Six Nations

Six Nations Rugby
Johnny Sexton celebrates his crucial drop-goal against France. Picture: AFP/Getty

Allan Massie: Last word on Six Nations belongs to Sexton

Two kicks by Johnny Sexton and one pass by Finn Russell will be remembered for a long time. Sexton’s drop-goal against France deep into what we used to call injury time not only won that match; it set Ireland on the way to their Grand Slam. His second kick was that steepling Garryowen which enabled Gary Ringrose to touch down for Ireland’s first try at Twickenham. The pass was, of course, Finn Russell’s audacious one against England which set Huw Jones off on a run which a moment later saw Russell put Sean Maitland over in the corner for a 
second Scottish try.

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Greig Laidlaw blocked out distraction to kick Scotland into third

Scotland finished the Six Nations in third place with three wins to their credit, although that didn’t look likely for much of Saturday’s game in Rome. The Scots ended this tournament as they had started it, playing badly, and
it took two tries in the final quarter, the first by Sean Maitland, the 
second by Stuart Hogg, to secure 
victory.

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Scotland due applause for progress, but more is needed

Gregor Townsend can be justifiably proud of his first Six Nations season finishing above England and France even if two of Scotland’s three victories owed little to his running rugby philosophy. Certainly Townsend would have bitten your arm off if you’d offered him three wins after the final whistle in Cardiff.

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Sean Maitland dives over to score Scotland's third try during the win over Italy in Rome.''Picture: Ian Rutherford

Iain Morrison: Where does Italy win leave Scotland?

It was impossible not to feel a smidgen of sympathy for Italy coach Conor O’Shea, who looked like a badly beaten dog that has had a bone snatched from its jaws just when it thought its luck had turned. Italy bossed much of this match and led from the 13th to the 72nd minute only to see that elusive win slip through their fingers again.

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