After a thrilling end to round five of the Six Nations 2021, France are still in contention for a first Championship title since 2010.
Saturday’s dramatic 32-30 win over Wales means they go into Friday’s rearranged encounter with Scotland, also in Paris, knowing that a bonus-point victory by 21 clear points will guarantee them the trophy.
Wales still top the Six Nations 2021 table on 20 points with Ireland and France both five points behind, but they now need Scotland to do them a favour.
By denying Wales a Grand Slam, France have also moved up to third in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings, with only South Africa and New Zealand ahead of them, while Wayne Pivac’s shell shocked side drop from fifth to sixth.
In Dublin, Ireland were on course to overtake England in the rankings until Jonny May’s late consolation try for the visitors closed the gap sufficiently to prevent them slipping lower than fourth. Ireland move up one to fifth as a result of their convincing 32-18 victory in Dublin.
The opening match of ‘Super Saturday’ went to form with an emphatic 52-10 win for Scotland over Italy.
It concluded Italy’s worst-ever Six Nations in terms of points and tries conceded and they finish the campaign ranked one place lower than when they started it in 15th. As heavy favourites, Scotland did not get any additional rating points for the victory and they remain in ninth place in the rankings.
Meanwhile, Romania traded ranking places with Spain, with the teams now in 18th and 19th, respectively, after a 22-16 win over Los Leones in the second round of the Rugby Europe Championship 2021 in Bucharest.
There was never more than a score between the teams but an ill-disciplined second-half performance cost the visitors the chance of a first-ever win on Romanian soil.
Spain’s chances of a precious away win in the chase for Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification points received a huge blow when number eight Fred Quercy was sent off for foul play. That dismissal was then compounded by two yellow cards – taking their overall total in the game to four – as Spain finished the game down to 12 men.
Rugby Europe Championship leaders Georgia extended their run of consecutive wins over Russia to 18 matches in Kaliningrad.
Georgia scored three tries in a 23-6 victory, including a maiden test try for 18-year-old Davit Niniashvili.
With less than half a rating point on offer for the win, the Lelos stay in 12th place and Russia are still 20th.