England smashed into the Millennium Stadium on an explosive Friday night in February to start the 2015 RBS 6 Nations with a bang.
The round one, five point win over Wales showed the world that England's boys weren't just there to play but to win, and Lancaster's men had their eyes on the first of two trophies they hope to win this year. Ireland went in to the tournament as champions and for many favourites, although this changed round after round with key performances.
England put a solid thirty point advantage past Italy in round two and a twelve point win in Murrayfield against Scotland in round four. Round three saw a significant shift in favour of the Irish after they beat England by ten points at home in a Dublin victory. Come the final weekend of play there was all to play for, in one of the most open tournaments for years. It was calculators at the ready from the first whistle to the last.
It was an early kick off for Wales in Rome who faced an Italy side without their talisman, Sergio Parisse. Wale's winger George North scored a hat trick of tries, as the Welsh team beat a mentally defeated Italy 61 - 20, leaving Ireland needing to be Scotland by 21 points. Vern Cotters men seemed much improved, until Ireland steam rolled over them on their own turf beating them 40 - 10 and sending England into their game needing to beat France by 26 points.
As Ireland racked up the points a green hue started to descend over Twickenham and the 6 Nations trophy. As always with the French, nobody knew what team would turn up, and unfortunately for England's chariot it was a stubborn French side determined to take something from what otherwise had been an ordinary tournament. A courageous English side fought to the end to overcome the 26 points that had been laid in front of them, but come the end of the 80 minutes, 6 points stood between England and the championship.
England had played like warriors to beat France in a fantastic game that saw them victors 55 - 35, but they had fallen short of the championship. As the mixed emotions of failing in the midst of a win fell heavy in the Twickenham air, the Irish team stepped back out on to the Murrayfield grass and lifted the trophy they had successfully defended. Elation for Ireland, devastation for England but a lot to be proud of.
There were some classic matches prior to the 'Super Saturday' finale, but those three matches were epic and produced 221 points and 27 tries and showed the RBS 6 Nations for the fantastic tournament that it is, and proves northern hemisphere #Rugby is in very good shape and ready for the 2015 Rugby World Cup on home turf.