So how will we remember the 2017 Six Nations? Perhaps for proof at the last that Eddie Jones’s England were exceptional rather than invincible, for welcome signs of life from France and Scotland, for the concussive fury of the Wales v Ireland match.
]Externally, for the growing clamour for Georgia to be given the shot that, like Italy two decades ago, their results have earned. It was a year with elements of the unexpected, not least that having been widely tipped pre-tournament as the closest in ages, the destination of the title was pretty much settled with a match and three-quarters to go.
And what about that widely forecast deluge of yellow and red cards? To see what happened there, see below as we examine the 2017 Six Nations By The Number:
0 tries scored by Scotland hooker Ross Ford in 55 Six Nations matches to date, extending his all-time scoreless lead over Italian prop Andrea Lo Cicero  and Irish prop Phil Orr .
2 drop goals during the tournament, by Jonathan Sexton for Ireland against France and Tommaso Allan for Italy against England, both in the third round of the tournament. That’s up on one last year, but hardly enough to remove the drop from rugby’s list of endangered phenomenon as it is still the second lowest of the Six Nations era.
3 hat-tricks were scored during the 2017 Six Nations, the most in any season since 1914 when all three were scored by Englishmen, Cyril Lowe against Scotland and France and Ronald Poulton, who scored four in his last international, against France.
4 occasions in the Six Nations era that England have won their first four matches, blown the Grand Slam [three times in Dublin and 2001 in Edinburgh] and still wound up as champions. Nobody else has done this even once.
Referee Wayne Barnes tries to maintain control as France make a controversial substitution in the front-row. Michael Steele/Getty Images
5th quarter, an innovation pioneered in the France v Wales match in which 21 minutes were played after the match clock had ticked over to 80 minutes. Undoubtedly exciting in its own bizarre way, but should probably go the way of goals from the mark and Friday night internationals in Cardiff.
6 years since France last finished in the top half, their worst run since 1924 to 1929, were ended when Damien Chouly crashed over for that 100th minute try against Wales and Camille Lopez landed the decisive conversion.
8 tries conceded by England, the most by a championship-winning team since France let in nine in 2007, also the last year that the team conceding fewest tries did not win the championship. Wales’s concession of two in 2005 remains the Six Nations era record.
8 yellow cards were issued during the championship – after all the forebodings about matches ending 13-a-side and the title being decided by judgement calls on high tackles, there were two fewer than in 2016 and five less than the year before. Only four seasons in the Six Nations era have seen fewer, all between 2004 and 2008. Wales’s Samson Lee stands out among the miscreants for being binned after the 80 minutes were up in Paris, completing his spell on the sidelines, and still returning to the action with 10 minutes to go.
9 consecutive seasons in which Italy have conceded more points than anyone else, with perhaps the sole saving grace being that this year’s 23 tries and 201 points were an improvement on 2016.
10 years since Wales last finished as low as 5th, and seven since they last lost more matches than they won. The impact on Rob Howley’s chances of inheriting from Warren Gatland in 2019, and a whole slew of Lions candidatures, remains to be seen but is unlikely to be positive.
11 wins in a row was the England record which did not get away, their 61-21 Calcutta Cup hammering of Scotland erasing the all-time tournament mark set by their White Rose predecessors of the 1880s and 1920s. Nobody else, not even the brilliant Welsh team of the 1970s, has made it into double figures.
Two tries from George North saw Wales past Ireland in Cardiff. Stu Forster/Getty Images
11 home wins in 15 matches is a record for the Six Nations era, squeezing out five previous seasons in which there were 10 [and a couple of those also had a draw]. Italy lost all three in Rome, leaving England’s late win in Cardiff as the only other away win and Elliot Daly’s late try as the decisive moment of the season, the difference between England’s clear-cut triumph and a five-way photo finish for the title echoing 1973, the season in which all 10 matches were home wins.
14 tries scored by Scotland, their most in the Six Nations era, and more than they scored in three seasons combined from 2011 to 2013. All credit to Vern Cotter, and a terrific inheritance for Gregor Townsend, whose Glasgow players have played a huge part in the transformation.
15 championship tries scored by George North, the most prolific active player. Next up are Jonathan Joseph and Stuart Hogg [10 each] followed by Danny Care and Jamie Heaslip , and they’ve all a fair way to go to catch all-time leader Brian O’Driscoll .
18 points by Leigh Halfpenny in Wales’s defeat in Paris, making him the first player to twice score as many points in a losing championship cause, following on from his 18 – also from six penalties – against England at Twickenham in 2014. There’s obviously something about last round matches at the Stade de France – the all-time record is Maxime Machenaud’s 21 point bid to thwart England’s Grand Slam there in 2016.
