal
for England, he has created so much for the forwards. The guys running
off in yesterday were just in ones, and that gave the defence time to
get up and smash them back. He was a bit off his game yesterday, but he
has been one of the best number nines in the world. Having that
variety in the play, and when the forwards are getting the ball, they
are looking more dangerous. Will England be stronger for that? Yes.
Quick question, quick answer! That game was supposed to kick off at
5pm, but it was five minutes late, because they were still playing in
Paris yesterday, so how do we tell the story of a bizarre afternoon at
the start of France? Just a solitary try, Remi Lamerat
wrapped after Camille Lopez's neat chip. Despite only having one
genuine try scoring opportunity in the match, Leigh Halfpenny's
brilliance with the boot kept Wales in the game and ultimately F Head by
five points as the final whistle beckoned. After 79 minutes off not a
lot, that is when it actually kicked off. The match that will pass into
folklore. The last play. The French and the 17th was about to be
substituted by a recognised better scrummager, Rabah Slimani, who had
been hovering on the touchline. For that to happen, Antonio had to be
injured. He has already brushed away the doctor. Wayne Barnes was about
to embark on the longest 20 minutes of his refereeing career.
I do injured? You are OK? Fine. He is not injured. He has just told me
he is not injured. Ten seconds left of normal time. But
this is France's charge. We shall have to pause again. We are into
overtime, but we shall have the scrum.
I needed higher and I need the space.
Higher is good for Wales. It depends whether the French get momentum.
Once a side gets going forward... He declared itself it, but he is not.
Rabah Slimani comes back on. The specialist prop. Really! That is an
amazing coincidence! Do you think he needs a head
assessment? As a doctor you have said he needs a head assessment?
I suppose it depends how cynical you are about this. But the doctor said,
yes, he needs an assessment. Here we go again. Rabah Slimani
cannot find a way through. No way through the Damien Chouly. Ken and
get a hand over the ball. France also close to the line and
still not over. A penalty advantage for France. France will have the
penalty. Yellow card. It is not the final play. Who is going to be
binned? Samson Lee, by the looks of it.
Tomas Francis is having a word. Scott Baldwin is having a practice
at the scrimmage. The Welsh forwards coach. It has come because you need
a suitable replacement, he has to be qualified in that position.
Scrum after scrum, reset after reset, 30 minutes now into added
time, confusion and pandemonium reigned, and then, if things were
not grammatical enough... And accusation of a bite by George
North. Say it again. OK. He said it is the last but one breakdown. There
is no conclusive footage of the bite, so that will bid got with
afterwards. The penalty is against Rhys Webb.
Scannell Five more minutes passed now. More scrums, more resets. Would
panty try be awarded? Could Wales hold out? How much longer could this
go on? COMMENTATOR: Off we go again. Dupont. Down goes the scrum. Dupont.
It's going to be another penalty. France that close now. Cart rows
tries to disrupt. -- Chartres. Dupont, Slimini. It's another
advantage, Dupont goes. Dupont. Can't reach out for the line.
Let go now. Wales have to let go. Dan Biggar goes to the bin for
kicking the ball on the floor. We heard him there. Biggar is going to
go to the bin. Dan Biggar is heading for the bin in the 100th minute of
the game, if France don't score. France over the line. They claim the
try. And the try by Wayne Barnes is awarded. France have won the game.
