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Super Saturday - sleepy Sunday

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Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 10:49 UK time, Thursday, 1 March 2007

"How was Super Saturday for you?" we asked on the Six Nations blog this week.

It was an important question as last Saturday was the first time outside the final day of the last three championships that all three games have happened on the one day.

The BBC does not have responsibility for the scheduling of the RBS Six Nations. That lies with the championship's committee.

But of course as broadcast partners we have an interest and were keen to see how this day would be received.

The impetus for this year's move came largely from France where almost all their international fixtures, outside of the Six Nations, happen on Saturday night.

Your responses seem to suggest that for many it was a great day - followed by a long day's recovery on the Sunday...

It was interesting to read of the concern of a number of people involved in the game at amateur levels about the pressure this brought onto them to fulfil fixtures etc. The game must always be mindful of its grass roots.

Ireland and England line up for the anthems at Croke Park

For BBC Sport, in audience terms, the day was a success story too. A peak of eight million people watched history unfold at Croke Park with Ireland's record victory over England. This is the highest audience to a single match for two years.

Earlier 4.9m saw Italy's first away win in the Championship. The final match in Paris had the lowest peak audience at just under four million - which perhaps indicates that for some the third match was one too many or that the battle for the remote control had to be lost eventually.

Overall, as Peter Greening wrote, "the great International rugby community showed what it was made of".

This was especially true in Ireland where the occasion at Croke Park was marked by a remarkable show of dignity, passion and a genuine sense of history by all in attendance.

It was great to read that so many of you who attended shared our view from the sidelines that Irish and English fans had come together in the true spirit of sport.

There was tremendous emotion and passion on display but also a magnificent sense of mutual respect and regard for the significance of the moment.

On the field Ireland outplayed England for a record victory which will give them great encouragement for big battles ahead this year, and made amends - well partly at least - for that last-gasp defeat by France.

Also welcome to the many Italian fans who responded in celebration of their team's finest moment in the Championship - their first victory away from Rome.

In Edinburgh it is said that not since the wise men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh have more significant gifts been handed out than those three early Italian tries but credit to Pierre Berbizier's men for ensuring that they converted that 21-0 lead into victory.

Welcome Sandro, Luca, Michele et al and I'm sure you can't wait for Wales to arrive in Rome next week.

Finally, France v Wales where my sympathies go to those who found they couldn't take three games in a day.

We had our own problems watching this one. In the BBC Scanner at Croke Park we saw Wales run in those two early tries and open up a 14-3 lead only to find that by the time we dashed back to our hotel the French had turned that round for a 23-14 half time lead.

The second half it has to be said was the least entertaining of the six on the day unless of course you had managed to be in the pub from 2.30pm.

Overall as Mike Morley wrote "it was a severe test of endurance", but for most it seems to have been worth it.

And remember you can do it all again on 17 March, which just happens to be St Patrick's Day.

So Mike, for a true endurance test how about four days at Cheltenham followed by Rome for Italy v Ireland. I know many Irishmen who'll be following that plan.

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