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Page last updated at 19:45 GMT, Saturday, 21 March 2009
2009 Six Nations
7 Feb-21 March

BBC coverage | 606 | Official site




Results:

Italy 8-50 France

England 26-12 Scotland

Wales 15-17 Ireland

LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)
606: DEBATE

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By Mark Orlovac

1943: Right all, I think now is a good time to bid farewell. Thanks very much for your company over the last few weeks and all your messages today. Hope you enjoyed it and let's do all of this again soon. Bring on the Lions.

"Ronan O'Gara been such a fantastic servant of Irish rugby. It's a day to be unbelievably proud. The big guns we have in Ireland all delivered. It's tears in the eyes stuff and it's unbelievably fantastic. This season Brian O'Driscoll has been under huge pressure and delivered in every game."
Former Ireland skipper Keith Wood

"Henson should have taken the kick, absolutely fuming. Well done Ireland though."
tommy_ccfc on 606

1937: Incredibly, Wales are relegated to fourth place in the table with France in third and England second. Ireland's players are going on their lap of honour with Status Quo's "Rockin' All Over The World" ringing around the stadium. Class.

"You huffed and puffed a bit, but congratulations on winning the Grand Slam as they don't come easy. As being Irish born I feel a little pride although I'm a Scotland supporter. As for any negative posts; treat them with the contempt they deserve."
baggie_hall on 606

"The shame would have been if Wales had won the game, for it would have been a shame for a team that couldn't score tries, even at home, should win the championship."
i.moore on 606

1929: Well finally this generation of Irish players can savour a Grand Slam and I reckon they deserved it. Just. The amount of penalties they conceded today came very close to derailing their campaign, but if you are of an Irish persuasion you don't really care now. That is Ireland's first Grand Slam since 1948.

"Absolutely brilliant game. Congratulations Ireland. Well played Wales."
Philsterboy61 on 606

FULL-TIME Wales 15-17 Ireland
Geordan Murphy touches the ball down in the in-goal area and the Irish celebrations begin. That was simply unbelievable and sporting drama of the highest order.

80 mins: Last minute of play. Wales have possession and Ireland substitute Paddy Wallace concedes a penalty just inside the Irish half. Unbearable tension. They will go for goal, the Grand Slam is on the line. Jones misses the long kick and IRELAND WIN THE GRAND SLAM. They've done it.

78 mins: DROP-GOAL Wales 15-17 Ireland
We all knew it was coming. The forwards pick and drive while O'Gara gets his radar in focus. Stringer fires it back to him and the ball splits the uprights. Is that it?

77 mins: Ireland line-out deep in Welsh territory. O'Connell collects and the forwards inch forward.

75 mins: DROP-GOAL Wales 15-14 Ireland
Ireland scramble back in defence after Mike Phillips breaks through four tackles to put his side within striking distance. Stephen Jones sits back in the pocket and nails the drop-goal. What tension. I can't take much more of this.

73 mins: Wales scrum in the Ireland half. The ball is fed to wing Shane Williams, who has had a very quiet game, and he looks like he might break through but slips at a crucial moment. It's all Wales at the moment.

"Sitting in Florida with my five-day-old daughter Georgina screaming for the first Irish grand slam in our lifetime."
David F via text on 81111

71 mins: Another mistake from Ireland, and a forward pass ends a spell of possession.

69 mins: Henson takes a high ball but is wrapped up by the Irish defence and he turns the ball over. Scrum-half O'Leary comes off and is replaced by Munster team-mate Peter Stringer.

68 mins: John Hayes is penalised on halfway for hands in the ruck. Up steps Gavin Henson but the attempt is well short.

67 mins: Geordan Murphy replaces Ireland full-back Rob Kearney. Rory Best comes on for Jerry Flannery.

65 mins: Wales concede a penalty near the halfway line and Ireland boot to touch near the 22. Ireland lose the line-out however, and the home side clears.

62 mins: I think I have said it before but the speed of this game is ridiculous. Wing Luke Fitzgerald collects a hack through and jinks his way through the Welsh defence to start a counter-attack. The visitors make ground but Paul O'Connell holds onto the ball in the tackle and Wales can clear again. Ireland have conceded 13 penalties to Wales' four and that indiscipline could cost them dear.

60 mins: Ireland attack on the right wing through Bowe thanks to a nice kick wide by O'Leary. Bowe chips forward again but it is not deep enough and Henson can run back to cover.

59 mins: Wonderful scrum and rucking from Ireland and they win the ball back when Ryan Jones tries to carry the ball into contact on his own.

58 mins: Wales are enjoying more of the ball at the moment and they have a scrum on the Irish 40m line.

56 mins: Ian Gough and Matthew Rees come off for Wales, Luke Charteris and Huw Bennett are on.

56 mins: PENALTY Wales 12-14 Ireland
Another ludicrous penalty conceded by Wales. Leamy goes straight through a Welsh line-out and Jones kicks another three points. Where's your money now?

