Six Nations 2012: final day as it happened

Wales beat France 16-9 to win the Grand Slam, England overwhelm Ireland 30-9 to finish second while Scotland lose to Italy and are condemned to the Wooden Spoon.

17 March 2012 Last updated at 19:23

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As it happened

  1. 1918: 

    Right then folks, that's that for another year. Congratulations Wales, deserved winners of their third Grand Slam in eight years. Night.

  2.  

    Ken London on Twitter: "ENGLAND - well played today! Great foundation to build on for continued success. Great expectations. Enjoy the celebrations!"

  3.  

    Richard, London, via text on 81111: "They say Lancaster hasn't enough international experience. He has now."

  4.  

    Lucien de la Peste on Twitter: "If Stuart Lancaster doesn't get the England job full time now, the RFU brass should be strung up."

  5.  

    Shane Hughes on Twitter: "As much as it pains me to say it, England actually deserved that victory. What a scrappy game from Ireland."

  6. 1859: 

    The rugby is finished on the telly but you can watch the forum on the Red Button and online - Gabby Logan is with Keith Wood, Lawrence Dallaglio and Lewis Moody. Get involved via Twitter and text, or just by having an old-school natter down the pub.

  7.  

    England head coach Stuart Lancaster: "The players were outstanding in every department. The long-term plan revolved around giving young players experience and a lot was made of lack of expereince. But it's all about team belief and the belief of the coaches. It's for others to decide [if he will be offered the job full-time] but if you'd have said a few years ago I'd be walking around Twickenham applauding 82,000 people, I'd have thought you were mad."

  8.  

    Gavin Sadler on Twitter: "Watch out Wales, next year could be very different. England superb. Lancaster a genius."

  9.  

    Man-of-the-match Ben Morgan: "Coming out here in the wet and performing like that against a tough Irish side was incredible. We've only been together for eight weeks now but the team Stuart Lancaster has brought in has just made us grow. [Scrum coach] Graham Rowntree will be having a few sherberts later, celebrating those scrums. We've shown how much potential we've got and credit to Stuart for coming in and creating the environment to showcase what we can do."

  10.   
    BBC Sport's Keith Wood

    "England were really impressive and caused carnage every time the ball went into the scrum."

  11.  
    FULL-TIMEEngland 30-9 Ireland

    Ben Morgan has been named man of the match, the big man has been immense today, and that's the final whistle. Ireland handily beaten, but could that be the end of Stuart Lancaster's reign?

  12. 77 mins: 
    PENALTYFarrell - England 30-9 Ireland

    England come in waves again as Ireland muff their own line-out. Mike Brown down the right flank, Ashton switches with Croft, England penalty-advantage... cross-kick Farrell, too long, and England come back for the scrum. Nope, Farrell pops over the three-pointer, Ireland have officially taken a drubbing.

  13. 73 mins: 
    TRYYoungs - England 27-9 Ireland

    Check out the big brain on Youngs - quick tap, little jink and the Leicester man skips over for the second try of the match. Farrell, who looks almost serene before he kicks the ball off the tee, tugs his conversion left.

  14. 71 mins: 

    Ireland's scrum kicked over like a sandcastle once again, but Farrell misses touch with his penalty, Bowe doing well to keep it in play. It's mistake upon mistake upon mistake for Ireland at the moment - Foden grubbers and the ball is knocked on by Kearney. If I were an Irish player, I wouldn't be eating steak tonight - overdone and gristly, it's liable to be more of a misteak.

  15. 66 mins: 

    Echoing what Brian Moore has already said on the TV, if anyone thought the scrum had been reduced to simply a means of restarting the game, this match should have disabused them. Ireland, without any stability up front, simply haven't been in it. But that's a fine step by Earls, who jinks through the England midfield and brings it clear, only for O'Leary to kick it away.

  16. 64 mins: 
    PENALTYFarrell - England 22-9 Ireland

    Fine take by Morgan, under a high one from Reddan, the Scarlets number eight developing a murderous reputation for assault and battery. I have not seen anything like this for quite some time, every Ireland scrum being turned to rubble, and that's yet another three-pointer for England, this boy Farrell has a sweet right boot.

  17.   
    BBC Sport Brian Moore

    "I don't think I've seen an Ireland side make as many unforced errors for quite a long time."

  18. 59 mins: 
    CONVERTED TRYPenalty try - England 19-9 Ireland

    Youngs, on for Dickson, feeds and England rumble towards the line... Morgan looks to roll over, doesn't make it and England are awarded the penalty try. Farrell pops over the extras, Ireland being beasted up front.

  19. 56 mins: 

    Barritt takes the short pass and makes the half-break, no way through this stout Irish defence - no pun intended. Botha makes way, Palmer tossed into the mix. England scrum on the Ireland 5m line... the first attempt curdles... the second staggers sideways... better the third time... Morgan shoes it forward and England are awarded the penalty. Guess what? It's scrum time again...

  20.  

    John Pankhurst on Twitter: "Now I see England's game plan: knock-on as much as possible to show off in the scrum. Genius. #bbcsixnations"

  21. 51 mins: 
    PENALTYSexton - England 12-9 Ireland

    Morgan attempts to bring it clear but only succeeds in coughing the ball up in his own 22. And that's an Ireland penalty, just right of the posts, and Sexton pumps it over with the minimum of fuss...

  22. 47 mins: 
    PENALTYFarrell - England 12-6 Ireland

    Tom Court in the Ireland front-row is being ground into dust - another collapsed scrum, another England penalty, three more easy points for Farrell...

  23. 45 mins: 

    Ireland disintegrate in the scrum - again. Heaslip manages to mop things up from number eight but England defenders are all over Ireland and the upshot is an England put in. Another bomb from Farrell but Kearney makes hard yards... Bowe takes it up, before Reddan gives it away to Foden... the England full-back scampers clear, shifts it to Croft and the England flanker slips through the gears... OH! Deary me, Croft has three men inside him but somehow coughs up the ball when attempting to execute the pass.

  24. 41 mins: 

    We're under way after the break. Trimble under the high one and he's hit by Parling and Tuilagi - that must have been awful for him, it really must. They're all over Tuilagi like limpets when he's on the ball, that's an Ireland scrum.

