The Six Nations, also sometimes referred to as the Guinness Six Nations, is a men’s rugby union competition that takes place every year. The six countries that compete are always England, Ireland, France, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. This tournament attracts millions of viewers, so needless to say, there is a lot of hype for it every year.
In 2021, the winners of the Six Nation Championships were Wales, and they’ve won the tournament a total of 27 times. In 2022, the Six Nations tournament will take place between the 5th of February and 19th of March 2022, and people are already making their predictions regarding who they think will win.
If you enjoy watching the Six Nations, or even if you consider yourself an avid 6 nations bettor, our article will highlight six of the best moments in Six Nations history, in preparation for this year’s tournament. There’s a reason why this competition is considered one of the best rugby tournaments in the world, and we’re sure that it will bring the same drama and excitement that it does every year.
6. 2000 – Italy vs Scotland – Italy’s Stunning Start
Before the Six Nations, this tournament was referred to as the Five Nations, as the competition only consisted of five teams: England, Ireland, France, Scotland, and Wales. However, in 2000, the name was changed to Six Nations as Italy became the final member to join the competition. It was in this same year that Italy had one of the greatest opening matches that the tournament has ever seen. Italy beat Scotland by 34-20, which came as a surprise to many of the spectators. The almighty Diego Dominguez kicked 29 of Italy’s 34 points, which consisted of six penalty kicks, a conversion, and three drop-goal hat tricks. This was one of the Six Nation’s most exciting matches and one of Italy’s most well-played games. Anyone who was luck enough to be in the stadium in Rome that day to see Italy win will surely remember this day forever.
5. 2009 – Ireland vs Wales – Drop Goal by O’Gara Secures Grand Slam for Ireland
Ronan O’Gara’s name will forever be carved in Ireland’s Six Nation History thanks to his long-range drop goal three minutes from time, leading Ireland to land a grand slam in 2009. This was a close competition as Wales was leading by 15 points, however, Stephen Jones missed a last-second penalty, making Ireland victorious. This was Ireland’s second-ever grand slam in history, and it was here that Ireland won their first title in 24 years and claimed their first triple crown since 2004. They prevailed by 17-15 that year.
4. 2004 – France vs England – Dimitri Yachvili Secures the Grand Slam for France
France declared their fourth grand slam in eight years during the 2004 rugby match against England, which they won by 24-21. This was a sweet revenge on the part of the French, who had lost to the English team in the November semi-finals in Australia before that. There were many moments during this game where England was on the verge of winning the match, especially during the last three minutes of the match. However, France surely showed the English team who’s boss when Dimitry Yachivili put France on the right track by landing a penalty after 20 minutes.Then, in the final twenty minutes of the first half, he won with five kicks and continued to impress fans during the second half of the game.
3. 2007 – Italy vs Wales – A Rare Win for Italy Against Giants Wales
In 2007, Italy defeated Wales by 23-20 and rugby fans will have this match forever marked in their memories since it ended in a massive controversy. Wales was winning by three points and had the chance to draw the game towards its final moments when they were given a kickable penalty next to the 22-meter line of the Italians. The referee instructed them that 10 seconds remained of the game and the team decided to kick for touch, convinced that they still had time for one more play, however, the referee ended the game before the line out could be even formed. This was the first time that the Italians secured two victories in their Six Nations campaign.
2. 2018 – France vs Ireland – Johnny Sexton’s Last Minute Drop Goal Secures Win for Ireland
Jonny Sexton gave a remarkable performance in the 2018 game between France and Ireland, and his 45-meter drop-goal made Ireland victorious by 15-13. For most of the game, it seemed that the Irish were set for victory, however, Teddy Thomas suddenly struck a counteract which almost won the game. Ireland had little time to respond, but Johnny Sexton carried out one of the best drop goals in history, setting them for stardom. Ireland was unstoppable after this defeat, beating Italy with a 59-19 win, and beating Wales and Scotland in the Aviva Stadium later on.
1.2010 – Wales vs Scotland – Wales’ Amazing Last-Minute Comeback Thanks to Shane Williams
The last five minutes of the Wales vs Scotland game on February the 13th 2010, were one of the most memorable games in the Six Nation’s history. In fact, when asked about the game, Shane Williams remarked, “It’s the looks on the faces in the crowd as I went over the line that I’ll remember most”. Wales were trailing by 10 points towards the end of the game, and suddenly, in the last five minutes of the match, Wales scored three times and his team won the game.
This was one of the team’s most impressive tries, all thanks to winger Shane Williams, which ended in a 31-24 victory over Scotland in 2010. This can truly be considered as one of the greatest moments in six nations history, if not the greatest.