"Am on a ski lift in Vail, no BBC in any bar so out on slopes, gripping stuff. C'mon Ireland.."
From Paul Mc via text on 81111

51 mins: PENALTY Wales 9-14 Ireland
Silly, silly, silly from Donncha O'Callaghan. The Munster lock pushes Mike Phillips in the chest when the scrum-half knocks on. There is absolutely no need to do so and Stephen Jones lands the penalty with the help of one of the uprights.

46 mins: TRY Wales 6-14 Ireland
What a half-time team talk from Ireland coach Declan Kidney. O'Gara dinks the ball over the top of the Welsh line near halfway for Tommy Bowe to collect off his wing. Henson flies in to try and stop him but misses the tackle completely and Bowe runs in under the posts. O'Gara converts.

44 mins: TRY Wales 6-7 Ireland
Yes it is. Another vital score from skipper O'Driscoll , his fourth of the tournament. He picks up from close range and although Matthew Rees tries his best to stop him, the video ref says the Leinster centre got the ball on the line. O'Gara converts.

44 mins: Pick and drive, pick and drive. Brian O'Driscoll dives over from a yard. The decision goes upstairs, has he got it?

43 mins: Ireland are camped on the Welsh line, it's all staying in the forwards. Can they find a way through?

41 mins: Ireland wing Tommy Bowe breaks through the Wales defence into the Welsh half. Henson brings him down. The ball is recycled and Ronan O'Gara decides to kick for the corner, Mark Jones collects and takes the ball into touch for an Irish line-out.

41 mins: Ireland start the final half of the 2009 Six Nations.

"What happens if Wales win by 12? Still an Irish tournament victory, or are the points tied?"
Andrew via text

Hi Andrew, if the sides are level then it goes to tries scored. Ireland are on 10 at the moment, with Wales on eight.

"I'm worried. Ireland are back to conservative rugby. If they play like that for another 40 minutes, Ireland will not win the Grand Slam, it's as simple as that."
BBC Sport pundit and former Ireland skipper Keith Wood

"Ireland have just got to keep trying to grind down Wales, keep going through the phases because they don't need that many points to win the title. What Wales will probably do is keep building their innings. If it takes them another 40 minutes to score seven points they will be happy with that."
Former Wales forward Colin Charvis

"What an absolutely draining first half that was. More of the same in the second, please."
richie4eva1 on 606

1826: I would ask you to be a little patient with the updates as it is all getting a bit slow at the moment. Apologies. It isn't my typing, promise.

"Following your text from the reception of a hotel in Trivandrum, India. C'mon Wales!"
Harry Monster via text on 81111

HALF-TIME Wales 6-0 Ireland
There is very little to separate these two teams after one of the most compelling 40 minutes of rugby I have watched. The tension is only going to increase after the break. I just hope that there will be more chocolate arriving on my desk very soon otherwise I might fade away.

39 mins: PENALTY Wales 6-0 Ireland
Luke Fitzgerland is a bit too eager when coming into the line, getting in the way of the ball carrier and is penalised for crossing. Stephen Jones leathers the kick from halfway and it goes over. Interesting, very interesting.

36 mins: Ireland huff and puff in the 22 but it is all very static and they cannot find a way through. Brian O'Driscoll tries to make something happen but does not release when tackled and Wales clear again.

35 mins: O'Gara kicks a penalty into the Welsh 22 after Gough is penalised for not tackling with his arms.

33 mins: PENALTY Wales 3-0 Ireland
From the resulting line-out Leamy is pinged for not rolling away after making a tackle and Stephen Jones lands the kick. We finally have our first score of the match.

31 mins: Prop Marcus Horan concedes a penalty near halfway for going into a ruck off his feet. Wales decide to kick for touch. Byrne goes off with what seems like an ankle injury. Jamie Roberts is his replacement. That is a big blow for Wales.

"I'm in a bar following your text in Dnepoptrovrki, Ukraine - keep it coming."
irish lard via text on 81111

28 mins: Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has to scramble back near his own line after a cute chip from O'Leary.

"Can someone please explain why Ireland persist in kicking away possession knowing full well that Wales will catch cleanly and counter-attack? What about attacking from deep? O'Gara looks a bit dodgy. Ireland should be well ahead by now. What price Wales scoring first?"
dudepod45 on 606

26 mins: Munster lock Paul O'Connell steals another line-out, Lions captain anyone? Ireland give away a penalty at the next breakdown and Wales clear.

25 mins: The Millennium Stadium volume increases when centre Gavin Henson neatly offloads in the tackle to Ian Gough. The move breaks down again however.

23 mins: 'Big' John Hayes, Ireland's most capped player - who has not missed a single Six Nations match since his debut in the second game of the 2000 Championship - comes off with blood streaming from a cut near his eye.

22 mins: With the defences on top, the game finally slows down as both sides start to kick long. O'Gara slices an attempt into touch but Ireland steal the line-out. It is all very nervy in Cardiff.