  25.  

    BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Twickenham on Twitter: "A day for penalties and keeping error counts as low as possible. Send the champagne down the M4."

  26.   
    BBC Sport's Keith Wood

    "You know it's a bad day and a dirty day when everyone makes a mistake. It's very hard to have continuity and consistency in these conditions but some of the guys aren't coming up to the required level."

  27.  

    Paolo Camillo on Twitter: "Eng vs Ire Not any better than the Italy vs Scotland!! Handling mistakes everywhere #bbcsixnations"

  28.  

    Former England captain Lewis Moody on BBC One: "Ireland's kicking game has been fantastic and put the England players under pressure. There have been a lot of handling errors because of the conditions, but I've enjoyed seeing Morgan carrying the ball, and want to see Manu get involved more, but Ireland's kicking has been better than ours."

  29.  
    HALF-TIME

    Not a great half of rugby, if I'm being honest - greasier and stodgier than my mum's dumpling soup.

  30. 40 mins: 
    PENALTYSexton - England 9-6 Ireland

    Ryan with the clean take at the line-out before Ferris plunges into the guts of the England defence. Ireland go right and a promising move breaks down as Trimble attempts to offload out of the back of the hand. Brian Moore got that spot on - England trying to hold onto the ball in their own 22 when Mooro says they should have kicked it deep, and Ireland win the penalty... Sexton smashes it through, Ireland trail by three at half-time...

  31. 37 mins: 

    Here come Ireland - Kearney under the Garryowen and it falls for Bowe. Indecisive from D'Arcy, however, who is forced to play matador before being gouged by a couple of bulls. Not literally. England steal and Hartley hacks clear, only for Ireland to win a penalty as Botha makes himself a nuisance at the breakdown.

  32. 34 mins: 
    PENALTYFarrell - England 9-3 Ireland

    Clean off the top from Ireland but Ryan knocks on. England have time and space but Farrell eschews the overlap, kicks through and his side win the line-out. Accidental off-side from England, Ireland scrum. Ireland are marmalised again at scrum time and it leads to another penalty for England - right in front, Farrell, as we are learning, does not miss those.

  33.  

    From Nigel on Twitter: "#wales #bbcsixnations #France #RWC2011 #Revenge it was never in doubt. Best team by far in Nothern Hemisfear. #GrandSlam easy."

  34. 31 mins: 

    The Ireland players continue to remonstrate with Owens, who continues to let them know he didn't see any evidence of gouging. Here comes Morgan - this boy's an animal when in full flight - before the referee misses a knock-on by Strettle. Dickson feeds Cole and here comes Morgan again, but this time he's isolated and Ireland win the penalty.

  35. 28 mins: 

    Kearney goes high and Tuilagi is unable to pluck the ball from misty skies, Ireland scrum on the England 22, almost bang in front. Ireland go left and here comes Tommy Bowe on the angle... good defence by England, although referee Nigel Owens is forced to deliver a ticking off to England skipper Robshaw: some suggestion of "fingers" in the ruck, and I don't think he's talking about the tasty Cadbury's biscuit.

  36.  

    Sarah Morgan on Twitter: "#bbcsixnations Irish will be partying tonight anyway with it being St Patrick's Day so should let England have reason to celebrate!"

  37.  
    PENALTYFarrell - England 6-3 Ireland

    Tuilagi takes the ball up in midfield and here comes the marauding Morgan... Barritt looking for Tuilagi outside him but Ireland are up quick and they knock it on. Another scrum for England, this time directly in line with the posts. Ireland are being given a fearful pounding up front and this time they're whistled for kicking out of the scrum - Nigel Owens delivers a stern Welsh sermon, Farrell delivers the lash...

  38.  

    Will Magie on Twitter: "All the pundits love him but I find Mouritz Botha an average player who can't hold onto the ball in contact #bbcsixnations."

  39. 20 mins: 

    Parling soars at the line-out and Barritt detonates in the Irish midfield. England driven backwards but Ireland are penalised and Farrell finds touch. Botha fumbles the line-out and Ireland bring it clear... no pattern at all to this game... Ireland smashed in the scrum again, England penalty again...

  40.  

    Nick in Manchester via text: "As a half English, half Welsh lad. I'd like to say I'm concerned by the England/Ireland match. But I'm not. Not at all. Today I'm all Welsh!"

  41. 16 mins: 
    PENALTYSexton - England 3-3 Ireland

    Botha sticks it up his jumper and rumbles, young man, rumbles... Barritt ploughs into the Ireland defence and Ireland turn him over, Rory Best doing the truffling. Sexton kicks for touch and Ireland just about win their own throw. Sexton puts up the bomb and it's too spicy for Foden - knocked on and Barritt is pinged for hacking through from an off-side position... Sexton swerves his three-pointer through...

  42. 12 mins: 

    Farrell scuffs his clearance under pressure and Kearney goes for the long-range drop-goal - great effort, off the upright. Somebody needs to settle things down, it's a mess out there...

  43. 10 mins: 

    Earls goes haring down the right wing but is hauled down before England turn it over... Kearney under a high one and Ireland come again through Ferris... D'Arcy with the chip through and Dickson makes a real old mess of the cover, sliding in and bouncing the ball off his knee and into touch... the conditions playing havoc at the moment, Dickson have one of those games...

  44. 7 mins: 

    Foden became a father this week and his kid is half-Irish... here come England with cute hands, the ball inside from Tuilagi as they plough the channel out right... Botha, as if clad in oven gloves, eventually knocks on...

  45. 6 mins: 

    Shaky start for Dickson, this time the delay getting the ball away results in a charge-down and it's an England line-out just inside their own 22. Foden under a high one and he stretches his legs before poking it into touch on halfway.

  46. 4 mins: 

    Lee Dickson takes him time digging that out before slicing his box kick sideways. Ireland delivery on the England 22, Best goes long and Heaslip fumbles with the guts of the England midfield ahead of him.

