Sensational Saturday showed this has been no ordinary Six Nations | Robert Kitson

A last-gasp France try to halt a grand slam and 14-man Ireland overcoming England were two highlights from an eventful day

A brief glance at the Six Nations table confirms it has been no ordinary championship. At one end of the scale England have had their worst tournament for 45 years and Italy their bleakest ever. At the other end sit Wales, who have averaged almost 33 points a game during a stirring campaign but are still in title limbo, and a France side who have featured in two of the all-time great games inside eight days.

Sweet and sour, light and shade: at its best the Six Nations is the slightly eccentric uncle who turns up annually, causes total havoc and then staggers away, tie askew, pledging to do it again next year. Last autumn we were all bemoaning the death of attack-minded rugby; now everyone is wondering if France v Scotland on Friday will yield the five tries necessary to establish a new championship aggregate record. How often, too, have two Six Nations sides each had a man sent off on the same day and still won? To call it a mad whirl would be an understatement.

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