Classic Six Nations matches
Press Association Sport's Matt McGeehan takes a look at five classic Six Nations games from the past:
- Related Content
FRANCE 25 IRELAND 27 (Stade de France, Paris, March 19, 2000)
Brian O'Driscoll's hat-trick inspired Ireland to a first victory in Paris in 28 years. The 21-year-old, in his first appearance against Les Bleus, dazzled with a series of mesmerising runs to cross the French line three times. O'Driscoll's third score came after scrum-half Peter Stringer had dropped the ball. The centre scooped it up without breaking step and beat the covering defence to touch down with six minutes remaining. David Humphreys kicked the conversion but Ireland still trailed by a point. The replacement fly-half was presented with a penalty two minutes from time and coolly slotted over for a first win over France since 1983.
IRELAND 6 ENGLAND 42 (Lansdowne Road, Dublin, March 30, 2003)
Clive Woodward's England atoned for previous near-misses with a first Grand Slam since 1995 in a comprehensive victory which enforced their status as World Cup contenders. After blowing Grand Slam opportunities in 1999, 2000 and 2001, England won the Dublin decider in a performance of huge power and impressive style. England scored five tries - two from Will Greenwood and one each from Mike Tindall, Lawrence Dallaglio and Dan Luger - with man of the match Jonny Wilkinson instrumental, orchestrating England's every move, scoring 15 points, including two drop-goals and tackling anything and everything in a green shirt. It was their third Six Nations title in four seasons.
ENGLAND 19 WALES 26 (Twickenham, London, February 2, 2008)
An astounding second-half fightback saw Wales record a first win at Twickenham since 1988. In his first match in charge, New Zealander Warren Gatland selected a record 13 Ospreys in his starting line-up and the decision was entirely vindicated. Toby Flood crossed for a try and Jonny Wilkinson added four penalties and a conversion to put World Cup finalists England firmly in the ascendancy. But, trailing 19-6, Wales scored 20 unanswered points in 13 second-half minutes to prevail. Lee Byrne and Mike Phillips scored tries, while James Hook finished with 16 points from his boot as Wales returned west along the M4 with the first points of a memorable Grand Slam campaign.
WALES 15 IRELAND 17 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, March 21, 2009)
Ireland ended a 61-year wait for Grand Slam glory and landed their first Six Nations title after dethroning Wales in dramatic fashion. The Irish recovered from a 6-0 interval deficit, but only after Wales fly-half Stephen Jones missed a 50-metre penalty with the game's final kick. Fly-half Ronan O'Gara's drop-goal won the game for Ireland after Wales led 15-14, but it was captain Brian O'Driscoll who fittingly set the ball rolling, touching down for Ireland's second-half opener before wing Tommy Bowe added a second try. O'Gara slotted both conversions, sinking defending champions Wales, who remained in the contest through four Jones penalties and his late drop-goal, as Ireland emulated the all-conquering team of 1948.
WALES 31 SCOTLAND 24 (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, February 13, 2010)
In Chris Paterson's 100th Test for Scotland, Wales staged a remarkable fightback from 24-14 down with only three minutes of normal time left. Scotland looked to have done enough to reduce Wales' title hopes to ruins by ending an eight-year wait for victory in Cardiff, but they ended the game with 13 men after substitutes Scott Lawson and Phil Godman were sin-binned in rapid succession. Fly-half Dan Parks delivered a supreme tactical display that also included two drop-goals and a penalty double, while flanker John Barclay and substitute wing Max Evans scored first-half tries and Paterson slotted a conversion. But Wales, who had earlier claimed a Lee Byrne try, prevailed as tries by Leigh Halfpenny and Shane Williams and 16 points from Stephen Jones clinched an astonishing win.