  47. 2 mins: 
    PENALTYFarrell - England 3-0 Ireland

    Scratch that, England scrum, and the hosts get the heave-ho on and Ireland give up a penalty - big message that, like a brick through the front window for the Irish tight five. Farrell nails it...

  48. 1 min: 

    We have drizzle at Twickenham, as Owen Farrell gets us under way... knock-on at the breakdown, Ireland scrum...

  49. 1701: 

    Ireland can nab second place from England if they triumph at Twickenham today and, it should be noted, Lancaster's England are yet to win at home. Anthems... sounds like we've got plenty of Irish in...

  50. 1657: 

    And so to Twickenham. Ireland have beaten England in seven of their last eight Six Nations encounters, with England's only victory coming in 2008. That said, the Irish have not won any of their last four games away from home in the Championship. Players making their way out, we'll have some play in five minutes or so.

  51.  

    Mustafa Khalifa on Twitter: "No-one can deny Wales this Six Nations Championship. They thoroughly deserve their Grand Slam. Congratulations! #bbcsixnations"

  52. 1652: 

    Paul on Twitter: "Surprised Jamie Roberts managed to get a round hat on a square head."

  53.   
    BBC Sport's Jeremy Guscott

    "Wales thoroughly deserved it from 1-22, we've seen a lot of players who are going to compete for next season's Lions. It's not just the 22; there's another team behind this. I think through injuries we've seen people come through. Dan Lydiate has been my player of the tournament. At England we had a player known as Mad Dog - Lewis Moody - and I think Lydiate is cut from the same cloth. He puts his body on the line and manages to stay on the field - he really puts some hits in. Wales maybe came in as favourites, but they steadily grew into the competition, they had an unbelieveable first game against Ireland, they beat England, and here today they just got the job done."

  54. 1646: 

    Cardiff this evening will be like a collision between Dante's Inferno and Brannigans in Romford: dancing, cavorting, singing and kebabs. It's going to be the mash-up to end all mash-ups. Spare a thought for the unwitting tourist with a Lonely Planet in hand: "... one of Cardiff's great attractions is the ease with which you can escape the urban clamour." Good luck with that..

  55.  

    Wales hooker Matthew Rees on BBC One: It's amazing. A second Grand Slam for me and 50th cap, it's going to be some party tonight. I'm delighted to be part of this team."

  56.  

    Wales forward Ryan Jones on BBC One: "It's something we will treasure for years to come. For nine weeks the guys have been superb. I take my hat off to everyone, everyone has contributed."

  57.  

    Former Wales winger Shane Williams on BBC One: "It was a very mature performance. It wasn't pretty - they didn't play too much rugby - but they thoroughly deserved it in the end."

  58.   
    BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies

    "These boys can be regarded as successful as the 1970s side - three Grand Slams since 2005 is fantastic. I think there was a mental and physical turning point in the World Cup and they have built on it. They work hard, have self-belief and it is thoroughly deserving that they take the Grand Slam. They go to Australia now and they will want to go and take scalp in the southern hemisphere. They've been great for the game of rugby on and off the field and great ambassadors for their country."

  59. 1638: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT

    And to great cheers here come all the Wales players to collect their medals. Sam Warburton, complete with shoulder in a sling, steps forward last to take the trophy and lifts it high into the Welsh sky.

  60. 1632: 

    Man-of-the-match Dan Lydiate on BBC One: "It's a very young team and this was their first chance to win anything. To do it at home in the last match in the Six Nations, what could be better? The crowd were our 16th man, thank you all for turning up. Mervyn Davies [who died on Friday] was a legend of the game and our thoughts go out to his family at this time."

  61. 1631: 

    Shamela on Twitter: "GRANDSLAM!"

  62.  
    FULL-TIMEWales 16-9 France

    Owens secures the ball from the French drop-out and Wales run down the clock from 25m out... Evans takes it into contact, and it's a penalty to Wales! Boom! Wales have won the Grand Slam! Their third in eight years...

  63. 78 mins: 

    Dan Lydiate is named man of the match, he's been like a man possessed out there today... Wales quick off the top and here comes Ryan Jones... Priestland in the pocket, waiting to deliver the coup de grace... his guillotine is blunt, the ball arcing right..

  64. 75 mins: 
    PENALTYHalfpenny - Wales 16-9 France

    Halfpenny, ricocheting through the fringes like a spinning top, has the French defence in disarray before Trinh-Duc is pinged for throwing the ball away. Halfpenny lines it up, approaches it old-shool, almost straight-on, and threads it through...

  65. 73 mins: 
    PENALTYYachvili - Wales 13-9 France

    Dusautoir with a clean take and here come France in waves... kick through, ball goes loose, it's all going off out there... Harinordoquy cuts inside when perhaps he should have slipped it to Picamoles and Wales eventually snuff out the threat - but it took some puff. Wales on the ropes, the final bell can't come too soon... France penalty and they're going for goal from bang in front... Yachvili pops it over, France need only a try to win it...

  66. 70 mins: 

    Priestland scrubs another kick through and again Trinh-Duc is forced to clear under duress. Owens with the line-out delivery and Evans takes... Owens tucks in his chin like a truffling pig and goes burrowing into French territory... off their feet, France with a chance to clear their lines...

  67.  

    Former Wales flanker Martyn Williams on BBC One: "For the next 10-15 minutes we've got to be in the French half. France have slowed the Wales ball down and it's been difficult to play, but I think Wales can keep possession and grind out the win."

  68. 67 mins: 

    Priestland controls with his foot before scudding a kick over the head of Trinh-Duc. Trinh-Duc turns and clears, but Wales eat up territory...

  69. 66 mins: 

    You have to say, referee Craig Joubert has been virtually anonymous in this game, and I mean that most politely - other than his clothesline on French prop Attoub, I've hardly seen him. Scrum goes awry for Wales and France find touch on the Welsh 22... Picamoles takes and here comes Fritz, brought down by Roberts... Yachvili snipes but is cut down by Evans 5m short... WALES PENALTY! Not releasing...

  70. 62 mins: 

    Priestland kicks for territory before Harinordoquy slips attempting to counter... Faletau shows and goes but there's no parrot on the shoulder... Buttin snipes round the fringes and Lydiate slams into him with such ferocity you could here the thud on the referee's mic. Have. Some. Of. That. Pal. Ken Owens and Luke Charteris into the fray for Rees and Alun Wyn Jones make way...

