Rugby Union: Five Nations: Highs and Woes of The Five Nations

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GAME OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP: WALES V ENGLAND

"But what about those try-laden classics at the Stade de France?" you ask. It depends what you mean by classic. The France-Wales match certainly had a tingle about it, but the whole point about Wembley on Sunday was that the players not only ran, but tackled. Rugby is its true self only when the beauty shares centre stage with the beast.

ANGUISHED CRY OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP: RAPHAEL IBANEZ

The French captain let rip at Philippe Carbonneau as Gregor Townsend bisected the two of them en route to the Tricolore line for Scotland's third try in five unfathomable minutes. So primal was the Ibanez scream that it lifted him clean off his feet. His voice now hoarse, he suffered the remaining 66 minutes of Scottish humiliation in silence.

SPONSORS' BLUNDER OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP: LANSDOWNE ROAD

All that rain, all that paint, all that embarrassment. The cynics among us still suspect one of two things: one, that it was an attempt to introduce "player branding" through the back door or, two, that it was a clever French plot to get Keith Wood playing in a blue shirt. Either way, it looked pretty daft.

STRAW-CLUTCHING QUOTE OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP: CLIVE WOODWARD

"As we speak, Jeremy Guscott is 100 per-cent fit," said the England coach last Wednesday on announcing his side for the Wales match. He might, of course, have added: "By the time we stop speaking, he'll probably be 100 per-cent unfit." Guscott pulled out the following morning.

ABIDING MEMORY OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP: FIVE DRUNKEN WELSHMEN

No, not a tight five of drunken Welshmen, but a quintet of tired and emotional red-shirted supporters who serenaded the working press long into Sunday evening with endless choruses of a new Stereophonics number entitled "As Long As We Beat The English." Well, it was better than "Swing Low Sweet Chariot".

TOP POINT SCORERS

N Jenkins (Wales) 64

J Wilkinson (England) 60

D Humphreys (Ireland) 51

K Logan (Scotland) 37

T Castaignede (France) 28

A Tait (Scotland) 25

E Ntamack (France) 20

G Townsend (Scotland) 20

FIVE NATIONS TITLES

England 22

Wales 22

Scotland 14

France 12

Ireland 10

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