Tight matches had been a theme of the first four rounds of action in this year’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations, so it was no surprise to see all three games on Super Saturday decided by four points or fewer.

Those results meant that 10 matches this year were decided by just four points or fewer. No edition of the Championship (incl. Home/Five Nations) has seen more than seven games decided by such a margin, while the last time at least two thirds of games were decided by four points or fewer was back in 1979 (70%, 7/10).

A week on from the disappointment of having their Grand Slam hopes dashed, Ireland eventually wore down the Scottish wall to seal back-to-back Six Nations titles.

Meanwhile, it was England’s turn to be on the receiving end of a last gasp match-winning three-pointer against France, while Italy triumphed in Cardiff to deservedly avoid the Wooden Spoon and leave Wales wondering where they go from here.

Our experts at OptaJonny pick out some of the best stats from the Six Nations finale below…

Wales 21-24 Italy

  • Italy defeated Wales for just the fourth time in the Guinness Men’s Six Nations (D1 L20) and have won on each of their last two trips to Wales in the Championship after being winless in their initial 11 games in the Welsh capital.
  • The Azzurri didn’t concede any points in the first half, the first time they’d kept any side scoreless in a single half in the Six Nations.
  • Wales have lost each of their last seven Guinness Men’s Six Nations home matches, their longest ever losing run on home soil in the Five/Six Nations; they picked up the Wooden Spoon for just the second time in the Six Nations (also 2003), with Italy avoiding it for the first time since 2015.
  • Italy have won two and drawn one of their last three matches in the Six Nations, the first time they’ve ever gone unbeaten for three straight games in the Championship; it’s also the first time they’ve lost fewer than three matches in an edition of the tournament (L2).
  • Tommy Reffell won three turnovers in this match, taking his tally to 11 for the tournament, the joint most by any player in an edition of the Guinness Men’s Six Nations, alongside John Barclay who won 11 turnovers for Scotland in 2011.
  • George North won his 121st and final cap for Wales; he scored 47 tries for Wales, only Shane Williams (58) has scored more, with 23 of those tries coming in the Six Nations – Brian O’Driscoll is the only player from any nation to score more in the Championship since 2000 (26).
Wales vs Italy Expected Points

Ireland 17-13 Scotland

  • Ireland won the Guinness Men’s Six Nations for the sixth time since Italy joined the Championship, drawing level with France and Wales and just one behind England who have won it the most since 2000; it’s the second time Ireland have won back-to-back editions of the Six Nations, after 2014 and 2015.
  • Ireland have led at half-time in each of their last 13 Guinness Men’s Six Nations matches, the joint longest run by any side in the history of the Five/Six Nations, alongside England who led at the break in 13 consecutive games between 1998 and 2001.
  • Ireland have now won 14 of their last 15 Test matches against Scotland, including each of their last 10, their longest ever winning run against them, overtaking the nine in a row they won between 1939 and 1954.
  • Dan Sheehan scored five tries in this year’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations, the outright most by any forward in an edition of the men’s Championship since Italy joined in 2000, overtaking Imanol Harinordoquy (4 in 2004) and Charles Ollivon (4 in 2020).
  • Scotland made 233 tackles, their second most against Ireland in a Six Nations game (242 in 2017); Andy Christie made 28 tackles, the joint most by any Scotland player in a match in the Championship (John Barclay, 28 v Ireland in 2018) – in fact, only three players have made more in a match in the Six Nations overall (Luke Charteris – 31, Guilhem Guirado – 31, Justin Tipuric – 29).
Ireland vs Scotland Momentum

France 33-31 England

  • France won three consecutive Guinness Men’s Six Nations matches against England for the first time since 2004-2006 and four straight home games against them in the Championship for the first time since 1966-1972. Their victory meant they finished second behind Ireland, their fifth top-two finish in a row, only England (7 between 2011 and 2017) have recorded a longer such run in the Six Nations.
  • England trailed at half-time in each of their five matches in this year’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations, the first time they’ve trailed at the break in every match of a campaign since the 1974 Five Nations.
  • Ollie Lawrence has scored a brace of first tries for the first time in what is his 24th Test cap for England – Lawrence has scored more tries in his last two matches for England (3) than he did across his first 22 combined (2).
  • Damian Penaud beat 10 defenders, the second time he’s reached double figures for defenders beaten in a Six Nations game (also 11 v Ireland in 2023), Duhan van der Merwe is the only other player to beat 10+ defenders in a match more than once in the Championship (twice). Only four other France players have managed it once in a Six Nations fixture (Damien Traille, Emile Ntamack, Thomas Castaignede, Virimi Vakatawa).
  • England’s Ben Earl beat four defenders against France, bringing his total to 24 for the 2024 Guinness Men’s Six Nations – compatriot Billy Vunipola is the only forward to have beaten more in an edition of the Championship (25 in 2016).
France vs England Live Win Probability

OptaJonny’s Team of the Tournament

15Thomas Ramos🇫🇷 France
14Damian Penaud🇫🇷 France
13Gael Fickou🇫🇷 France
12Bundee Aki☘️ Ireland
11James Lowe☘️ Ireland
10Finn Russell🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland
9Nolann Le Garrec🇫🇷 France
8Ben Earl🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England
7Tommy Reffell🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wales
6Francois Cros🇫🇷 France
5Tadhg Beirne☘️ Ireland
4Maro Itoje 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England
3Zander Fagerson🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland
2Dan Sheehan☘️ Ireland
1Pierre Schoeman🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland

Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee (Wales), 17. Andrew Porter (Ireland), 18. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), 19. Federico Ruzza (Italy), 20. Michele Lamaro (Italy), 21. Jamison Gibson Park (Ireland), 22. Paolo Garbisi (Italy), 23. Duhan van der Merwe (Scotland)

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