With the hangover well and truly over for many Irishmen, the Six Nations has once again left its mark on the wallets and liver of many. Especially if you’re English. Despite the tears of many who read this, we can’t conclude the tournament without a run-down what happened to whom, and why I became an alcoholic for over a month as a result.




The fact that Italy are in the Six Nations has now become a perplexing thought for many, as the Azzurri once again came bottom with no wins, to no-one’s surprise. This season is now the 3rd consecutive year Italy have failed to even win one game, and with serious competition from Georgia now looming to become the 6th nation (or downsize back to 5), the prospect of Italy attending another Six Nations must now be seriously examined. That’s not to say that Italy were entirely redundant this year, as they pushed Scotland hard, finishing 27-29, but by then it was the last game and I even believe the Scots had already started drinking before the match.



Considering England finished only above Italy, it gives testament to how catastrophic this campaign has been for my beloved nation. Perhaps it was the first match against Italy that misled the country into believing that England were at their best, destroying them 46-15 and gaining a bonus point in the process. However, the only thing that England seemed to take away from the game was that they were a “second-half” team, with the score only 10-17 at HT. This was shown against Wales, who managed to prevent England from scoring the 2nd half, and only won 12-6, with a contentious decision by the referee, denying Wales a try, being the deciding factor.

That game should’ve served as a warning for the reigning champions, attempting to go for a record third title, but once Scotland figured them out, and got a 22-6 lead at HT, England’s fate was sealed. What ensued against France, ending England’s title challenge, and then Ireland serve to demonstrate that England need work to do before the World Cup next year. The reputation of manager Eddie Jones is now for the first time up for date, having only lost one game before the tournament, has now lost 3 on the bounce, although no-one deserves to receive the verbal and physical abuse he received from rival fans. Now’s certainly not the time for a firing, far from it, however, he arguably needs reminding that England aren’t invincible.



Whilst for many tournaments it’s been traditional for France to finish in the bottom 3, one has to feel sympathy for England’s old invaders, sorry, enemy. Their victory against Italy was to be expected, however beating England to prevent them winning them the Six Nations must be commended, if also resented from us England fans. But it was their close losses against Ireland (15-13) and Wales (14-13) that will leave a sour taste in Les Bleus, possibly taking them to the dizzying heights of 2nd place, a place France haven’t held since 2011.

As a result, it might taste bad now for the French, however they are now potential “dark horses” heading into the World Cup, although their ability against the big hitters of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa are yet to be tested.



As an Englishman, this hurts to write. Going into the pivotal game at Murrayfield, England were a mix of confidence and nerves. The Calcutta cup hadn’t seen Scottish territory for a decade and England were reigning champions, however Scotland saw England’s weakness against Wales and exploited it. A quick rush of 3 tries in the first half effectively knocked England out there and then – only needing a penalty in the 2nd to finish the Roses off – it encapsulated their finest moment of the tournament, 25-13 against their bitter rivals. Wins against France and Italy were by no means easy, in fact suspiciously too close, but were enough to seal Scotland’s first finish in the top 3 since 2013.

Jammy sods.




Losing only 2 games in the Six Nations and finishing 2nd overall would usually be considered a reason to celebrate, however there is a notion that Wales could’ve even gone one better this year. Waltzing past Italy and even Scotland with ease, and whilst they only beat France by 1 point, Wales pushed hard against both England and Ireland, securing their place as the “try-hards” of the years. Perhaps Wales will find comfort in the fact that despite not playing not to their best for a lot of the tournament, they still finished 2nd. Again, maybe the World Cup next year will be a time for the dragon to roar again?



Champions and a handsome grand-slam to match, Ireland were deserved winners of the Six Nations in 2018. Built up as favourites alongside England, the Irish made no mistake in despatching the competition convincingly, with the only “hiccup” being a nervy game against France at the start, winning 15-13 through a magnificent Johnny Sexton drop-goal in the 3rd minute of added time. This arguably acted as a springboard for the men in green, making short work of Italy, scoring 56 points (the most of the tournament), and even before the English had slipped up in Scotland, Ireland were already ahead by bonus points.

Winning against England – in Ireland – on St Patricks day to wrap up the grand-slam provided an apt day for an rugby fan, and any English alcoholic for that matter. Whilst it is debatable if they’ll be the strongest of the Six Nations next year for the World Cup, with Wales recovering star players and England sorting themselves out, Ireland were by far the best team this time round.


Congratulations to Ireland on their first Six Nations victory since 2015, and their first grand-slam since 2009.