Six Nations 2013 Results 

As in years past, the 2013 Six Nations Championship was one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the rugby season, matching up the national sides of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy in 15 fixtures. Once again, the Royal Bank of Scotland retained the tournament sponsorship and the official title, “RBS 6 Nations.”

The latest edition of rugby union’s longest-running and most dramatic tournament was contested over the course of five weekends during February and March with no Friday night fixtures. It featured not only some of the most competitive matches ever played, but also several historic outcomes that broke precedents going back several decades. As reported by the BBC, who broadcast all 15 matches in the U.K., “The 2013 Six Nations started with a bang, went off the boil in the middle, and ended in explosive fashion.”

Going into the first weekend on 2 February, defending champion Wales were eager to defend their title, a feat they had not accomplished since back-to-back championships in 1978 and 1979. However, an upset loss in Cardiff to Ireland, 22-30, seemed to derail hopes of a Welsh repeat, while England, the pre-tournament favourite, demolished Scotland in London, 38-18, to retain the Calcutta Cup won in 2012. The next day, Italy prevailed in Rome over France, 23-18, reclaiming the Giuseppe Garibaldi Trophy they had lost in 2012.

On the second weekend, Scotland broke out of a Six Nations losing streak dating back to 2011 by defeating Italy 34-10 in Edinburgh. France couldn’t quite handle Wales at Saint-Denis, going down 6-16 and losing their opening two matches in the tournament for the first time since 1982. Then, on Sunday in Dublin, Ireland failed to stop England, 6-12, in the lowest scoring match since the competition became the Six Nations in 2000.

Week three saw England prevail once more at home, 23-13 over France, as Scotland got their second consecutive win for the first time since 2001, beating Ireland by a score of 12-8 in Edinburgh. Italy stumbled at home, however, letting Wales leave Rome with a victory, 9-26.

The fourth weekend of the tournament produced yet another win for England in London, this time at the expense of Italy, 18-11. Over in Dublin, Ireland could do no better than a 13-13 draw with France, while Scotland gave in at home to Wales, 18-28. Although the Edinburgh match was an ugly one featuring 18 penalty attempts—a record for an international match—it marked the fifth consecutive away victory in the Six Nations for the Welsh side, setting a national and tournament record.

Italy regained their form back in Rome in week five, taking out the Irish side by a score of 22-15. It was the first time the Italians had beaten Ireland in the Six Nations since 1997, and adding insult to injury, the defeat dropped Ireland to 9th place in the IRB World Rankings, their lowest position since the rankings began.

France also found their composure once again at home, downing Scotland by a score of 23-16. But it was in Cardiff where the home advantage really showed up, as Wales dashed England’s hopes of a Grand Slam with a brutal 30-3 punishment. The Welsh win was the biggest ever over the English side and secured them a successful defense of their Championship.

Among the many noteworthy accomplishments of Six Nations 2013, it was the first time that every team managed to win at least three competition points—the equivalent of a win and a draw or three draws—since 1974. Leigh Halfpenny of Wales ended up as the tournament’s leading points scorer with 74, while his teammate, Alex Cuthbert, was the top try scorer with four.

For France, however, the competition was a bitter disappointment. Although they tied Ireland in table points with a record of 1-1-3, based on the scoring differential, the French side finished last among the six, earning them the booby prize “Wooden Spoon” for the first time since 1999.

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