This is an unprecedented Six Nations campaign. For the first time we have an extra game being played a week after the rest of the tournament has finished, due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the French squad. They will now play their postponed game v Scotland on Friday night, with a chance to deny Wales the Six Nations title, when they were just seconds away from completing the Grand Slam this weekend.
That last second try from Brice Dulin not only kept France’s hopes of the title alive with a 32-30 win but crushed Welsh hearts and denied them their second Grand Slam in three years. Now, it won’t repair the damage done by the French on Saturday, but Wales can still win the Six Nations Championship on Friday night, if the result goes their way. That would not completely heal the wound that the French inflicted upon them, but it would mark the end of an incredibly successful campaign.
Here are the permutations for France v Scotland on Friday night...
If Scotland beat France, or hold them to a draw, Wales would win the Six Nations title. Simple as that. The Welsh currently top the table by five points so France need a win to keep any hopes of winning their first titles since 2010 alive.
If Scotland lose, things get a little more complicated, but it isn’t curtains for the Welsh. If Scotland lose but stop France from scoring four tries and getting that vital bonus point, Wales will be Six Nations champions.
If Scotland lose by 19 points or less, no matter how many tries are scored, Wales will be champions on goal difference.
If Scotland lose by exactly 20 points and concede four tries, both France and Wales will finish level on points and level on goal difference. However, the Championship will then be decided by tries scored and Wales would take home the title, having scored 20 tries to France’s 19.
If France win by 21 points and score four or more tries, then Fabien Galthie’s team will be champions.
Simply enough right? Well it isn’t quite that easy. Did you know that the Six Nations Championship can be shared and that is a real possibility heading into this final game. If France score exactly five tries and beat Scotland by exactly 20 points, they will put themselves level on points, goal difference and tries scored, which would mean the Six Nations is shared for the very first time.
This has never happened in the Six Nations era, but it did happen in the Five Nations era back in 1988, where you guessed it - France and Wales could not be separated at the time and were both declared champions. Later, the rules were changed in 1994 to allow points difference to decide the title to make this situation less likely to repeat itself, which would have handed Wales the title back then- but 23 years later, here we are again!
Every Welsh fan will be watching on Friday night fully supporting Scotland, while France will need to put on an attacking display to secure the title. One thing is for sure, you don’t want to miss this one.