Brian O’Driscoll had a fitting tribute in his last international as Ireland collected a tense 22-20 win in Paris to beat England to the Six Nations trophy.
England had needed a superb win in Rome if they were to challenge for the title, but despite thrashing Italy 52-11, they came up eight points difference short of Ireland, meaning an Irish win would secure the title.
Ireland had a couple of hours to prepare as Wales played Scotland. The Welsh showed brilliant form that if it had been deployed in all their games, would have won them a third consecutive title. After Scotland’s star player Stuart Hogg was sent off, they scored seven tries in a superb 51-3 win.
France would never be an easy team to beat on their home ground, but Ireland were filled with hope as it was Irish great Brian O’Driscoll’s last game.
Ireland went into half-time just trailing, and it was Jonathon Sexton, not O’Driscoll, who was the star player. The fly-half scored two tries, one penalty and two conversions. Ireland really wanted it though, and they eventual won 22-20, a scoreline that elated O’Driscoll and the whole of Ireland rugby.