It has been one of the longest games on record. #
STUDIO: The clock had stopped early, it was well into the 101st minute
when Lopes kicked the winning point. Amid you will at mayhem was the
image and reputation of the game the biggest loser on Paris, even if, on
the day, it was Wales who came off second best? Our boys have given
everything. A fantastic Test match. We didn't start too well, behind the
score board but the character they have played, they have shown away
from home, we've go the back in front and obviously the last --
we've got back in front and obviously the last 20 minutes of the
game, the scrum was on the line and whilst player welfare is really
important I'm just not too sure in terms of what happened in the last
ten minutes was in the actual integrity of the game. Look, we love
this game and that's why we're involved but, like I said to John
Davies, Six Nations, it's got to be looked at because player welfare, as
I said, it is so important but you just question. Are you saying that
France cheated because they put Slimini back on, their best
scrummager, if you like, when Antonio went off because he was
there for the vital scrum? It was about the process and how Slimini
came back on. I think if you look at the footage and how that happened, I
think, you know, there is good enough evidence, we have questioned
that and if he has got HIA, that's fine, 100%, but in terms of the
process leading up to how he gets back on the field and how they make
that change, I think we have to question the integrity of the sport
at the moment. I'm sure there's people saying we could have put, or
we could have' claimed Tom Francis was injured and gone for a contested
scrum. I'm not going to lie, I have been on sides where they have been
questioned, you would rather defend than contest a scrum. I think we
responded with integrity. And Tom Francis came on because he was fit.
We were back, and the tightheads, whoever son the pitch can do a good
job. You can have a solid scrum. Eventually they played from it. We
got another one in the sin-bin, that's the way the game goes, I'm
proud of the way the boys played. Just two wins in the Six Nations'
Championship. Fifth in the table. Is that a backward step for Welsh
rugby? Well, you know, in terms of the outcome, you know, the first
time we finished fifth which is disappointing. I think that over the
period of time we've played some good rugby and we've deserved pretty
much more from games we played, in particular the England game, second
half. And obviously I thought we were deserving of a win today. But
that didn't happen. STUDIO: Well I picked up a copy of
the paper at the airport this morning and front page headline says
"Madness." Who had 20 minutes of 80,000 people baying for red cards,
yellow cards, penalty tries and a statement in the last hour or so,
from Six Nations' rugby saying they are going to look in the two
disciplinary issue, on ate ledged bite they say an independent review
will take place and we'll talk about that incident in a second and they
have also confirmed they are looking at concerns regarding France's look
of a will of that replacement in extra time. Probably the most single
absurd time was a guy gets sin-binned in the red zone time zone
and he comes back and plays ten more minutes? It was an unedifying
spectacle, at least. I was watching the Irish game, I was at the Aviva.
I didn't get to see that until this morning. When I heard it on the way
home in the car I was just thinking - the clock must have been broken in
the stadium. How could you possibly have an extra 20 minutes, it didn't
seem to make any sense. What do you make of the morality of the
substitution? Well, when I look at what Rob Howley said, I think he was
incredibly controlled in how he phrased it and how he looked at it.
It is s this bloodgate without the blood? We don't know. We are going
to have to see what they come out with, but it looked wrong all the
time. We talk about the HIA and we talk about how it is very important
to protect the players. There are doubts in relation to it. And, you
know, this player, Antonio says he is fine. He is talking. "I'm OK my
back is a bit sore but I'm all right for the most part." Actually in this
instance, Wayne Barnes is in an incredibly awkward position. I think
he does incredibly well. I'm not his biggest fan, at times I find him
pernickity. He does this to the letter. The doctor comes on and he
says - yes, he has to come offerings the referee can't argue with him. .
France covers, by saying - are you saying he is injured and needs to
come off? Well, a lot of things go on. There are things that happen
sthaud nt, is it common practice that this skulduggery happens in
club rugby, never mind international? Well, I played four
or five years in France, there was a bit more perhaps over there, bending
the rules. I think Welsh fans will be bitterly disappointed. I thought
we did enough to win the game and it was a bit of a boring sort of 78
minutes and the last 207 minutes went on, dragged on a bit and Wales,
we just wanted them to hold on. -- the last 20 minutes. They were very
brave. They were fantastic and kept getting the advantage. They'll be
bitterly disappointment. We are second from bottom in the lead.