19 mins: A trademark high catch and break from Lee Byrne sets up a Wales attack. However, the move breaks down when hooker Matthew Rees has the ball ripped out of his hands by Marcus Horan.

18 mins: Another mistake from O'Leary as the Munster number nine kicks into touch on the full. Poor.

16 mins: Wales deal with the defensive scrum well and they clear their lines when O'Leary is penalised for not rolling away from a tackle.

15 mins: Ireland batter the Welsh line. Eventually the Irish give it some width, Luke Fitzgerald thinks he has scored in the corner but Brian O'Driscoll's pass to him was forward. There is another bit of biffo between the forwards off the ball and referee Wayne Barnes has a word with the captains.

13 mins: Wales have a line-out in their own 22 after a cute kick to the corner from the visitors. Ireland were handed possession when Stephen Jones was turned over near halfway.

12 mins: It's a forward slug-fest at the moment with play concentrated between the 40m lines. Meanwhile, my colleague has just poured a load of Maltesers on to my desk. Marvellous.

"Mark, did you enjoy the beers at the bar? You can't kid a kidder, I know you were there during England's match."
eirebilly

Wish I was!! Then I wouldn't have watched us get beaten.

"Who thinks Wales may be better off without Powell? For the record, I don't, but I think I may be in the minority."
CountNefarious

7 mins: The pace of the game is incredible, surely it can't carry on for the rest of the half? The players take a breather as a few players receive treatment. Denis Leamy is a blood replacement for Stephen Ferris.

5 mins: Wonderful defence from Wales at the set piece as the line comes up very quickly. Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery is swallowed up and Wales hack clear.

4 mins: A high kick from O'Gara puts Lee Byrne under pressure in his own 22. The Ospreys full-back leaps highest but knocks the ball on and Ireland get the scrum.

2 mins: O'Gara pushes his kick wide. Is that a sign of things to come?

1 min: Wales start the game. David Wallace collects and scrum-half Tomas O'Leary does not find touch with his clearance. Donncha O'Callaghan and Ryan Jones have a falling out after the Wales skipper trips Ronan O'Gara off the ball. Penalty to Ireland in kicking range.

1736: Wow, how do they play after that? Hold on to your hats, we are about to get going. My hands are shaking.

"I won't lie to you, some people in Cardiff have peaked too soon. The town is flooded with celebrating Celts. One man looking very sober is Prince William, whose security goons have just cleared me out of a Millennium Stadium lift so he can use it."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Cardiff

1732: Ireland are out first and Wales keep them waiting. Ryan Jones eventually leads out his men and noise is extraordinary. Anthem time.

A few stats for you: This is the 114th meeting between Wales and Ireland, with the Welsh leading the series 62-45.

Wales' last home defeat in the Six Nations was in 2007, against Ireland, and Warren Gatland's men have won just one of their last 12 home games against the Irish.

1731: The build up to this game did not need any more spice but Wales coach Warren Gatland did his best to turn up the heat by claiming that his players dislike their Irish rivals more than any other in the Six Nations. Wonder how that played out in Dublin.

1730: Nice one Hodgo. Here we go people, big names for big games. The Six Nations is right here. Or something like that.

By Rob Hodgetts


Full-time: That's game over and England regain the Calcutta Cup in slightly inglorious fashion. Now then, over to Mark Orlovac as we dash straight to Cardiff for the clincher. This is the main course, folks. Dig in.

79 mins: Under way again and Mathew Tait threatens to break free with an encouraging run up the left. "Scotland have the same problem they've had for three years - they cannot score tries." BBC pundit Brian Moore. "That's not to say they haven't played with tenacity and they are not a good team at times but they haven't put things right and that's how I judge progression."

78 mins: Applause as Southwell is carried off. Harry Ellis is spotted on TV and does his hair for the cameras. He's OK then.

77 mins: TRY England 26-12 Scotland

From a completely pointless uncontested scrum on the right, England fizz the ball down the backline and Mathew Tait slides over in the corner.Andy Goode snap-hooks his conversion.

Scotland back Hugo Southwell is down with a potentially serious injury.

76 mins: England prop Julian White limps off and scrums go to uncontested. Bit of confusion because Lee Mears could go back on, but doesn't. England are down to 14 men.

75 mins: "The England lead is only 9 because the Scottish defence has been heroic. Give them credit: many other sides would have been overwhelmed, as France were last week." Cricketing_stargazer on 606.

Brian Moore names England centre Riki Flutey as his man of the match. "He's been the best back on the pitch by quite a long way," says Moore.

72 mins: DROP-GOAL England 21-12 Scotland

Pretty mindless stuff from England with forward after forward picking up the ball and shuffling sideways or on for about a yard. Fortunately, or unfortunately if you wanted a try, Danny Care slots a long-range drop-goal. Some replacements: Andy Goode for Toby Flood, James Haskell for Tom Croft and Dylan Hartley for Lee Mears.

