Robbie Henshaw of Ireland is tackled by Finn Russell of Scotland during the RBS Six Nations match at Murrayfield on Saturday. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

A total of 221 points and 27 tries in three matches on one day; how do you like them apples Steve Hansen? The best laid plans rarely survive the first(...)

Ireland’s Jared Payne scores his side’s  third try during the Six  Nations Championship match at Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Photograph: Inpho

Much of the criticism proved misguided in the end. That impatient worry about the way Ireland play, their style.Beating Italy in Rome was an operatio(...)

Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip makes the crucial try-saving tackle as Scotland fullback  Stuart Hogg loses possession and knocks on going over the try line during the Six Nations game at Murrayfield. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho 9:27

It was a day of tiny margins where fate smiled on Ireland. A late try in Rome punctured rampant Welsh enthusiasm and despite missing two eminently kic(...)

Robbie Henshaw’s brilliant catch and try was the highlight of Ireland’s  19-9 Six Nations  win over England at the Aviva Stadium on March 1st. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Only two times has Ireland won the Six Nations Championship back to back and you would have had to thumb back the history book pages to 1949 to see th(...)

Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne, Luke Fitzgerald, Rob Kearney and Jonathon Sexton at an Ireland squad training session at Carton House, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland 15 Rob Kearney Age: 28 Height: 1.85m (6’1”) Weight: 95kg (15st) Caps: 61 Tries: 10 (1 conversion) After a few early errors, he was one of the(...)

Ireland squad in training at Carton House. Joe Schmidt has decided to “freshen” up the team for Scotland with Simon Zebo missing out. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho 3:12

Tricky isn’t the half of it. Sandwiched between the other two games, with a possible target set by Wales in Rome before then striving to set a target (...)

Wales’ Sam Warburton is tackled by Ireland’s Jack McGrath at the Millennium Stadium. Warburton was simply immense in both defence and at the breakdown. Photograph: Crispin Rodbwell/Inpho 6:29

According to Winston Churchill to improve is to change but to be perfect is to change often. With six and a half minutes left Ireland were four point(...)

Jared Payne of Ireland is tackled by Taulupe Faletau of Wales during the  Six Nations match at the  Millennium Stadium  in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

With the Hook man talking about Doomsday back in the studio, Brent Pope, when we visited him in Cardiff after the game, tried his best to reassure us (...)

Peter O’Mahony wins a lineout during their SixNations Championship match at the  Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales. Photograph: Inpho

“Aw, like, lads, Wales are a good side,” goes Peter O’Mahony, who was quick to show frustration with a hardly demanding line of questioning.Wales out-(...)

Scott Williams scores for Wales in the second half at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters 6:29

Wales 23 Ireland 16The title will still go to the wire, but the dream of a Grand Slam is over. Backed into uncharted territory when falling behind fro(...)