Irrespective of that is right, wrong or indifferent, we know there is a
hole in the laws where something like that can be exploited. World
rugby and the Six Nations rugby have to look at it. Well, from propgate
to bitegate we've probably got the best angle of an inconclusive claim
from George North. What do we think? Well, Huget hasn't got the best
reputation. Why would George North say that, or go to Wayne and someone
has bitten him. Someone bit it. Hopefully they do find out the
culprit and they can be disciplined in the right way. It's wrong. It has
been said he may have done it to himself. That's the wrong attitude.
What would ever possess a coach of the opposition side to say that's
the sort of person that George North is, to do it to himself. It is
totally wrong. Maybe we'll know more tomorrow. Maybe we won't. Last quick
word about France and Wales and how their campaigns have gone? Keith
this, French team? I'm delighted it see France trying to play a little
bit more. Even though it was dodgy, yesterday. -- to see France. They
have tried to have a bit more flair. The competition is better for it.
Wales? Yesterday they weren't quite themselves, a lot of mistake and
handling errors. They lost the ball in contact far too many times. It is
a disappointing end, having beaten Ireland at home. They were going out
there hoping to finish on a behind it didn't quite click. I think there
was only one break from Rhys Webb that was pretty much the highlight
of the 80 minutes, the 100 minutes, whatever it was. But a lot of
individuals have put their hands up for the Lion, but on the whole a
disappointing tournament. We will come an to Lies on' selection in a
moment or so -- Lions' selection. And that was the first match of the
final weekend, at Murrayfield. Scotland bouncing back from their
hammering at Twickenham it see off Italy in style.
COMMENTATOR: Bar lay thumps his way through. Advantage to Scotland.
Still Scotland's ball. Still for the forwards. And Ryan Wilson, again,
just a meeter or so short. Fagerson this time, can't quite get
there. The post is there for Scotland as well. Goes to Gilchrist
this time. From a standstill. Rolls his way forward. Alli Price just
dragged in for a movement looking to Alex Dunbar this time. And Dunbar
tries to step. Power from the centre. Setting it back now, a quick
ball for Scotland and it is Russell for the try. And Scotland eventually
breach the Italian defences and Finn Russell it is, who scores the hoping
try. A great fry Scotland. A lot of the hard work by the forwards.
Getting half a yard into the defence. Good decision by Alli Price
who goes over for a try. Price delays the pass. Gives it on.
Scotland again. Throw their bodies in. Wide it goes now A chance, a
chance again for Scotland for Finn Russell and Russell still going.
Just short. Trying to get it back, advantage to Scotland. Italy a man
down in defence as well. Scotland showing no mercy at the
moment. That might be a try for Matt Scott. A really well-worked sky.
Price there running hard. Trying to defend. All sorts of problems. You
know you have the penalty there. And you have to follow up. Hogg will
claim the assist. But Price there in the right place at the right time.
Italy desperately searching for something to lift them at the start
of this second half. Still just short. Carried in there. Advantage
again to Italy. There may be a card coming here. Still they throw
themselves at the Scottish line Gori. A chance for the backs. Men
over for Italy. Try for Italy coming in. Oh, he can't get it down.
Esposito. Esposito held up. He might still have the penalty advantage
but, how, how did Italy not use that try-scoring opportunity. Well it
almost sums up Italy. All forward power and when it had to be a try,
they didn't have the pace, accuracy, the pass. Fair play to Hogg for
holding him. But that was a try all day long. The another advantage.
This will be a card. John Barclay has just been told that a card will
be offered. Who will get it for Scotland? And it is John mar clay
himself. The captain -- John Barclay himself. The captain is being called
forward. John Barclay is off for ten minutes, Scotland are really up
against it now. The John Barclay is actually tackling the man. He was
tackling the player with the feet when it is a maul, you can't do
that. Scotland try to hold them up.
Gori again gives it out, once more underneath the post. Then wide it
goes. A looping pass. And Esposito this time brings it in field. Oh, a
spill now from Italy. They cannot score. Well, what a team Scotland
are. To defend that close to the line is sensational.