"My wife wants to know who butchers Toby Flood's hair ??" Nottinspeaks on 606

70 mins: England now hammering at the Scotland line but when Lee Mears makes a dash for the line, the ball flies free and England lose about 30 yards.

68 mins: England get a penalty but Steve Borthwick directs Toby Flood to kick for the corner. Will that prove pivotal?

66 mins: PENALTY England 18-12 Scotland

A while back I wrote Scotland are creaking. They were. But now England are. Seriously. Another penalty - from Nick Easter holding on again - gives Chris Paterson an easy kick.

65 mins: Scotland growing in confidence and edging back into this. Riki Flutey sticks in a big tackle on Simon Danielli to snuff out the latest Scotland attempt to break through.

61 mins: Scotland get a penalty on the centre spot and Phil Godman gambles on a shot at goal. He gives it a wallop but it falls agonisingly short.

Lawrence Dallaglio: "The second half has been a bit of a let down for me, and for everyone else. Accuracy would be the message for England."

"This is getting very annoying now. So many chances we have not taken to finish this Scotland team off. The difference in class is very evident but with all this sloppy poor rugby we are playing right into what they are good at." Scubar2k8 on 606

59 mins: Scotland creaking here, and Lee Mears races in behind them. The move beaks down after Phil Godman's high tackle on Mears and England get a penalty, but Toby Flood misses.

58 mins: Another English foray and Riki Flutey goes close with a snaking little run before kicking ahead into Scotland's in-goal area. But Chris Paterson beats him to the touch down.

56 mins: England roar back upfield but another promising break goes begging after a handling error. Jason White and Ross Ford replaced by Nathan Hines and Dougie Hall or Scotland. Simon Shaw goes off for Nick Kennedy for England.

54 mins: England showing signs of their first-half superiority now and get close to the Scottish line. But Scotland break clear down the right with Simon Danielli who pins his ears back before getting enveloped by the desperate England defence.

51 mins: PENALTY England 18-9 Scotland

Scotland nibbling away at this lead but instead of Chris Paterson, who has now made all of his last 30 kicks in the Six Nations, they turn to Phil Godman , who slots a third penalty.

Elsewhere, England have won the women's Six Nations with a 72-3 win over Scotland.

48 mins: Scotland flanker Jason White nearly clear then after ghosting through a gap in the English midfield. Actually, to be fair to England's centres, he ran around lock Steve Borthwick. Proves England are not impregnable, though.

"The first 10 minutes of the second half have been symptomatic of Scotland's malaise. Errors and then breaks that come to nothing." BBC Sport pundit and former Scotland captain Andy Nicol.

47 mins: And here comes Mathew Tait in place of Ugo Monye.

44 mins: PENALTY England 18-6 Scotland

Chris Paterson stretches his unbroken kicking streak with another three-pointer from the left. He's got 15 out of 15 this year.

"Here's a crazy thought Johnno, how about giving Tait half an hour??" Wesbrownshair on 606

43 mins: News of Harry Ellis, who was sparked out in the first half - he's up and about and has had some stitches in a nasty gash behind his ear. By the way, Kelly Brown is on for Simon Taylor at number eight for Scotland.

42 mins: PENALTY England 18-3 Scotland

Just the start Scotland didn't want. They give away a penalty and Toby Flood says thanks very much. 41 mins: We're under way again at Twickenham.

Andy Nicol: "Scotland have made two clean breaks and nothing came from them. Looking at the stats, Scotland will be quite happy with the scoreline because they have been completely outplayed. Scotland have held on well but the tackles they have made is going to have a telling factor later on in the game."

Jeremy Guscott: "I have been impressed with Toby Flood. He has directed play from 10 reasonably well and there have been runners left and right of him which is good. Riki Flutey is making the breaks but then he is holding on to it. England need to be more direct, suck in the Scotland defence and there will be overlaps."

Meanwhile, over in Cardiff, Wales coach Warren Gatland on the late withdrawal of Andy Powell, who has a leg injury: "We've got two pretty experienced players to come in. That happens in rugby you've just got to put that behind you now and get on with it. "We want to go out and play some rugby. We've got to be positive. In the last game we probably kicked a bit too much. So we'll leave our kicking boots at home and see if we can put this Irish team under pressure."

Austin Healey: "I have just seen the Munster players getting off the bus at the Millennium Stadium and they will play like they have in their Heineken Cup finals here. Ireland will control the game from start to finish."

HALF-TIME: Here's Lawrence Dallaglio on England's first-half display: "England kicked into gear after the Harry Ellis injury and will be reasonably happy with their lead.

"They are looking pretty and holding onto the ball with lots of phases but they could do with being more direct to draw in more Scottish defenders to create space for the likes of Ugo Monye out wide. There's more scores here for England."

And on Scotland: "There are not going to be many chances here for Scotland and if they are going to stay in the game they need take those chances."

By the way, TV replays suggest Julian White's effort probably should have been a try. Ho-hum.

