There was France's fabulous try in the dying seconds of their first round game against England which, as it turned out, probably denied England a Grand Slam.
A home and away play off with promotion and relegation to the Six Nations would be a fantastic finale to the European season, more to the point it would be just. Money matters off the field should not govern the global development of the game.
France was unlucky against Ireland but so fortunate were they against England and Scotland and so useless against Wales it is hard to find much in the way of sympathy. They have a tough tour of Australia in which to find a top class game plan. They have many fine players but little shape.
He and Danny Care was the partnership of the tournament (ahead of Lawes/Launchbury) although Johnny Sexton's excellence throughout, especially against Wales, keeps him ahead of the Englishman in European rankings (mine anyway).
Ford will have to be exceptional to steer a two thirds strength England to victory or even a creditable defeat in the Auckland first test. Maybe Lancaster thinks he is that good. Maybe he is.
There was an outstanding test match between Ireland and England, there was a Reebok Furylite Grey
The return of five of Britain's best players will Saucony Classics sort out the Saints problems and keep them on course for the Premiership title while Exeter can bask, for a day or so (probably last Sunday and that was it) before Rob Baxter recommences the plot to conquer Europe.
He'll have to be to oust Farrell whose patient treatment from the selectors when his form has dipped up and down has been rewarded with a stunning sequence of improving performances.
Ireland took the title but England gained the edge in the race towards 2015. Stuart Lancaster's team has a younger, developing profile with obvious scope for great improvement. It has regained the love of the Twickenham crowd. Joe Schmidt has to find a way to get Paul O'Connell to the tournament in top shape, which is easier said than done when the big man plays with such integrity for his beloved Munster.
It had everything. If you wanted excitement there was the ending to the whole competition, with France a forward pass from depriving Ireland of the title.
CureWales reminded the world against a risible Scotland team in Cardiff of their power.
Stuart Barnes says England are on course for World Cup challenge after memorable Six Nations
TriumphAway from the Test arena, congratulations to Exeter for winning the Anglo Welsh Cup against Northampton.
Stuart Lancaster has been building continuity in his starting line up but in the process left the cover undercooked. I think Ford Saucony Dirty Snow Ii
A summer off from Argentina could be a possibility whereas once England gets its domestic final out the way the objective has to be a morale boosting test win in New Zealand followed up by wins against the Big Three in the autumn. England's next seven matches are vital to their hopes of winning the World Cup.
The home crowd inspired them as they dominated the physical battle against the Saints in a way no English side has managed this season.
The last time I looked at an atlas, France appeared to be a fair sized country with a decent sized population, Ireland had three of the best regional/club teams in Europe and Wales a smattering of world class players and a fine recent record.
and on form the two teams to compete at Twickenham. This leaves the likelihood of George Ford starting his debut test in Auckland.
fairy tale ending to the illustrious career of Brian O'Driscoll and there was the most exciting, intelligent and interesting England team for a decade. The riposte to that is that there is a bigger picture.
should have started a game England could not lose in Rome; it is probably my only criticism.
As for Scotland and Italy, the case for a play off between the bottom of the Six Nations and the winners of the second tier tournament grows ever greater from a rugby perspective.
Next year is the one where England need to be at its winning best. The second point is that expecting England to win time and again is something of an insult to the other teams.
Northampton and Saracens are favourites to be the home semi finalists Reebok Old School Basketball Shoes
Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and George North were all exceptional but the comprehensive losses in Dublin and London leave Gatland plenty of work to do ahead of the World Cup. A two test series in South Africa could be a kill or cure course of action.
Broadcasters like the intense old rivalries but in the interests of the game worldwide it might be that Georgia are worthy of a chance to improve their game by a season of Six Nations rugby.
Much credit to Schmidt and Lancaster for their four wins, much less to Saint Andre and Gatland for their three.
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