  71. 60 mins: 

    Gethin Jenkins swings it wide, France swarm the midfield like tramps on chips and the visitors win the penalty... cross-kick Beauxis and Buttin fields it and makes ground down the left... here's Rougerie on the other side and that's a fine tackle from Roberts, like being smothered with a chainmail duvet... free-kick Wales for an early engage, a collective sigh of relief from the Cardiff faithful...

  72. 58 mins: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Trinh-Duc on for France - on the wing, Beauxis is still on. Scott Williams on for Jonathan Davies for Wales. Slow ball for Wales, forced to inch forward rather than go through hands... Scott Williams to Cuthbert and here comes Evans down the middle...

  73. 1602: 

    Former Wales scrum-half Robert Jones on BBC Radio 5 live: "This is a nervous performance by Wales, there is nowhere near as much cohesion as we normally see from this team. They are making errors and there's an opportunity for France, but not if they continue to play as conservatively as they are."

  74.  

    From Anthony in Durham via text: "It doesn't matter how many grand slams Wales win they will never be considered a great team until they can beat the southern hemisphere teams."

  75. 1559: 

    Tye Magee on Twitter: "Ooooohhh Alex Cuthbert! That looks painful!"

  76. 52 mins: 
    PENALTYHalfpenny - Wales 13-6 France

    Better from France as Fritz makes the half-break, but Wales turn them over and here goes Halfpenny... cuts inside, slips it to Roberts and Dusautoir cuts him down... Fofana spreads his legs but he can't wriggle free - two men swinging blows in the middle of the ring, France have suddenly come out of heir shell. It's a Wales penalty, though, Halfpenny from inside his own half, and that's got the legs...

  77. 49 mins: 

    Priestland puts snow on one and that's a fine take by Fofana, under pressure from North. Referee Joubert inadvertently forearms Attoub in the neck - no yellow card, typical IRB double standards. France in a good attacking position but Beauxis opts for a three-pointer and it drifts wide - the Toulouse man has all the vim and verve of a beige Austin Princess.

  78.   
    BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies

    "That missed drop-goal just about sums it all up. France have been so negative. Why not go through the phases again and pick up the tempo, but instead they have the negative attitude of just get it into the box and try for the three points."

  79. 44 mins: 
    PENALTY

    France attack through Buttin, who puts the Welsh defence in all sorts with a naughty chip through on the burst... nasty bounce, but Gethin Jenkins is here to mop things up. But it's a France penalty and Beauxis smashes through the three-pointer...

  80. 43 mins: 

    Priestland gets the second half under way. Faletau has switched to open-side, Ryan Jones is now at eight. Buttin, on for Poitrenaud, safely pouches a high one but here goes Cuthbert again... slips it to Faletau before Priestland scuffs an attempted drop-goal. Cuthbert tall, high-kneed, sharp elbows, must be like trying to tackle a giant sack full of barbed wire.

  81. 1540: 

    Replays reinforce what I already suspected, that that Cuthbert try was a doozy - swerving in from his wing, sticking Poitrenaud on his backside and slicing through like a scimitar through silk. Warburton's race is run, Ryan Jones to replace him.

  82.  

    Thomas Castaignede on BBC One: "I don't recognise the French team. We suffered many turnovers but what this team needs to do is play more and when we do that we will have opportunities. But if we play like this we will have no chance."

  83.  
    HALF-TIMEWales 10-3 France

    Not exactly a great game for the purists but it's been deep and intense, just as a Grand Slam-decider should be. Wales are at least trying some devil, while France, mainly through Beauxis, are content to put leather to leather most of the time. Sad to see a French side unwilling to play, like bumping into an old rascal of a friend from one's Salad Days, only to discover he's had four kids and is an accountant in Esher.

  84. 1536: 

    John Rees on Twitter: "So far, so good!"

  85. 1535: 

    Alex McMahon on Twitter: "10-3 to Wales at half time, they've deserved the lead. Should go on to win it now bar a better attacking 2nd half from France"

  86.   
    BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies

    "Absorbing first half, Wales have played magnificently. Defences have been spot on, but Wales put width on the turnover for that crucial try. You expect France to play a little bit more footballl in the second half."

  87. 1533: 

    Dean Caplin on Twitter: "France are boring the hell out of me. Never seen a side kick it so much! Yawn"

  88. 40 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY

    As the clock turns red, Halfpenny takes aim and strikes an upright - that's half-time, it's been mainly Wales...

  89. 39 mins: 

    Wales mining the short side and they had numbers out left but the ball is to slow... France turn it over, but Evans charges down Yachvili... penalty-advantage Wales, they go left, but Davies' miss-pass to North leaves him with too much to do and referee Joubert will bring them back...

  90. 37 mins: 

    Jonathan Davies, he of the commentary box rather than the Wales midfield, waxing lyrical on blind-side Dan Lydiate - he has been immense, greedy for the pill like some rugby Pac-Man. France go through the hands, Rougerie inside to Fofana, who really hasn't been in the game thus far - and now it looks like he's injured.

  91.   
    BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies

    "Dan Lydiate has to be up there as favourite for the player of the tournament. He has been immense."

  92. 1527: 

    Robin van Plattsie on Twitter: "Can Wales keep this level up the whole game? Watch out for France in the last 20 minutes"

  93. 34 mins: 

    Alun Wyn Jones with a soaring take from the restart... good kick Priestland, great take Poitrenaud... North, knees into his chest, fields a steepler and here they go right... Evans cantering clear, legs pumping, like a wild beast caught in a bush, but Roberts knocks on... Beauxis with another Garryowen and Rougerie finally pulls it in at the third attempt...

  94. 32 mins: 
    PENALTYHalfpenny - Wales 10-3 France

    Jonathan Davies up in the line, smashing into the French midfield, and the ball pops up like toast - Wales penalty, French forwards going off their feet, Halfpenny applies the butter, the hosts lead by seven...

  95.  