20 years and 116 days was the age of French scrum-half Antoine Dupont when he made his debut as a replacement in Rome, making him the youngest player to appear in the 2017 Championship. But the authentic boy wonder is Scotland’s Zander Fagerson, 21 in January, a prop who started all five matches and could be baffling predictive texters for years to come.
24 years – before their final day 29-0 beating of Italy – since Scotland’s last held a championship opponent to nil — a 20-0 defeat of Wales built on a try by back rower Derek Turnbull and five penalties from Gavin Hastings.
The England players celebrates with the 2017 Six Nations trophy. David Rogers – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images
31 wins since 2010 by England, including 29 in a sequence of seven seasons that has seen them win four matches, six times and the lot once. Next up for the decade are Wales on 26, a lead which makes it likely that England will add the best championship record of the 2010s to their resounding lead in the 1990s and finishing only three wins behind Ireland and France in the 2000s.
33 minutes were all that were played by Irish reserve back Craig Gilroy during the tournament, but that period in Rome was sufficient for him to become the first replacement ever to score a hat-trick and joint leading try scorer, with seven other players who crossed three times in the 2017 Six Nations.
34 wins in Six Nations matches makes Dylan Hartley the most successful active player [Gethin Jenkins also has 34, but did not play in 2017], second on the all-time England list although still with considerable ground to make up on Jason Leonard’s 44. Irish counterpart as hooker and captain Rory Best is next on 33 followed by Jamie Roberts with 30.
34 years and 215 days was Rory Best’s age, making him the oldest player in the tournament when he led Ireland to victory over England in the gripping final match. Three other 34 year olds — Welsh lock Luke Charteris and the Italian front-row duo of Michele Rizzo and Lorenzo Cittadini — also played while the oldest scorer was the indomitable Sergio Parisse, 33, with his early try against France.
48 years since anyone scored a championship hat-trick against England — Maurice Richards of Wales, who made the most of the opportunities presented by a rampant back division in front of a half-built National Stadium in 1969 by adding a fourth. That’s so long ago that Richards is now 72 and his tries were worth only three points apiece.
50 championship defeats was the latest melancholy statistic acquired by the inimitable Parisse following Italy’s defeat at Murrayfield. It seems that only injury or a remarkable Italian upturn can prevent him overtaking longtime team-mate Martin Castrogiovanni [52 defeats] as all-time record-holder, but none of that disqualifies him as Hugo Porta’s main rival for the greatest player to come from outside the eight Foundation Unions. Durable Scot Ross Ford  is the only non-Italian in the top 10 championship losers.
CJ Stander celebrates scoring a try for Ireland against Italy. Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
55 years between the two hat-tricks scored in championship matches by forwards. CJ Stander’s trio in Ireland’s nine-try rout of Italy follows on from Michael Crauste’s hat-trick for France against England at the Stade Colombes in 1962. Wales’s Jehoida Hodges crossed three times for Wales against England at Swansea in 1903 after starting the match as a forward, but they all came after he was moved to the wing to replace the injured Tom Pearson.
66 tries were scored during the 2017 Six Nations, down on 71 in 2016 and some way short of the upturn predicted by the more excitable advocates of the bonus point. But one element in an unquestionably exciting season was some formidably dominant defensive performances — notably the scissor-paper-rock sequence of England at Cardiff, Wales at home to Ireland and the Irish in their final day thwarting of the English.
67 points were scored by Camille Lopez for France, making him the tournament’s leading scorer ahead of Owen Farrell, who followed his tournament-leading 69 points in 2016 with a further 63, and Halfpenny on 62.
92 years elapsed between players scoring more than one championship hat-trick — Jonathan Joseph’s triples against Italy last year and in the 2017 Calcutta Cup match follow on from the three hat-tricks uniquely claimed [and two of them were fours] by the remarkable Ian Smith for Scotland in 1924 and 1925. Joseph joins Cyril Lowe [consecutive matches for England in 1914], Scotland’s William Stewart [twice in 1913] and Welsh First World War victim Johnny Williams [1907 and 1910] as a two-time hat-trickster.
100 per cent — Ireland’s all-time record against opponents who come into the match after 18 consecutive test wins.
122 minutes from kick-off to final whistle, the total time taken by the France v Wales match. Just as well it wasn’t an evening game.
339 points scored in Championship matches by Halfpenny, the most by an active player, hotly pursued by Johnny Sexton  and Farrell . Farrell’s youth and formidable scoring rate [12.67 points per match] make him the best bet to overhaul Ronan O’Gara’s all-time mark of 557 points.
1802 minutes of championship rugby were played between the drop goal by Carlo Canna against France in the first match of the 2016 tournament and Sexton’s drop goal against the same opponents in round three in 2017. Having speculated this time last year that the 1193 dropless minutes between Canna’s score and the end of the 2016 tournament were probably an all-time record, we really can’t see how this can’t be.
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/18949814/tries-cards-wins-more-2017-six-nations-numbers
The 2017 Six Nations by numbers
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