39 mins: England 15-3 Scotland

Scotland tip-toe into England's half briefly, and I mean briefly, but England come again. The back line looks far more assured than in recent times but they can't quite get the second score. But they get a penalty and Toby Flood ends the half with three points. Bit of a let-off for Scotland, though, given they were under the cosh for most of the half.

36 mins: England are camped on Scotland's line with a series of scrums. But referee Marius Jonker pings England for "not getting the timing right". England really should have scored from that attack.

34 mins: Riki Flutey receives another sweet ball to nip in behind the Scottish defence. He gets to within a few yards and then Julian White takes it over the line but the ball is held up. Scotland do well to escape this time.

31 mins: What a waste! Mike Blair takes a high ball and spins his way through the England line. But he slows up waiting for support runners and is wrapped up. Scotland recycle but Phil Godman criminally opts to kick away the possession and field position.

Breaking news: Wales number eight Andy Powell ruled out of the decider against Ireland at 1730 GMT. Ryan Jones switches to number eight and Dafydd Jones comes in to start at blind-side.

28 mins: TRY England 12-3 Scotland

England - sorry to start each line with that word but they are on top - get to within a few metres of Scotland's line. From a line-out on the right, Martin Johnson's men crash over but not for a score and the ball is recycled. It comes to Riki Flutey, who wriggles his way over and the TV official gives the try despite the suspicion he dropped it. Toby Flood converts.

27 mins: England are using Scotland for a bit of shadow practice at the moment as the backs get plenty of ball. Scotland's defensive drills look sound enough for now though.

25 mins: England looking a touch ominous as they build a nice bit of pressure. Tom Croft is bundled into touch on the left by three Scots but there was a hint of a forward pass.

22 mins: TRY England 5-3 Scotland

England scrum in midfield and Danny Care breaks right on his own. England recycle - not overly quickly - and they move left and then right. The white shirts retain possession for some time and eventually feed Ugo Monye , who tiptoes down the left flank to score. Toby Flood misses his conversion. Nice delayed pass from Toby Flood makes the try, by the way.

19 mins: It's all pretty good harum-scarum stuff at the moment. You can sense a few tries in this game. But following the old commentator's curse Toby Flood then lofts a pointless hoof upfield. Stop it.

18 mins: Danny Care's got a new, tough-looking skinhead haircut and he bustles his forwards up the middle of the park from a line-out. But England infringe again - Nick Easter holding on to the ball - and Scotland clear.

17 mins: The clock is stopped but the delay to look after Harry Ellis is up to about five minutes. He is just now being stretchered off to warm applause from the crowd. I'll provide an update ion his condition later when I get it.

16 mins: England scrum-half Harry Ellis is sparked out on the deck after a heavy tackle on Scotland's Simon Danielli. Lots of medical staff on the pitch. Danny Care strips off quickly and scampers out to join his team-mates.

14 mins: England squander a good platform from a scrum on the left. The ball is spread wide to Mike Tindall but he just drops his head and ploughs into the Scottish midfield. Needed a runner but should have been looking for an offload.

13 mins: At the other end, England full-back Delon Armitage is almost free but the attack is snuffed out. England prop Phil Vickery goes off looking dazed and is replaced by Julian White.

"Good start by Scotland. Aggressive and with lots of attitude. It's exactly what France didn't do." BBC Sport pundit and former Scotland captain Andy Nicol.

11 mins: Scotland wing Thom Evans wriggles in behind the English defence inside his own half and for all the money in the world looks like scoring in the left corner. But England's left wing Ugo Monye presses the booster button and makes up serious ground to tap tackle Evans's foot into touch at the corner flag.

9 mins: Promising half-break from stout English Kiwi Riki Flutey, who was brilliant last week. The move comes to nothing, though, and Scotland clear.

7 mins: PENALTY England 0-3 Scotland

Another England infringement. A return to the dark old days of two weeks ago? Harry Ellis doesn't roll away and points-machine Chris Paterson bangs it over from the left.

6 mins: England get pinged at a scrum - looks like Andrew Sheridan is not binding properly.

4 mins: Mark Cueto gets an early chance to open his legs and is shepherded into touch by a brace of Evans. Scotland have done better than France's opening already and look far more eager to play than the French did last week.

"Worsley has been hit hard twice now, great to see Scotland showing some good intent." Eirebilly on 606

2 mins: The first rendition of "Swing Low" rings out. England set off on a foray up the left flank after good link-up work in midfield. But England infringe and Scotland get a penalty mid-way inside their half. Phil Godman misses touch though.

1 min: Scotland begin in lively fashion with a couple of snaky runs, notably from Max Evans. England's defence is given an early work-out but Delon Armitage makes a good early clearance.


1532: Phil Godman kicks off for Scotland and the England forwards pile into the opposition pack to cries of "heave" from the crowd. 1529: A slow, measured and stirring rendition of Flower of Scotland at a sun-baked Twickenham. GStQ is then bellowed out by the HQ faithful. This lot are expectant.