    Former Wales captain Martyn Williams on BBC One: "There's a great atmosphere here pitchside. For me, Mike Phillips and Rhys Priestland are bossing their areas. It's a great start, the majority of the game is in France's half."

  96. 29 mins: 

    France look to counter but that's a poor pass from Harinordoquy and the chance goes begging. Rees with a sizzler to the back of the line-out and Faletau takes it in his stride and brings it clear... Priestland puts his side in a pickle, juggling the ball before shovelling it on, but Wales manage to right their wobble... if Italy v Scotland was like wading through a jungle thicket, this match is like surfing a wave, swooshing along at a rare old pace...

  97. 26 mins: 

    Land Of My Fathers drifts round the Millennium as Rougerie fields a high one. Beauxis looks for a cheeky chip over the top, confirming what we already knew, that the France fly-half would make a most disappointing Swiss Army Knife - no horseshoe file with him. Here goes North on a barrage but Rougerie fights fire with fire and the Scarlets man mountain is sent tumbling backwards...

  98. 1515: 

    Robbie Savage - yes, that one - on Twitter: "Cuthberrrrrttttttt !!!!! Yes"

  99.   
    BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies

    "What a magnificent finish. Turnover ball and you have to put the ball through the hands when you do that. It's a lovely ball to him but what a great finish."

  100. 21 mins: 
    CONVERTED TRYCuthbert - Wales 7-3 France

    CUTHBERT SCORES! Wales turn it over - Lydiate hitting Dusautoir like an errant vending machine, the ball popping out like a Drifter - and Cuthbert hot-steps it down the left wing to score. Halfpenny with the extras, Wales wrest control...

  101. 20 mins: 

    Wales have made four tackles to France's 29 so far, which you have to say is remarkable. Servat with the short one to Dusautoir, the French skipper pings it back to him and the hooker goes flying through the gap like a runaway beer barrel. Very good attacking position scuppered by an infringement, and Wales clear their lines..

  102.  

    David Smart on Twitter: "Can someone please tell me why Priestland is place kicking rather than Halfpenny? #BBCSixNations."

  103. 17 mins: 

    It's a line-out after France clear and here's Warburton at the tail... Priestland with a steepler but it's too long and Yachvili takes the mark and puts some decent length on it. France soaking it all up at the moment, like the counter-attacking experts they are, the rugby union equivalent of catenaccio.

  104. 15 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY

    ... Rhys Priestland from out right -strange it's not Halfpenny from that sort of range - and he's rapped the upright...

  105. 15 mins: 

    Halfpenny fields a clearance and has a go from deep, only to lose his footing. Wales go right, Roberts grubbers through, and Beauxis is forced to taxi the ball into touch. Useful position for the hosts. Faletua with a clean take and it's Adam Jones playing number nine... Cuthbert into midfield again but there is no way through - like trying to shape granite with a knife and fork. But France are penalised for not rolling away and Wales have a chance to draw level...

  106. 11 mins: 
    PENALTYYachvili - Wales 0-3 France

    Bonnaire at the tail and here comes a French maul - like trying to bring down a herd of elephants. Penalty France, Gethin Jenkins the man penalised, Yachvili makes no mistakes...

  107. 9 mins: 

    Harinordoquy spills a high one but Alun Wyn Jones is penalised for going off his feet. Servat finds Maestri at the line-out but it's scrum-down, Wales ball. Both teams incontinent with handling errors but the pre-match rain has made the ball a proverbial bar of soap. France penalty, though, Phillips not releasing, Beauxis bangs it into touch on the Wales 22...

  108. 6 mins: 

    France prop Attoub in for only his second cap at the age of 30 and it's a Wales free-kick from the set-piece. France committing no-one to the rucks and they eventually turn it over. Halfpenny with the Garryowen and here comes Priestland with the kick and chase - Poitrenaud not at home but it's a 22 drop-out...

  109. 5 mins: 

    Wales continue clubbing away at the door but it's eventually knocked on and Yachvili clears. Bit more to-and-thro before Yachvili finally finds touch on halfway. Evans with a clean take at the line-out before Priestland goes high and Rougerie is unable to take... France turn Wales over, chance for the visitors to turn down the gas and loosen the lid...

  110. 3 mins: 

    Alun Wyn-Jones quick off the top of the line-out and here comes the bruising Cuthbert off his wing... now Jonathan Davies goes on a rumble, pulled up 5m short, and Beauxis slices his clearance out for a very handy Wales line-out...

  111. 1 min: 

    Slippery surface, we did have rain earlier, France to kick off. Faletau under it and Phillips it is with the box kick... Beauxis attempts the drop-kick and it's lower than a snake's spit bucket, doesn't even make the posts...

  112.   
    BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies

    "It's a very slippery surface so it's not going to be pretty, but it's going to be brutal."

  113. 1448: 

    Tremendous rendering of Land Of My Fathers, the anthemic equivalent of a chip pan fire, it'll take your face off. Stand by. I repeat. Stand by.

  114. 1446: 

    Anthems - France score disappointingly low on the tearometer, a score of none. No tears whatsoever.

  115. 1444: 

    ... and here come Wales. Tension on the faces of the players, as well there might be... Matthew Rees, winning his 50th cap, leads them out and the Cardiff faithful runneth over with gratitude. We've got a minute's silence first, for Wales legend Mervyn Davies and former All Black and New Zealand rugby administrator Jock Hobbs... ripple of applause, quickly sucked up by the silence...

  116. 1441: 

    Lots of tittle-tattle beforehand about dark clouds over the Millennium Stadium but we've got rays of sunshine now. The French ranks already massed in the tunnel, like troops waiting to be sent over the top. Dusautoir, the handsome officer with pistol in hand, leads them over. Play in five...

  117. 1434: 

    Roof off in Cardiff, despite the threat of rain - the visitors have to agree to the roof being on or off and the French aren't exactly chucking it about of late. Wales are going for their 11th Grand Slam and their third in the Six Nations. France have denied an opponent from claiming a Grand Slam on four occasions - England in 1954, Wales in 1965 and 1988 and Ireland in 1982. The French have won on seven of their last eight visits to the Millennium Stadium, since the 1999 World Cup final defeat by Australia.

