The last round of Six Nations matches takes place tomorrow and whilst the tournament is technically still open, Wales are the overwhelming favourites to win. There are four possible results tomorrow, three of them will result in a Welsh title and the fourth is very unlikely. The first, and most likely, would be for Wales to beat France. I’m not in the habit of looking up bookmakers odds (living in the US, I can’t bet on any matches) but I would certainly consider Wales favourites to win. France were lacklustre for most of the match last week and that was at home to a weaker side than Wales. Going to Cardiff they will have to play a lot better and with nothing on the line for them, I’m not sure they’ll be motivated enough. A victory for Wales will give them a Grand Slam, and by extension the Six Nations title regardless of what England do against Ireland.
The second possibility is that Wales lose and England lose or draw. Although Wales would miss out on the Grand Slam in this scenario, they would still take the title with four wins to England’s three. If Wales do lose their match then I don’t think this is an unlikely outcome, but I do think that England have a real chance to beat Ireland. We have played much better in the last two matches, although need to work on holding onto leads late in the match, and at home I think I just about back us to win. It’s a close thing though and I would not be surprised if Ireland win and secure Wales a title that way.
The third and fourth possibilities are that Wales lose and England win with the distinction being drawn by the margins of the results. In this scenario, both teams would finish with four wins and one loss and the title would go to the team with the better point difference. As mentioned above, I think this scenario is unlikely overall, but more likely than the second one. What is very unlikely, though, is England being on the right side of it. Currently Wales have a point difference of +44 to England’s +6. In other words, in the event that England even have a chance to win the title they are likely to be faced with a scenario of needing to score about five tries to do it. I would thus like to take this opportunity to be the first to offer Wales my congratulations on their first Six Nations title in four years.
The other, less interesting, less interesting match tomorrow is the Italy v Scotland wooden spoon/whitewash decider. I said a few weeks ago that this match would be a great chance for Italy to record an upset and it still is. Neither side have looked very good, but Italy are at home and pushed England pretty hard there in the second round of matches. I think Scotland are still favourites to win, but they will need to play well.