Barclay feeds it on to Russell. A little chip there and this is the
chase. How will it bounce? Visser, bearing down on t and they go
forward. Advice celebrates, we'll examine it but Tim Visser feels he's
scored Scotland's third try but the decision will go up.
A good hit by Luke McLean. Scotland looking for the breakthrough.
A trifle Tommy Seymour for Scotland. Murrayfield erupt again. A brilliant
team try, patient build-up play, lots of hard yards, waited for the
numbers in attack to be there, and the skills and execution and depth
to go for what looked simple, but a lot of hard work went into that.
Listen to the reception. I know you keep your emotions covered up, but
this is a phenomenal farewell. I would like to thank the players and
everybody for the past three years, it has been fantastic. It has been
great fun, really enjoyed it. We have to solve the issue of not
scoring points, and if we do, that will give the energy and it changes
the momentum. It hurts at the moment, but we are realistic about
how far we have to travel. A tale of two coaches. Vern Cotter
has the most outstanding percentage record of any Scotland coach in the
Six Nations Iraq. Maybe it is an opportune time for Gregor Townsend
to take Scotland to the next level. The structures are in place,
Scotland have gained confidence over the past couple of years. They have
been close sometimes. They got a huge shock last week, they did not
get their head right at Twickenham, and they wanted to make certain they
delivered on their promised this season three victories at home, they
are happy with that. Gregor will bring a lot to the table, but it.
Hastily. They are not too far away in getting... Sorry, they are a long
way from the consistency that the other side have. Trying to get close
to New Zealand, New Zealand put in at least 65 minutes of top rugby,
Scotland have beaten Ireland, Ireland have beaten England, Wales
have beaten Scotland, everybody has beaten everybody, because nobody can
put in that domination, that top-class performance. Until that
happens, we are not going to see the northern hemisphere get close to New
Zealand. Do you regard Italy as very much the Weakest Link and play
accordingly? Do you see any scent of improvement? In recent years, no. We
know they will fall off in the last 25 minutes, that has always been a
tactic, keep the tempo up, their discipline is not the best. We knew
that going into with. They have not had the youngsters coming through,
pushing the older guys off the perch. They have been a bit poor. It
was great to see them against England, that was a bit of drama.
Conor O'Shea is a great coach, one of the best. He has done a great job
already. He can take them forward again. The only way is up. If there
is one fundamental thing that needs to be done to bring them up to
narrow the gap, what would it be? They need to make certain that their
club teams can be competitive in the Pro12 and the European cup, and they
are nowhere near it. They are the whipping boys at every competition.
If he doubted it by getting the great victory over South Africa, the
total confusion over the game against England, if he doubted how
hard it would be for him, the harsh reality came home yesterday.
Scotland are not as consistent, and they absolutely blew Italy off the
park. There was one Grand Slam this weekend, that happened on Friday
night. Across the continent there has been
a surge of interest in the women's game. They are searching for the
Grand Slam. The women in white, Six Nations
Grand Slam champions. The chasing pack behind Chelsea or
in action on BBC One tonight. Finally, we come to a moment where
we say goodbye. After 21 years as a pundit, to Keith Wood, as good off
the field as he was on it. Whenever he gets the ball, there is
a bit off Tally Ho about him. The characteristic driving run. The try
given. The captain is having the day of days. Another chance for Keith
Wood, it is a try. He is going to score. That surely is the Grand
Slam. The world is green tonight.
