Ireland finished second to a deserving France team in this year’s Guinness Six Nations Championship. The Ireland squad achieved 21 points from their five games, with four wins, four try-scoring bonus points, and a losing bonus point in Paris.
This points total would have been good enough to take the title in three of the six years since bonus points were introduced in 2017. Ireland are the first team to record five bonus points in a single Championship.
Les Bleus completed a memorable clean sweep with a 25-13 victory over England, having been pushed by Ireland after Andy Farrell’s men beat Scotland earlier.
Ireland’s bonus-point 26-5 win in Dublin briefly saw the men in green overtake France in the table ahead of the visit of Eddie Jones’ men in the final match on Super Saturday.
That result meant only a win would do for France if they were to end their 12-year wait for the Championship title, and Fabien Galthie’s men held their nerve to get the job done.
Tournament organisers said that the France scrum-half Antoine Dupont has been named 2022 men’s Six Nations player of the Championship after guiding his team to their first Grand Slam and Six Nations title since 2010.
The 25-year-old was instrumental in the final as France held off England to clinch a 25-13 victory at the Stade de France and achieve a clean sweep in the competition.
Ireland scored the most tries (24), conceded the least tries (4), and, as would be expected, subsequently scored the highest number of points (168) and conceded the least overall (63).
Ireland’s attack made the most metres (4570 metres), a total of 350 metres ahead of Scotland, which made the second most metres in the Championship.
Farrell’s men also made the most passes across the tournament with 1047, almost 500 more than champions France, who made the least number of passes with 568. France led the way in terms of offloads (50), with Ireland producing the third-highest amount with 39.
James Lowe, who missed the opening two rounds of the Six Nations, finished the tournament as joint-top try-scorer with three, alongside France’s Damien Penaud and
Gabin Villiere. Jamison Gibson-Park led the way in try assists with four, alongside French playmaker Roman Ntamack.
Jonathan Sexton clocked up his 500th Six Nations point against Wales in round 1, and across the Championship, the Ireland captain overtook Jonny Wilkinson’s tally of 89 Six Nations conversions. He currently sits on 92 Six Nations career conversions.
Several Ireland players made significant impacts across the tournament, with the back-three putting in stellar performances.
Hugo Keenan played the most minutes (313) of the back-three players, while Lowe beat the most defenders (8), and fellow winger Mack Hansen threw the most offloads (7).
Dan Sheehan beat eight defenders, threw five offloads and bagged a try, while scrum-half Gibson-Park was the chief provider with four assists, six defenders beaten, and two tries scored.