Shaun Goosen looks back at this weekend’s European rugby action as England claimed the Six Nations and the Top 14 saw some more big results.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
England claim 2020 Six Nations crown on points-difference
Despite France’s 35-27 win over Ireland in Paris later in the day, England were crowned Six Nations champions after their 34-5 victory over Italy in Rome on Saturday. The title comes almost a year to the day after Eddie Jones’ men were beaten in the Rugby World Cup final by South Africa and will give the Red Roses plenty of confidence upon which to build ahead of upcoming Tests against Georgia, Ireland and Wales.
England’s bonus-point win over Italy was solid if unspectacular, with Ben Youngs earning his 100th Test cap and marking the occasion by scoring two tries. Meanwhile, the French and Irish put on a hugely entertaining contest at the Stade de France. It was ultimately the hosts that achieved the W, though, after executing some sparkling play – spearheaded by halfback pairing of Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack – to secure second spot.
Scots crash AWJ’s party in Cardiff
Scotland’s 14-10 win over Wales on Saturday was their first in the country since 2002 and condemned Wayne Pivac’s charges to a fifth loss in succession. The result also saw Scotland finish in fourth, level on points with Ireland though set back by their inferior points-difference. After claiming a Grand Slam and finishing fourth in the Rugby World Cup last year, Wales had to settle for a fifth-place finish in the Six Nations this season.
The occasion marked Welsh skipper Alun Wyn Jones’ 149th Test appearance – breaking the previous record of 148 set by Richie McCaw. Despite the result, the second-rower will be hugely proud of the achievement, with nine of those caps coming in the red of the British & Irish Lions. Jones is unquestionably one of the greatest rugby players of all time, having debuted way back in 2006, and there still looks like there’s plenty left in that old tank of his yet!
Bordeaux smash Agen, Clermont and Stade Francais win big
After an underwhelming start to the season that saw them win just one of their opening four fixtures, Bordeaux bounced back to record a comprehensive 71-5 thumping of Agen at the Stade Chaban-Delmas. The scoreline resulted in Agen boss Christophe Laussucq getting the sack with club president Jean-Francois Fonteneau describing the event as “intolerable”.
Elsewhere, log-leading Clermont beat Brive 43-21 and Stade Francais thumped a Cheslin Kolbe-less Toulouse 48-14. In other results, there were wins for Castres and La Rochelle.
Written by Shaun Goosen.