  118. 1430: 

    Many thanks to James Standley for attempting to make some sense of Italy v Scotland, Ben Dirs in the seat from here on in. Sorry about the hors d'oeuvre, folks, chef had an off day...

  119. 1429: 

    From the beauty of Rome to the more homely charms of Cardiff. One area where Wales far outshines Italy is in the luminosity of its rugby team and the 2012 version will do its best to light up a rainy day in the Welsh capital by beating France to secure a third Grand Slam in eight years. Kick-off is 15 minutes away and to take you through the action is the inimitable Ben Dirs, a man who is to live text commentaries as the great Welsh fly-halves of the 70s were to running rugby.

  120. FULL-TIME: 

    Scotland are condemned to the Wooden Spoon as Italy avoid the dubious distinction for the first time in five years. It may have been a long way from a thing of beauty but the Italian fans don't care as they do their best to lift the roof off the towering Stadio Olimpico. Scotland, despite some bright moments, end the tournament with five defeats in five games - what does the future hold for boss Andy Robinson?

  121. 1420: 

    David Field on Twitter: "Bright spots in the Scottish gloom: Dave Denton + Stuart Hogg - exciting young players, stars of the future."

  122.   
    BBC Sport rugby union expert Andy Nicol

    "I really didn't expect Scotland to lose all five games but the 80 minutes today have been really disappointing and the Scotland fans will be really disappointed how things have petered out over the last match and a half. They promised so much but the quality has not been there and it's ended up a disappointing Championship."

  123. 79 mins: 

    A powder-puff Scottish attack comes to an end with a penalty to Italy. The noise from the sold-out crowd at the Stadio Olimpico reaches a crescendo as they earn another penalty and hammer it into touch.

  124. 1418: 

    Bushells on Twitter: "Careful when you hand Scotland the wooden spoon - in case they drop it."

  125. 1417: 

    Wings Over Scotland on Twitter: "Absolutely anyone who played any part in this game should be banned from rugby for life."

  126. 1415: 

    Anon via text on 81111: "Wow! This is amazing. Worst match I've ever seen. On the edge of my seat to see if it can get any worse."

  127. 77 mins: 
    DROP-GOALKris Burton - Italy 13-6 Scotland

    Italy fly-half Kris Burton slides home the stiletto with a drop-goal and Scoland need a converted try just to draw. The Wooden Spoon hangs over them like a giant wooden kitchen utensil of doom.

  128. 76 mins: 

    Scotland launch a desperate attack but are penalised for holding on as the impressive Monoa Vosawai gets over the ball and prove impossible to shift.

  129. 74 mins: 

    Italy win a penalty at a scrum as the Italian front row is penalised for standing up. They have the throw at a line-out inside the Italy 22, but once again they lose possession. Disaster for the visitors.

  130.  

    Bushells on Twitter: "Italy deserve this - but Rolland takes the gloss away from any win as the other side will point out errors."

  131.   
    BBC Sport rugby union expert Andy Nicol

    "Let's bring some chaos into the last eight minutes. There's nothing to lose. Scotland need to have a crack from anywhere."

  132. 71 mins: 

    Scotland are not holding onto possession well enough to make their one-man advantage count. Despite the ascendancy of the Italian pack the Scots are still in touch on the scoreboard but time is running out to avoid the Wooden Spoon.

  133. 70 mins: 

    Italy, still down to 14 men, win a line-out and set up a rolling maul, but Kris Burton kicks the ball out on the full and Scotland will have a throw-in on the Italy 10m line. Can the visitors make something out of what is rare good field position? In short, no, and Italy clear.

  134.  

    Malcolm Harvey on Twitter: "I'd feel like a thief if Scotland won this now."

  135. 68 mins: 

    Scotland, so impressive in the line-out earlier in the tournament, lose their own throw again and Gonzalo Canale relieves the pressure on the hosts with a raking clearing kick.

  136.  

    Wings Over Scotland on Twitter: "I'm about two more unforced errors from switching the telly off."

  137. 65 mins: 
    SIN BIN

    Stuart Hogg brings the travelling supporters to life with a break, and Italy are then reduced to 14 men as Alessandro Zanni goes off his feet at a ruck. With Jim Hamilton back on the pitch it is now Andy Robinson's men who have the numerical advantage.

  138. 1401: 

    Kevin Walsh, London, via text on 81111: "Scotland dire but still in it. Think Andy Nicol is barking up the wrong tree with Alain Rolland's yellow card decision: I think Hamilton was binned for coming in from the side, not taking a man down in the line-out."

  139. 64 mins: 

    The vim has gone out of this game again. Italy drop out after Grieg Laidlaw kicks the ball deep towards the right corner and it trickles into the in-goal area. Scotland try to counter but are turned over and Sergio Parisse and Monoa Vosawai make inroads, before Italy, predictably, knock on.

  140. 1356: 

    Trevor via text on 81111: "Appalling yellow card decision by Alain Rolland with no warning and weak justification, coming after a very weak match in charge last week in Paris and the controversial red card against Wales in the World Cup. Who is monitoring the quality of the referees in Six Nations rugby? Rolland is not up to the job, no matter how good his language skills are."

  141. 60 mins: 
    PENALTYGrieg Laidlaw - Italy 10-6 Scotland

    Grieg Laidlaw knocks over the kick, Scotland can still pull this one out of the fire.

  142. 59 mins: 

    Italy penalised at a line-out as Alessando Zanni interferes with Al Kellock at a line-out. Legitimate questions being asked about referee Allain Rolland's consistency - if Jim Hamilton was yellow carded, why not Zanni?

  143. 58 mins: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Italy ring the changes. Tommaso D'Apice replaces the veteran Fabio Ongaro at hooker and Monoa Vosawai comes on for Robert Barbieri on the flank.

  144. 56 mins: 
    SIN BIN

    Scotland back up to 15 but Italy are still on top. Nope, Scotland back down to 14 again as Jim Hamilton is yellow carded for bring in the maul down. If Scotland win, they'll have done this the hard way.

  145. 1348: 

    John Field on Twitter: "No chance of showing women's rugby next season, and putting this fixture on the Red Button?"