"If you can't play rugby in conditions like this then you can't play rugby at all."
BBC Sport co-commentator Brian Moore


1522: Despite Scotland's poor record at Twickenham, England got duffed up at Murrayfield last year and England boss Martin Johnson is keeping his side's feet firmly on the ground after their emphatic win against France.

"This week the sun has been shining and everyone has wanted to pat us on the back but they weren't doing that the week before when the knives were out," he said.

Scotland coach Frank Hadden certainly thinks last week's England v France result is irrelevant.

"We didn't look too closely at that one-off game, we looked at how they performed throughout this tournament and we're developing and we believe we can cause an upset," he said.

1520: Afternoon team. The Surbiton-based Croatian Scot that is our Orlo has gone to douse his burning fingers into a bath of ice-cold water so I'll take you through England v Scotland.

Here's a few more numbers for you, stats fans:

Scotland have suffered 40-point defeats on each of their last four visits to Twickenham (42-20 in 2007, 43-22 in 2005, 40-9 in 2003, 43-3 in 2001).

Their last win at Twickenham was a 22-12 win in 1983. Got a 12-12 draw in 1989 but have failed to win on their last 12 visits

Scotland did draw 12-12 with England at Twickenham in 1989 but have failed to win on their last 12 visits there. And they have only won one match at any Six Nations ground away from Murrayfield in the last seven seasons. That was in Rome in 2006.

"It's all about a performance and a win for Scotland today. Frank Hadden's time is probably coming to an end. If Scotland don't win today, it is only three wins in three years and I don't think that's good enough." BBC Sport pundit and former Scotland captain Andy Nicol.

By Mark Orlovac

1514: Right, I'm going to pass the Calcutta Cup baton on to my colleague Rob Hodgetts. And no, I'm not going to the bar. See you for the Wales v Ireland game, take care of him for me.

"The Irish front row is perceived to be a weakness, though we haven't seen that, so I think Wales will target that because the Irish back row is very strong. But these two back rows have been magnificent and the back-row battle will be instrumental, as well as the half backs, in who will win this game."
BBC Sport pundit and former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies

"Much better from France, why have they played so poorly for the rest of the tournament."
MurraycarriesGB on 606

"I don't think Ireland will play high-risk rugby. If they can control the pattern of this game, I think they will win."
Phillip Matthews, who was a member of the last Ireland side to win the Championship in 1985

"For an awful lot of the 1990s, and even at the start of the 2000s, Ireland were almost paralysed by the fear of not performing. They were tainted by some of those losses. But some of these guys are not. Four or five of them are almost virgins at this standard and will think it is just another game. I think that element, and Declan Kidney's mind games, could be the turning factor for us."
BBC Sport pundit and former Ireland skipper Keith Wood

1504: To London now people for the 126th edition of the oldest international fixture. Scotland have not won at Twickenham since 1983 so the omens are not good for Frank Hadden's men. The former school teacher is under immense pressure as he needs a win today to reach the 40% winning target set by his bosses at the Scottish Rugby Union.

"Wow, from talked up Grand Slam chances at the start of the competition to a possible fourth finish, poor Wales! Also England, from looking poor at best in the first game possibly ending second overall?! This has been one hell of a Six Nations."
Jru430 on 606

"50-8. Sounds like an English Test innings score..."
ruthere909 on 606

"Has it escaped everybody's attention that England could actually finish as runners-up today? If we beat Scotland and Wales lose."
Anon via text on 81111

FULL-TIME: Italy 8-50 France
It's all over and a sorry Italy side win the Wooden Spoon for the seventh time in 10 years. France end the tournament with a seven-try victory to banish the memories of Twickenham.

80+2 mins: France are searching for yet another try and are keeping the ball alive.

"I can't speak for the others but the nerves are starting to get to me. Do the Beeb at least let you have a beer during the commentating?"
eirebilly on 606

If only my friend, if only. You might have a word with my bosses for me though to see if I could!

76 mins: TRY Italy 8-50 France
Oh dear, oh dear. France feed the ball to the blind side from a ruck and substitute Julien Malzieu runs in without a single Italian player laying a hand on him. Michalak misses again.

"I think Mark's waiting for the pigeon to get in from Rome with details of the tries..."
fabuniquemembername on 606

Harsh, very harsh. Would it help my cause if I said that we are having a few delays with pages updating? Thought not...

70 mins: TRY Italy 8-45 France
A wonderful step from the 17st Bastareaud splits the Italy defence in two. Despite what looks like a massive forward pass, France keep the ball alive and after some lovely soft hands, Medard crashes over in the left corner. Great stuff, although you do wonder why they couldn't have played like this last week. Michalak misses his second conversion.

68 mins: France batter the Italian line but the Azzurri defence holds firm. Impressive stuff considering the game is lost.

