As one of the most anticipated rugby championships, the Six Nations is hardly over before fans and gamesman are already looking forward to the next year and 2014 is no different. This year’s event was reminiscent of the classic style, laying aside the trend in recent years to create an overall kicking match typical of some of the teams. There was a great deal more running and the power and energy that went into the competition was phenomenal.
With all of the wheels on the field, there were a few that stood out more than others. Rob Kearney of Ireland along with England’s Mike Brown made a great show on the pitch with their running games and Brown was honoured with the competition’s top award although many thought that Kearney would earn that.
With Kearney’s team taking the big win, however, he claims to have achieved a far greater high from that. It’s only the second time that an Irish team has won the event in over 40 years. The win provided something of a fairy tale ending for Brian O’Driscoll as it would be his last game. This marks his second Six Nations championship and the club, the fans and the media were sure to give him a glorious send off.
Gael Fickou put in an amazing performance as well knocking back England just as they were primed for a win. Courtney Lawes, Chris Robshaw and many others all made a big splash at this event and it appears that the English team will be flourishing in the years to come with such an amazing lineup. Even the bookies are calling it in their favourite for next year regardless of the fact that so much can happen between now and then and it is far too soon to be able to accurately speculate.
The final game was indeed a fight to the finish with both England and Ireland going full throttle until the very last seconds and they were absolutely excellent to watch. Their opponents, Wales and France, respectively, on the other hand were inadequate at best. Wales truly struggled through the entire competition and there only hope now is to train for next year. They’ll have work around an injured Sam Warburton and the lineup could take a real shakeup depending on the decisions that are made now and over the next little while.
While France did take a big win early in the tournament against England, they couldn’t quite muster the same level of performance to take the win in the final. Many speculate that too many from their ranks were not in the lineup for various reasons and that impacted their chances. The pressure will fall now on coach Saint Andre to try to ramp up a more consistent regimen of play for his team so that next year’s tournament might end better for them.
The remaining teams, Scotland and Italy, left much to be desired throughout their tournie campaigns. Italy and Scotland, both endured thoroughly disappointing campaigns. Italy was virtually crushed by England with a 30 point win and that’s a pretty devastating blow from which to recover. A shame since their 2013 season was rather promising for the team. Scotland’s win over Italy was actually their only shining moment as their other matches were fairly disappointing. Now that it is all said and done, however, everyone can look forward to next year’s Six Nations Championship.