The tournament is done and dusted for another year with Ireland the worthy winners of the Grand Slam and thus cementing their number one world ranking.
As we predicted in our previous article, the 2023 Six Nations Championship returned the most tries in history with 91, 5 more than the previous record. Furthermore, the percentage of points scored that were tries was also at an all-time high at 64% up from 57% for the previous year.
As previously discussed, kicking and kick metres made appeared to influence a team's chances of winning. The final 2023 Six Nations table showed this was somewhat the case. The team that made the most kick metres across the competition were England, who finished 4th, followed by 2nd placed France and then champions Ireland. These 3 nations all made over 4800 kick metres. Bottom of the table Italy made the least kick metres with 3024, over 1000 less than 5th placed Wales. These two sides' places in the table reflected their kick metres ranking.
As England displayed, kick metres made don’t automatically increase the chances of winning but do influence a team's chance of success. As Ireland and France showed, kick metres made are important but backing it up by scoring tries is vital to winning games as they also finished top of the try scoring chart with 20 and 21 a piece respectively.
Interestingly, while the winning relationship with kicking remains high, the fact that we saw more tries than ever this year suggests that the laws previously discussed are finding a good balance between high-scoring, exciting rugby and tactical, territorial play.
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