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Six Moments That Changed The Course Of The Six Nations

Six Moments That Changed The Course Of The Six Nations
By Conor O'Leary Updated

Sometimes, things seem innocuous at the time, but on reflection, it turns out to have been the difference between winning a losing. It really is a game of inches. Ireland won the title based on a points difference over England of just six points. That's one try. That's one more try that England could have scored, or defended better; or that Ireland could have conceded or not have been awarded.

It was that close. So close in fact, that there are six videos from the entire tournament showing how close it really was; that seem so much more important now than they did at the time.

1. Kelly Haimona's Disallowed Try v Ireland Round 1



It's hard to think that something seven weeks ago could have such a big influence on things. If it wasn't for Tommy Bowe and Isaac Boss, Sergio Parisse wouldn't have been judged to have knocked the ball on, and Ireland would have conceded five or seven points that we wouldn't have thought were overly important.

It would have been so easy for the TMO to have allowed this score, and things could have been very different.

1. England PD of 57


2. Ireland PD of 56

2. Jack Nowell's Disallowed Try v Ireland Round 3


Ireland had no answer to this play. England cut them open at this point, and were at the mercy of Billy Twelvetrees' forward pass. Twelvetrees did really well to get on the outside of Iain Henderson to give Nowell the space to glide past Peter O'Mahony.


Even if the conversion had missed, Ireland would have been happy with the points total, but it wouldn't have been enough.

1. England PD of 62

2. Ireland PD of 59

3. Stuart Hogg's Three Last Ditch Tackles v England Round 4


England absolutely cut Scotland open in the penultimate round, and only managed a 13 point margin of victory. They had 17 linebreaks, and just could not convert them, partially down to Stuart Hogg's last ditch tackling, and partially due to the selfishness of the English players to guarantee tries for their teammates by passing.

Or maybe if Mike Brown's shoe hadn't fallen off while he was running for the line then Hogg wouldn't have caught him.

4. Mike Brown's Disallowed Try v Scotland Round 4


Also in the game, Mike Brown has a try disallowed for an obvious forward pass. The ball was touched down under the posts, and seven points were ruled out.

There was no need for that pass to be forward given the lack of pressure. Another seven points saved from Ireland's point of view.


1. England PD 64

2. Ireland PD 63

5. Stuart Hogg's Disallowed Try v Ireland Round 5



They say never give up. Joe Schmidt praised Kieran Read for chasing down Rob Kearney and not allowing Sexton an easy conversion which he subsequently missed when Ireland went 19-0 up against New Zealand, so when Heaslip didn't narrow the angle for Finn Russell's try, he had something to make up for.

And boy didn't he do it.

There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Hogg scored that try. He was in the clear and Heaslip had no chance of preventing a score. And the Irish public recognised it.

1. England PD 57

2. Ireland PD 56

6. Noa Nakaitaci's Allowed Try v England Round 5


I'm not convinced that this try should have been allowed. Not because of his foot being out, but because the ball was dropped before touching it down (See still here). It was that close. I'm not complaining that it was given, and I think after Anthony Watson's equally controversial try at the other end, things probably balanced out in this game.

But let's pretend for a minute that it wasn't. Yet another example of how lucky Ireland are to have another championship to their name that can never be taken away from them.

1. England PD 64

2. Ireland PD 63

See Also: Rory Kockott's Reaction To Losing To England Will Make Your Day
See Also: The Easofen Moment Of The Day: The Jamie Heaslip Tackle

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