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France win Six Nations Grand Slam
French continue domination of European rugby
Posted Dec 28, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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France’s domination of the European club rugby seen was transferred to the international stage in 2010 as they ran riot in the RBS Six Nations, claiming a Grand Slam with five wins from five.
The French, who has struggled in the latter half of 2010, were in sensational form from their very first fixture against Scotland when they cruised to 18-9 triumph at Murrayfield. The Scottish had no answer for the French power and skill and this was to be a familiar story throughout the competition.
In a game many thought would decide the outcome of the tournament, despite it only being the second fixture, France destroyed the Irish at Stade de France, hammering home a 33-10 win with tries from Servat, Jauzion and Poitrenaud, conversions from Parra, who also kicked two penalties and a drop-goal and a drop-goal from Michalak.
England has also started strongly, winning their opening two fixtures, firstly against Wales at Twickenham, 30-17 and then in Italy, 12-17 with Jonny Wilkinson once again proving his worth to the team with fine displays of kicking.
It was no down to England and France and the next two fixtures would prove to be the decisive moment in the 2010 competition.
France travelled to Wales and were thoroughly professional in their performance as they withstood a stunning fightback from the home nation to win 20-26. France had led 0-20 at the break as Palisson and Trinh-Duc crashed over and Parra and Michalak were at it against with the boot. But the Welsh have spirit and tries from Halfpenny and Shane Williams led the charge. However, it was too little, too late as the French held on.
Meanwhile, at Twickenham, England were locked in a fierce battle with the Irish with the visitors taking a slim 6-8 advantage into the interval. England came out roaring but the Irish were there to match them and match them they did as they held on for a famous 16-20 win, meaning England’s chances of winning the tournament were all riding on their final fixture in France.
Before then, the French continued to dominate with a stunning 46-20 win over Italy whilst England could only manage a draw in Scotland. Ireland were doing all they could to stay in the hunt as they beat the Welsh 27-12 at Croke Park.
In the final round of fixtures, Ireland needed to beat Scotland at Croke Park to stay in with a shout but they were relying on England to win, and to win big in France to stand a chance of winning the Six Nations.
Unfortunately for Ireland, the occasion got the better of them and they lost 20-23 to Scotland whilst England failed to win in France, losing 12-10 in an entertaining encounter.
All in all, it was a great year for the Six Nations and hopefully, the 2011 competition will match it, only with a better outcome for England!