"I am so pleased for Parisse. He is the outstanding player of the championship."
Axferd Wasp via text on 81111

"Mark, You're a bit off the pace there mate, are you at the famous BBC canteen??"
eirebilly on 606

I am typing as fast as I can, promise. It's just that these boys keep scoring tries. Very inconsiderate of them!

63 mins: Thierry Dusautoir requires treatment after colliding with both Parisse and Chabal. Now there's a combination to run into.

61 mins: Fritz comes off and is replaced by that beast of a centre Mathieu Bastareaud. Did you know he is the cousin of Arsenal defender William Gallas? You can have that for your next quiz night.

58 mins: TRY Italy 8-40 France
Italy score their second try of this year's Six Nations, and the first since against England in the opening game, and it is that man Parisse who gets it. There is a great kick and chase, the ball goes through the hands and Mauro Bergamasco feeds Parisse who runs in from 20 metres out. Marcato's conversion comes back off the post.

55 mins: TRY Italy 3-40 France
The French forwards inch their way towards the Italian line and after bundling over, either William Servat or Thomas Domingo touch down. Don't know which one as yet, it was such a mess. Michalak misses the conversion.

53 mins: Sub time. Thomas Domingo, Frederic Michalak and William Servat come on for France while Fabien Barcella, Morgan Parra and Dimitri Szarzewski depart.

52 mins: France think they have scored in the corner when centre Florian Fritz collects a kick through to the wing before crashing over. However, the ubiquitous Parisse is the last man and he manages to bundle Fritz onto the corner flag.

50 mins: Chabal charges through a cavernous hole in the Italian defence and gets to around 10m from the line before the Sale giant is hauled down. Italy manage to win back possession and attack themselves - the game is being played at a breathless pace.

48 mins: PENALTY Italy 3-35 France
More indiscipline from Italy and Parra has little trouble in kicking the three points.

45 mins: Italy push forward and pressurise the French line but the attack comes to nothing.

42 mins: TRY Italy 3-32 France
This has not been a Six Nations to remember for Italy flanker Mauro Bergamasco. He tries a grubber kick as Italy attempt to get out of their own 22 but it comes off the legs of a French defender straight into the arms of Cedric Heymans , who has the simplest of tasks to touch down. Dreadful. Parra converts.

41 mins: France start the second half.

"It feels like Dublin in Cardiff today. Jonathan Davies said his kids couldn't go to their school sports ground because the Irish were camping there! It's an unbelievable atmosphere in town."
BBC Sport pundit Keith Wood

HALF-TIME: Italy 3-25 France
Italy have never beaten France in the Six Nations and it doesn't look like they will claim victory today. Just for your info, France's record win over Italy in the Six Nations was a 56-13 win in Rome in 2005. Their biggest victory was a 60-13 triumph in 1967.

39 mins: Great charge from the wonderful Parisse, who is second in the championship ball-carrying charts, but the move breaks down.

31 mins: TRY Italy 3-25 France
This is just like watching...erm England. Parra launches a high box kick which Griffen again fails to collect. There is a hint of a knock on as sideburned wing Maxime Medard grabs the ball but there is no whistle. He gives it to Trinh-Duc who in turn releases Thierry Dusautoir and the flanker gives the scoring pass back to Medard . This could get messy for Italy if they are not careful. Parra converts.

29 mins: TRY Italy 3-18 France
France are firing now. Fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc collects the ball from a line-out on halfway, produces a wonderful dummy and step before running in with the Italian defence tackling air. Brilliant individual try and the second of his French career. Parra misses the conversion.

25 mins: TRY Italy 3-13 France
The first try of the contest, and it all starts with a wonderful catch from centre Yannick Jauzion. While Griffen is waiting underneath a high ball, Jauzion nabs it off him to begin a French attack. The ball goes wide to Sebastien Chabal - who my eldest son says he wants to be like, and he's only five - brushes off three tacklers with ease to crash over. Great finish. Parra adds the extras.

22 mins: PENALTY Italy 3-6 France
Another line-out, another Italy penalty. A French jumper is pinged for holding down his opposite number and Marcato drills the kick through the posts.

19 mins: Parra is down injured after running into the imposing figure of Italian number eight Sergio Parisse. Ouch. He does get going again after treatment - better man than me.

18 mins: A messy Italian line-out leads to France giving away a penalty in their own half. Treviso full-back Andrea Marcato steps up to kick but the strong wind is playing havoc and the ball goes wide.

"The sun is out so I am going to see my friend Ali and watch the last day of the Six Nations. It's going to be good."
From Chris via text on 81111

14 mins: PENALTY Italy 0-6 France
Lovely work from Parra near the halfway line and France get over the gain line. Italy scramble and a tackler is penalised for not rolling away, giving Parra the chance to increase the lead from around 40m out.

11 mins: Italy use their forwards to go through the phases but Gonzalo Canale is penalised for holding on. France sweep forward, Yannick Jauzion kicks through to the in-goal area but Italy get back to cover. Bright game so far.