  146. 51 mins: 
    SUBSTITUTION

    Much better second half so far. Stuart Hogg clears to the 10m line but Italy will have a throw-in in a good attacking position. Prop Andrea Lo Cicero is replaced on the occasion of his 95th cap to huge applause, Lorenzo Cittadini coming on in his place.

  147. 1346: 

    Andy Aiken on Twitter: "Scotland, you are now officially embarrassing me."

  148. 1345: 

    Tye Magee on Twitter: "Ireland deserve to win this game."

  149. 49 mins: 

    Italy hammer away again but they are penalised for a knock-on with Kris Burton looking set to cross for the hosts. Scotland really hanging on at the moment.

  150. 1342: 

    Charles Trafford on Twitter: "Are you allowed to make a PA announcement as the guy is kicking a pen?"

  151.  
  152. 45 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTYGrieg Laidlaw - Italy 10-3 Scotland

    Grieg Laidlaw narrowly misses a chance for Scotland to cut the gap to four points.

  153. 1337: 

    Tony via text on 81111: "The story of the tournament for Scotland is not lack of quality play but lack of discipline. For Scotland to now survive 40 mins play with 15 men is a rarity and a disgrace!"

  154. 43 min: 
    CONVERTED TRYGiovanbattista Venditti - Italy 10-3 Scotland

    Italy fly-half Kris Burton gets flat and takes on the Scotland defence. Italy sweep the ball left, right, and left again and winger Giovanbattista Venditti scythes through to score a converted try. Scotland suffering for being down to 14 men there.

  155. 1334: 

    Ad Harkin on Twitter: "Worst half of rugby today? Sure you aren't building up the second half a bit too much?"

  156. 41 mins: 

    The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Italian front row. Rome's home to plenty of impressive ancient edifices, and Italy's pack today is the most experienced in international history. We're off again, let's hope for a bit more action in the second half.

  157. 1330: 

    Jonathan Edwards on Twitter: "Enough is enough. Introduce promotion and relegation in the 6nations. This nonsense that's on right now can't go on."

  158. 1329: 

    Just over an hour and a quarter now until Wales launch their Grand Slam bid against France, but we've got another 40 minutes in Rome first. They call it the Eternal City, and there were certainly times during that first half when it felt like time had stopped...

  159.   
    BBC Sport's Jeremy Guscott

    "It's a shame for Italy. Their pack has always contested but the back-line doesn't function to reward that hard work. I'm pleased to see Italy coming out and playing the way they are but I wish they would be a bit more forthright. They play so deep, if I was in the centres I would be saying 'stand flatter, that would give us more time to get it out to our wingers'. But they must be happy with him standing where he is."

  160.  
    HALF-TIMEItaly 3-3 Scotland

    Not one for the neutrals this, but no doubt that Italy are on top. I'll put money on this being the worst half of the entire day.

  161. 39 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY

    Oh dear. Mirco Bergamasco scuffs the ball to the right of the posts.

  162. 38 mins: 
    SIN BIN

    Scotland's Nick de Luca is yellow-carded for kicking the ball out of the scrum-half's hands at a ruck. Kickable penalty for Italy.

  163. 35 mins: 
    PENALTYLaidlaw - Italy 3-3 Scotland

    Greig Laidlaw bangs over a long-range penalty to level the scores.

  164. 34 mins: 

    It's an error-strewn game, but Scotland butcher the hosts at a scrum to win a penalty. It's just short of the halfway line, does Greig Laidlaw have the range to land it?

  165. 32 mins: 

    In the spiritual home of opera, this game is more Stockhausen than Mozart. Mike Blair hoofs the ball deep, at least it finds touch deep in Italian territory.

  166. 1312: 

    Matt, London, via text on 81111: "Kris Burton is the single worst fly-half I have ever seen at international level. I pity the Italian outside backs. Surely Italy have a better home grown talent somewhere?"

  167. 1311: 

    Jon Dawkins on Twitter: "If Italia had a couple of decent kickers they'd be a real force in world rugby."

  168.   
    BBC Sport rugby union expert Andy Nicol

    "I know there's a lot at stake but the mindset should be about going out to play the game and really express yourself. There are so many mistakes from both sides. You can tell this is the Wooden Spoon decider - the quality isn't great."

  169. 28 mins: 

    Nick de Luca chops down the dangerous Andrea Masi before a brief flare-up sparked by Scotland centre Graeme Morrison. This is a scrappy old match. Even referee Alain Rolland calls it "a mess".

  170. 26 mins: 

    A superb Kris Burton kick is brilliantly kept in by Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair, and the Scots clear deep. Andrea Masi counters and rumbles from Sergio Parisse and Quintin Geldenhuys drive Italy into the red zone, but Burton's drop-goal attempt is charged down.

  171. 1301: 

    Jon via text on 81111: "Alain Rolland has been given far too many chances to determine his refereeing style but his inconsistency appears endless!"

  172. 23 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY

    "You're ruining it for everybody," referee Alain Rolland tells both sets of front rows. Scotland's David Denton is penalised for holding on after he is isolated after a run off the back of the scrum. Scotland protest and the 10 metres they are marched backwards puts Mirco Bergamasco within range. His kick is dire though, much like this match.

  173.  

    Opta Sports on Twitter: "13 - Scotland have lost 13 of their last 14 away games in the Six Nations, their solitary win coming at Croke Park in 2010. Torrid."

  174. 20 mins: 

    Alessandro Zanni makes good ground off the back of a line-out but when Italy move the ball wide, Scotland hold them up and the visitors win the put-in at the scrum.

  175. 18 mins: 

    This game's not really got started. When we do manage some play Scotland are struggling to secure much ball but they are looking solid in defence, with Italy industrious but lacking penetration. Scotland win a penalty at the scrum, but then lose their throw at an attacking line-out. Frustrating.

  176.  

    Louise Lamont on Twitter: "Oh Scotland. You can start playing properly now; I think they've been lulled long enough."

  177. 15 mins: 

    Another stop for treatment, this time for Italy's Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who is able to continue.

