Blimey – where to start? Or more aptly, what a finish. The 2014 RBS 6 Nations went right down to what Sir Alex Ferguson famously coined as “squeaky bum time” at the Stade de France, where Ireland held on for the most dramatic Championship victory in years.
Their 22-20 win in Paris, only their third in 42 years in the French capital, thwarted the aspirations of an England side that thrilled but just missed out on a first RBS 6 Nations title since 2011
The Championship also clocked up some impressive numbers – we chart the most memorable during an exhilarating seven weeks of world-class rugby.
400 – Number of minutes played by England skipper Chris Robshaw – the only member of the squad to play every minute of the tournament. The Lions’ loss last summer has been England’s gain this year.
24 – Matches Robshaw has captained England – only Martin Johnson and Will Carling have led their country more.
138 – Points scored by England, the most of the six Championship teams. Ireland, though, top the try-scoring charts with 16.
772 – Number of total tackles made by Italy, the most by any team in this year’s Championship, nearly 217 more than France, who made the fewest.
70 – Number of tackles made by Italy’s Quintin Geldenhuys, the most in the tournament. And the second row didn’t miss one.
100 – England’s win percentage when prop Henry Thomas makes an appearance. You have to go back to the 1880s to find an England played who has played more matches without tasting defeat.
41 – England’s margin of victory in Rome – the joint-seventh heaviest defeat for the Italians in their capital. Mamma mia.
111 – Metres ran with ball in hand by Brown in Rome, taking his total to a tournament-leading 543m. He also tops the defenders beaten table with 25.
48 – Points margin Wales beat Scotland by at the Millennium Stadium. It’s a record win for Wales over the Scots, who suffered their third heaviest defeat in history.
259 – Points scored by Owen Farrell in an England shirt. He surpasses Dusty Hare to move into seventh place on England’s all-time list with his 22-point haul in Rome. He’s now 10 shy of Charlie Hodgson in sixth place.
66 – Points scored by Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton, two more than Farrell to top the tournament’s standings. The fly-half also finishes joint-top of the Championship’s try-scoring charts alongside England full-back Mike Brown (4).
And the final word (and some numbers) must go to Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll after the perfect send-off in his final international appearance…
141 – International caps made by the Ireland centre, the most in rugby history.
65 – RBS 6 Nations appearances made by O’Driscoll, the most by any player in the tournament’s history.
16 – RBS 6 Nations try assists made by the 35-year-old during his glittering career. Only Ronan O’Gara and Jonny Wilkinson (both 17) have made more.
451 – Total number of Championship tackles made by O’Driscoll. Only former Wales flanker Martyn Williams (467) has made more.
26 – Championship tries scored by Brian O’Driscoll, the most by any player in its history, four more than the next player Shane Williams (22).