"Why does Canale keep trying the grubber kick? It only works when used at the right time."
super_stevie_f on 606

7 mins: PENALTY Italy 0-3 France
Italy's scrum is put under all sorts of pressure and scrum-half Paul Griffen has to clear with the French defence all over him. Italy are penalised for offside and Bourgoin number nine Morgan Parra slots over the kick.

5 mins: First penalty conceded by Italy as fly-half Luke McLean holds on to the ball in the tackle on halfway. France have an attacking line-out deep in Italian territory but Imanol Harinordoquy knocks on the throw.

2 mins: Encouraging start for the hosts as they look to give the ball some width. Calvisano's Matteo Pratichetti tries to collect a grubber kick on the wing but slips as he does so and France clear.

1 min: Italy start the match. We're off.

"If Wales score first, I think it will be quite an exciting affair."
BBC Sport pundit Jonathan Davies

"The Irish players will be doing everything they possibly can NOT to think about the game. The biggest fear is they play the game in their heads before it kicks off and are absolutely shattered before they get on the field. They just need to chill out."
BBC Sport pundit Keith Wood.

1314: The anthems are belted out, in Rome as well as in our office. And we are about to start. Hold on to your hats - this is going to be a big day of rugby.

1310: First up folks we have Italy against France, and it's a glorious day in Rome as the teams come out.

France have been typically inconsistent this year, from tackling Wales to a standstill in Paris to capitulating against England last week. Under-fire France coach Marc Lievremont needs a performance this afternoon.

Italy have struggled as the pesky little ELVs have robbed them of one of their most effective tactical weapons. If they had actually picked a scrum-half against England in the first game things could have been so different.

"Was desperate to get to Wales for the final but am stuck here in Holland watching on the TV. Come on Ireland!"
eirebilly

"Alright Orly! Ohhh-woah, my Mama never told me there'd be days like this. Ireland by two."
RARD on 606

1258: So then, can Ireland make history and finally claim the Grand Slam? The last time they got to the final day unbeaten was in 2003 but they came up against Martin Johnson's England in Dublin and got whacked 42-6. You may also remember that was the day when Johnno had a little red carpet run-in before the anthems.

Just as an aside, I had my Irish family over last weekend and after gloating about their win over my Scotland team on Saturday, they soon cast their minds to the showdown with Wales. None of them by the way, were looking forward with confidence. All were very, very nervous. How are you feeling?

"What a beautiful day! I'm so excited. I love Super Saturday, this is what rugby/sport is all about. All games straight after one and other, with plenty of build up, beer and singing. A big good luck to all the teams playing today but especially the Boyos in Red, I know you will do us proud!"
sirshanewilliams on 606

Could not have put it better myself.

1253: Right, bit of housekeeping to get through before the games start. As well as reading my nonsense on the website, you can watch all the action live on BBC One. The England v Scotland match will also be on BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra, with the Wales v Ireland clash on Radio 5 Live.

As usual, I will need your help today as I do not want you to get bored of me! Let me know where you are watching the matches, who with, what the atmos is like, and I will use as many of your contributions as I can. Use the 606 link below this entry or text 81111 with the word RUGBYU preceding your thoughts.

I know you are all lovely, lovely people - so don't let me down. Your country needs you.

1249: So here we are then, after six weeks and 12 games the stage is set for a grandstand finale to this year's Six Nations. A little glimpse at the fixture list before the tournament began and you just knew that this was going to be a special day. And so it has transpired that we have a Wales v Ireland showdown to decide this year's champions. Lovely.

Ireland are going for their first Grand Slam since 1948 while Wales, who are also chasing the Triple Crown, need to beat the Irish by 13 points to retain the title for the first time in 30 years. Will Ireland bottle it, or have they found the necessary steel to clear the final hurdle and secure the honour that has eluded them for so long? Can Wales rediscover the swagger they had at the start of the tournament and break Irish hearts? Questions, questions.

And if that wasn't enough, we have a tasty undercard before the main event. Italy and France try and salvage pride in Rome before England take on Scotland for the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham.

Excited? You betcha.

"'Huw - Wot A Scorcher,' as the headlines might read - the sun is hammering down in Cardiff, and even with five hours to go til the match starts it's like August in Magaluf on St Mary Street. If there's anyone out there not wearing a green or red shirt, they're as scarce as grey clouds at the moment."
From BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Cardiff

1245: Hello you. How's the nerves? Ready for a Super Saturday* of Six Nations rugby? Thought so.

Grab a cold drink from the fridge, settle down somewhere comfortable, and we'll bring you all the drama and tension of the final and decisive day of the 2009 Championship - it's going to be a good one.

* Copyright BBC Sport website rugby desk



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see also
Wales 15-17 Ireland
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales play down points target
20 Mar 09 |  Welsh
O'Driscoll throws down gauntlet
20 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
England 26-12 Scotland
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Johnson backs Worsley for Lions
20 Mar 09 |  English
Borthwick set on Scotland revenge
18 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Hadden non-committal over future
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Italy 8-50 France
21 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union


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