You could not have picked a better weekend, an Irish victory. We talked
about scrummaging the whole time! It is just perfect! It is a good
paddy's weekend, Cheltenham, then Ireland doing well over weekend --
over England. On behalf of all of us here at the BBC, we would like to
present you with this lovely cap that has your timespan here at the
BBC. I am not sure if it will fit! No way! Thank you for being a good
sport and a good man, it has been a pleasure working with you. As
emotional as Vern Cotter! Shall I put it on? I have a very large
Swede! That is fantastic, like Jennings or something from Tom
Brown's schooldays. We ask you to pick what you think will be the
starting 15 in the opening Lions Test match in the summer, and these
were the names you came up with. Six Irishmen, for Welshman, for
Englishmen and one Scott. I thought I would fight the green
corner. I thought Peter O'Mahony was brilliant, CJ Stander has been one
of the players of the tournament. Tadhg Furlong played brilliantly
yesterday. The Welsh guys are the guys I think have the potential to
be captain. Rory Best struggled last week and got it back again this
week, once his line-out blend was right again. It is a bit of an
Irish... I would maybe throw in Ken Owens, he has been outstanding all
tournament. But Rory Best has been on fire as well. Maybe I would give
the captaincy to Alun Wyn Jones. Sam Warburton without the captaincy...
It goes red! I would put Vunipola at number eight. I would have marital J
as an impact player. What do I know about the backs? Judges to run like
one! I think it is more balanced. I like the idea of nine and ten,
partners all the time, playing together. Elliot Daly would be
interesting. I think he has got a bit of magic, he played out of
position yesterday, but at 13 he is a really good footballer. Liam
Williams has been outstanding, he had a great tour to New Zealand last
year. Again, I am Welsh, but I would put Rhys Webb in there, he has had a
great tournament, he has been a consistent threat. But Conor Murray
as top-class as well. You have a left-field call as captain. It was
all about having a guy who was nailed on, and they are Conor Murray
and Jonny Sexton, and I would go for either of them is the captain. How
are they going to get on? The Lions will win. I fancy the pack being
incredibly powerful and strong. You can get some of that power in the
centre mix, with George North, possibly... New Zealand rely on the
high balls and fitness, and we are as fit now, and we have at least as
much power. I will go back to the English guys. When you look at the
second row, Alun Wyn Jones and Joe Launchbury, you look at Courtney
Lawes, we have a chunk of really big, hefty forwards that can do a
job. You have to get to the pitch of the battle on a Lions tour. I love
it, it is exciting, I never had the chance to tour New Zealand. I am not
as confident as he is. All of the history of the Lions does not stack
up particular well in New Zealand, but if we can get the blend right
and we pick a team... Those teams are plucked out of the air, it is
the blend, and what happens when they tour and play the first Test
match together, how much magic can we make? You could pick two or three
teams, the talent is there a across-the-board. Ireland, having
beaten New Zealand, that is a case for their players. They have been
there and done it. England have had a great couple of years. Scottish
rugby is on the way up, the Welsh boys are playing well, so it is a
great balance, it is a tough job for Warren Gatland. Keith, your punditry
career with us spans the 21 years of oppression rugby, so when you
started being a pundit, we had just made the transition. How much better
his rugby now than it was then? It is more physical, it is faster.
Technically, far higher than it was. There is less space now. When I
started playing and as a pundit, there was a lot of room, there is
very little room now, and sometimes that is a negative, but for the most
part I still get excited. Going back into the Aviva Stadium yesterday,
watching it as a fan, it was an amazing experience. It has been a
great Six Nations. Enjoy what might be the last few weeks of your
playing career. You might go on forever! I might get picked for the
Lions! Gerry and Kate, who knows when we will meet again. The Six
Nations is over and done with, we will see you for another one in 45
weeks. Goodbye. England of the Six Nations champions
again. Ireland have the victory, England
have the championship. The 24-year-old man
has been charged with murder. You made sure an innocent man
is charged! What gives you the right
to say that he's innocent?
John Inverdale presents highlights and in-depth analysis of the final round of fixtures from the 2017 Six Nations. This weekend's games saw a mouthwatering clash between Ireland and England in Dublin, while Wales travelled to Paris looking for a sixth successive victory over France and Scotland faced Italy in Edinburgh.