  178.   
    BBC Sport rugby union expert Andy Nicol

    "This is my least favourite game: Italy v Scotland in Rome. They are never great games."

  179. 14 mins: 

    Italy have shown signs of playing a more expansive game under new coach Jaque Brunel and they are keen to move the ball wide in the Rome sunshine. Stuart Hogg claims a fine catch for Scotland from a high kick but a knock-on halts their resulting attack.

  180.  

    Robin on Twitter: "Alain Rolland is going to annoy me in this game, 10 minutes since kick-off and only 6 minutes played."

  181. 10 min: 
    PENALTYMirco Bergamasco - Italy 3-0 Scotland

    Bergamasco drills the ball between the sticks to give Italy reward for their early endeavour.

  182. 9 mins: 

    A somewhat bitty start finally comes to life as Italy launch a sustained attack. Italy get a shove on in the scrum and their first backs move draws a roar from the crowd. Andrea Masi finds space out wide and then makes a break through the middle, and the hosts win a penalty as big Jim Hamilton flops off-side at a ruck.

  183.  

    Rob Shipman on Twitter: "Surely Andy Robinson's job must be on the line if Scotland lose today? No matter how close a defeat, it's still a defeat."

  184. 6 mins: 

    From the line-out Scotland infringe to stop a powerful rolling maul but the penalty is reversed after hooker Fabio Ongaro is caught using his elbow. That's a let-off for Scotland.

  185. 5 mins: 

    Ross Rennie is penalised for coming into the ruck at the side and Italy send the penalty deep into Scotland territory. Not a lot of flowing rugby evident yet.

  186. 4 mins: 

    Scotland knock on at the line-out - are their problems from last week at this phase reappearing again?

  187. 2 mins: 

    The game is immediately halted for treatment to Italy centre Gonzalo Canale, who picks up a knock tackling Max Evans in the first action of the game. He is OK to resume but is immediately injured again.

  188. 1 min: 

    Scotland have made a late change, bringing in prop Jon Welsh for Allan Jacobsen. We're under way in Rome...

  189. 1230: 

    There has been a minute's silence in Rome to mark the death of leading New Zealand rugby figure Jock Hobbs. It is a glorious, sunny day in Rome, and with the ebullient Italian national anthem still ringing in my ears, we are set for kick off.

  190. 1229: 

    Scotland head coach Andy Robinson on BBC One: "It's going to be a huge game, this Italian side are very physical, defend with ferocity and pride - we're in for a battle. We've got to defend very well and stop their driving maul and their scrum. The only way we can do that is by going at them. And we can't afford to concede cheap scores."

  191. 1227: 

    Wales legend Gareth Edwards on BBC One: "He [Mervyn Davies, who died on Friday] was a lovely, quiet man but a character, who will be sadly missed. He wasn't a flamboyant player but a true, honest player who got on with his job and knew what he had to do. These boys will play for the day but it will be a wonderful send off for the great man if they can seal the Grand Slam today."

  192. 1226: 

    Wales will go for the Grand Slam the day after the sad news of the death of iconic former number eight and captain Mervyn Davies.

    Known throughout the game as 'Merv the Swerve', Davies captained Wales to the 1976 Five Nations Grand Slam. Davies won 38 caps and two Grand Slams in total, and played eight Tests for the Lions over two tours, in 1971 and 1974.

  193. 1223: 

    Scotland have enjoyed plenty of possession and made plenty of passes during the tournament, but their lack of a cutting edge has time and again proved their undoing.

    Italy have shown signs of playing a wider game under new coach Jacques Brunel but they reverted to type last weekend against Wales and their lack of attacking threat is even more pronounced than Scotland's.

  194. 1220: 

    This is the second year running that Scotland and Italy have faced each other on the final weekend with the Wooden Spoon at stake. It is also the fifth consecutive year and eighth in total these two teams have finished in the bottom two.

  195. 1217: 

    If Wales are the main attraction there are also a couple of tasty sub-plots today. England can do Stuart Lancaster a major favour by not fluffing their lines in his final audition for the full-time job, while Scotland and Italy get us under way with the latest edition of their long-running saga, the Wooden Spoon Chronicles.

  196. 1210: 

    The live coverage on BBC One is just about to start - you can also watch it in HD and on the Red Button. And you can get involved in the action by tweeting us, using #bbcsixnations, or texting us on 81111.

  197.  

    BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer on Twitter: "All aboard Grand Slam express to Cardiff. Space at a premium. Showers holding off for now. Hope stays that way. Wales by 5-7."

  198.  

    Elliott Ward on Twitter: Wales to demolish the French in the last 10 minutes, no tries conceded but a good 25-30 point difference today, Cymru am Byth

  199. 1206: 

    There's no doubt that Wales have been the team of the tournament so far. It used to be that they just had to whistle down a pit for a prop, but these days they field giant young backs who look as though they were created by the special effects guys from Doctor Who, filmed just down the road from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff Bay.

    The young Welsh monsters may be the team eyeing a Grand Slam but recent history is on the side of the always unpredictable French. They won the World Cup semi-final between the two only five months' ago, and have triumphed in seven of the past eight games between the two.

    However, Wales' last win over Les Bleus was the 29-12 defeat when Wales clinched the 2008 Grand Slam. The entire Welsh nation will hope it's a case, as Tiger Bay's own Shirley Bassey belted out before the turn of the Millennium, that it's a case of history repeating later today.

  200. 1155: 

    I'll be your guide for the first game, before the highly commendable Ben Dirs takes over to see you through Wales' Grand Slam bid, followed by interim England boss Stuart Lancaster's attempt to make himself all but unsackable as his team take on Ireland in the final game of the 2012 Championship.

  201. 1150: 

    By common agreement it's been a belter of a Six Nations, and what a final day of action we have ahead of us. There's plenty to play for, with Wales going for a third Grand Slam in eight seasons in the second game, which kicks-off at 1445 GMT in Cardiff.

    Following that we have England, who may still be in with a shout of retaining their title if France turn over the Welsh, taking on Ireland at Twickenham at 1700. But to kick us off at 1230, Scotland travel to Italy with both sides hoping to avoid the Wooden Spoon.

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