Rugby Special: Final Round Six Nations Rugby

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Rugby Special: Final Round

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.