Tempus Fugit The 2018 Six Nations

There is a theory that time passes quicker as you get older, if this years 6 Nations is anything to go by then that theory has some substance.

It only seems yesterday that the Christmas special of call the midwife came to a tearful end, and the glorious anticipation of the 2018 tournament filled our hearts and minds with that wonderful warm glow that it always does.

Now all of sudden here we are on a damp Monday morning, with snow still on the ground, after the final weekend that saw Ireland win the Grand Slam.

This years tournament seems to have flown by even faster than usual.

Maybe the fact that I reached the tender age of 60 halfway through the tournament has increased the speed in which time has passed.

Such is the rapidity at which the tournament has unfolded, I still have croissant crumbs from Marseille (after France v Italy) in my iPad holder that require removal.

Einstein theorised that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you move relative to something else.

Try telling that to whoever is stood ten metres away from a runaway Matthieu Bastareaud, I would imagine that physics theory is rapidly replaced by a more basic fight or flight reaction.

The passage of time has been a crucial factor in this years tournament, on the opening weekend in Paris with 80+3 minutes on the clock a Johnny Sexton drop goal snatched a victory for Ireland against France.

In Dublin Ireland took on Wales and with the score at 33-30 to Ireland, one pass with 80 minutes on the clock from Gareth Anscombe and time stands still for the briefest of moments.

If it goes to Tipuric it’s almost certainly a win for Wales, but an interception for Stockdale results in an Irish try that seals victory for the men in green.

Indeed Ireland seem to be the Time Lords, they have scored 31 points in time added on after either at 40 or 80 minutes during the championship, so we could be looking at Joe Schmidt as the next Dr Who at this rate.

For Italy, facing Wales in Cardiff, the opening six mins must have seemed like an eternity as the rampant red raiders raced in for two tries, that gave the Azzuri an impossible chance of recovery.

There are a number of French players who would love to turn the clock back to the start of the fateful night in Edinburgh, that resulted in a police investigation and their subsequent dropping from the France squad, and there are a group of Scottish players who hoped their Saturday night in the capital would never end, after their wonderful victory over England.

Time is not measured by clocks alone, but also by moments, and the 2018 Nat West 6 Nations has provided us with plenty of moments, moments of joy and sadness, of hope and despair, of ugliness and beauty.

We’ve had France’s version of Beauty and The Beast in Teddy Thomas and Mathieu Basteraud.

Poor Sergio Parisse reached the incredible milestone of one hundred Italian defeats, whilst the Flower of Scotland sent England home to think again, and indeed they did think again, and again, and then lost their next two matches against France and Ireland.

Wales finished as runners-up and with eleven players out injured have acquired an unexpected strength in-depth, just in time for next years Rugby World Cup in Japan.

So it’s finally over and we now file away those moments in our memory bank, to go with all the others we have collected over the years, and some of us are already counting the days to the next tournament.

I’m already thinking about 1 February 2019, when Wales and France open the next six nations tournament, in Paris, at the very gallic kick off time of 9pm.

Undoubtedly time will pass quickly, and if we are spared we will do it all again, how time flies when you’re having fun.


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