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banner Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 16:24 GMT
Six Nations - 2000 review
Scotland celebrate their surprise 19-13 win over England at Murrayfield
Scotland celebrate their surprise win over England
The inaugural Six Nations Championship may have been won by their rivals from south of the border, but Scotland grabbed most of the headlines during the tournament's eight-week shelf life.

Beaten by new boys Italy on the opening day, Andy Nicol's side finished on a high by wrecking England's dreams of claiming their first Grand Slam since 1995.

Debate had raged long and hard about Italy's participation in a new-look competition.

But the Azzurri had the critics choking on their words after 80 minutes of passionate endeavour inside Rome's Stadio Flaminio.

Utter humiliation

Diego Dominguez was the architect of Scotland's downfall, kicking 29 points in a stunning 34-20 victory.

Unfortunately for Italy's coach, New Zealander Brad Johnstone, the shock success proved to be a false dawn.

Alessandro Troncon toasts Italy's win over Scotland
Alessandro Troncon toasts Italy's win over Scotland
His side did not win again, suffering crushing defeats at the hands of Wales, Ireland and England to finish bottom of the table.

It was a tournament to forget for France.

Their campaign began well enough with a comprehensive 36-3 win over Wales in Cardiff, but it also included defeats by England and Ireland.

To lose against England was a bitter blow but to come off second best to the Irish - and in front of their own fans in Paris - was utter humiliation.

Leading 19-7 midway through the second half, the French looked to be heading for a routine win.

But Ireland, inspired by a hat-trick of tries from centre Brian O'Driscoll, hit back to record their first victory over France for 18 years.

The Irish should have gone on to finish runners-up to England, but defeat against Wales in their final game wrecked what had been up until then a memorable campaign.

Wooden spoon

With Neil Jenkins once again to the fore, the Welsh snatched a 23-19 win in Dublin to ensure they finished the tournament on a high.

England were far from exuberant as the curtain fell on the Six Nations.

After chalking up 170 points in their previous four matches, victory over Scotland seemed a formality for Clive Woodward's rampant side, even if the Calcutta Cup clash was at Murrayfield.

  2000 Results
Italy 34-20 Scotland
England 50-18 Ireland
Wales 3-36 France
Wales 47-16 Italy
Ireland 44-22 Scotland
France 9-15 England
England 46-12 Wales
Ireland 60-13 Italy
Scotland 16-28 France
Wales 26-18 Scotland
Italy 12-59 England
France 25-27 Ireland
Ireland 19-23 Wales
France 42-31 Italy
Scotland 19-13 England

But, with one hand firmly gripping the wooden spoon after four straight defeats, the Scots adapted superbly to the atrocious conditions to wrench the Grand Slam from the grasp of their old adversaries with a 19-13 triumph.

"I thought the boys were magnificent - they stood up and were counted," said Scotland coach Ian McGeechan.

"They knew they had to play out of their skins - and they did."

England were so shell-shocked that they even forget to collect the Six Nations trophy from HRH Princess Anne.

The snub earned them a mild rebuke but was nothing compared to the pain they were suffering following their unexpected loss.

They will be keen to avoid a similar experience this time around.

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