After a quite staggering and exhilarating day of Rugbyunion action, with a massive 221 points scored across three breathlessinternational contests, it was Irelandwho emerged triumphant by a hair’sbreadth in the final analysis by just 6points. England took second, with Wales just behind them in third,a mere 4 points behind the English. With Ireland, England and Wales allclaiming four victories and suffering defeat just the once, their records werealmost identical and in the build up to the World Cup it could be said thatthey could all beat each other on any given day.

It bodes well for both thefuture of the 6 Nations tournament, with all three teams showing that they arecapable of producing such a brand of attacking fifteen-man rugby, but also moreimminently for their chances of claiming the Rugby World Cup in the autumn.

With all three of the final round of fixtures being playedon the one day, one after the other, the tension and excitement built with eachpassing game. With three teams inwith a (realistic) chance of taking thetitle - discounting France’s slimchance, should the three teams above them all lose – it became a battle to seewhich one of them could gain the best points’ difference, rather than simplylooking to win their respective matches.

Wales werefirst up, taking on a tired looking Italian side who did not do themselvesjustice on the day.

That takes nothing away from the way in which the Welshdismantled them, especially after the interval, but the apparent ease withwhich the Italians were vanquished 61-20 did not reflect wellon their growth as a competitive rugby nation. This was nowhere near the levelthat they displayed so heroically against the Scots, avoiding the wooden spoonas a result of winning at Murrayfield.

They did however (crucially) score alate try through Leonardo Sarto and the resultant seven points that the Welshcoughed up, made the equation for the sides to come slightly easier. GeorgeNorth showed that he is over his concussion issues earlier in the tournament,with a fine hat-trick of tries.

Part two, featuring Ireland and England's games will follow.