Headbutts, nematodes and One Direction
March 20, 2014
Photo - the elation and despair of rugby © Getty Images
With the Six Nations now at an end, it gives us a chance to reflect on an eventful tournament. ESPN hands out some awards.
Player: For Ireland, Peter O'Mahony and Brian O'Driscoll warrant a mention while Yoann Huget has played well for France. Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes have put in some sterling service for England but their fullback Mike Brown is the rightful recipient of this award. He has been consistent throughout, has scored tries and even made a goalkeeper-esque save.
Try: Some of Wales' efforts were fantastic against Scotland but Gael Fickou's try against England deserves the award.
Team: It has to be Ireland. England showed huge improvement and the Triple Crown will come as some solace for the second-place finish but Ireland won the tournament and that's all that matters.
Coach: A New Zealander has coached teams to wins in the last three Six Nations. This year it was Joe Schmidt who marked his first foray into the famous tournament with a title.
Quote: "We're playing against a team that hate you and want to beat you up or beat you in the game" - Jack Nowell's quote caused all sorts of uproar in the Welsh camp. We refuse to allow any of Scott Johnson's to be considered for this award.
Worst pitch: Step forward Murrayfield. The worm-infested 'turf' was an absolute shambles and it was not fit for Test rugby. Thankfully they are replacing this with a hybrid surface in time for next season's competition.
Team entrance: England's new stroll into the stadium has received plenty of coverage but Wales' laser show prior to their game against France was ... different.
Services to 'selfies':
Handbags: Michele Rizzo and Rabah Slimani tete-a-tete during France's game against Italy deserves a mention. But the scuffle after Paddy Jackson's try against Wales caused Ireland fans to laugh and Welsh fans to shake their head. Mike Phillips was unimpressed by the rough justice handed out by Ireland and a few handbags were thrown around. Which leads us on to ...
© PA Photos
Hollow proposition: It was a shame that Niall from One Direction never journeyed to take part in Welsh training after his jibe at Mike Phillips. We'd have loved to see Alun Wyn Jones up against him. A well known Irish bookmaker also jumped on the bandwagon offering Niall and Mike Phillips some euros to scrap in a boxing ring but again that did not come to fruition.
Tweet: Fergus McFadden after he replaced Brian O'Driscoll in what was his final match on Dublin turf
Out-of-place interview: The BBC's call to interview Joey Barton and Robbie Savage midway through the England versus Wales match.
Tackle: A valiant effort from Scott Williams on Brian O'Driscoll, one that Welsh centre came off worse from.
Ill-judged applause: Louis Picamoles' sarcastic clapping of Alain Rolland after being issued a yellow card. It cost him his place in the team for their game against Scotland.
Beard: Jake Ball is unlikely to miss out on this award but Gordon D'Arcy is the worthy recipient. We will miss that facial fuzz.
Services to headgear companies: Stuart Hogg and Cian Healy for their scant regard of oppositions' bonces in the final round of the tournament.
O'Driscoll award for flair: Brian O'Driscoll, followed by Brian O'Driscoll for his two lovely offloads against Italy.
Best match: England's game against Ireland at Twickenham - an absolute belter.
Worst match: England's win over Scotland. A poor team playing against a team trying to find some tempo on a dreadful surface. Dire.
Farewell BOD © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.