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When did winning the 5/6 Nations become important?

  • 26-03-2015 9:20am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ Chivito550


    I've always wondered this. A trophy was not given to the winners of the championship until 1993. It was also only at this time that points difference was used to break a tie. This left me thinking was winning the championship seen as a big deal before this? Was it the goal starting out each year, or did it really matter at all?

    I find it bizarre that a competition with such history and traditions had, for so long, such an apathetic attitude towards determine the champions. How on earth could titles be allowed to be shared? It seems against the ethos of competition.

    So, if winning the title was irrelevant, then what was the goal? Was it to win a grand slam? The grand slam was not something that was mentioned until France became a force in the late 50s. Contrary to popular belief, the Irish 1948 team did not celebrate a grand slam. It was a triple crown they were celebrated for at the time. The grand slam was merely retrospectively applied to that team. Was this done with previous championship wins aswell? Were Ireland's championship victories in 1948, 1949, 1951, 1974, 1982 and 1985 even seen as championship wins at the time, or are they just awarded retrospectively for statistical purposes?

    Was the 5 Nations merely an umbrella to which a regular series of structured one off test matches were played under?

    This great competition has some serious oddities when you look at its history.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,343 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl


    Sharing a title doesn't make winning it irrelevant :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ Chivito550


    Podge_irl wrote: »
    Sharing a title doesn't make winning it irrelevant :confused:

    This article suggests that winning the title was not the big deal in the past that it was today. It doesn't elaborate much, hence this thread.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/sixnations/11480984/Six-Nations-2015-Those-who-say-title-without-Grand-Slam-is-worthless-are-wrong-but-kick-off-times-are-a-betrayal.html


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 30,309 Mod ✭✭✭✭ .ak


    Well, I suppose the obvious answer is professionalism. Once we made it a business it became a results driven business. Now, you could argue that fans don't have a financial interest, but I think they do. There's a massive amount of grass roots supporters in Irish rugby anyway, and when the national team does well it means the clubs do well - whether that's down to funding or simply getting more paid subs in the club it all helps. Also, the media drive up the hyper and therefore the viewers. Again, that's the advent of professionalism for me.

    I don't think there's any easy answer, but competitions in general now adays seem to be far more hotly contested. For me, it's mostly down to the rise of professionalism.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,275 ✭✭✭ bpmurray


    In my distant memories, it was actually important particularly for Ireland and Wales - they were the countries who had most impact although I remember in my first year in college that all 5 teams ended up with the same number of points. It wasn't until the early '90s that England started to really become dominant - before that Wales was the team to beat. In fact, the real target was the Triple Crown rather than the championship, since France then were a bit like Italy are now, although they became a very good side (and presumably Italy will too).

    And, even then, beating England was considered a bit of a dig at the old oppressors, although I doubt they cared particularly, as illustrated by the Telegraph's article.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    Winning the tournament was big for Ireland long before recent years.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ppP8A8MBC8&t=6m38s


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ Chivito550


    Buer wrote: »
    Winning the tournament was big for Ireland long before recent years.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ppP8A8MBC8&t=6m38s

    That was the triple crown though. If say France won the slam that year and we finished second with a triple crown, would the celebrations have been any different?


  • Registered Users Posts: 49,260 ✭✭✭✭ walshb


    Winning a triple crown is a brilliant achievement, and always will be. We went so long being beaten by the other four. IMO, a win over England at any time is a massive achievement. We play down our wins far too much here. We are a small enough country with most of it being taken up by other sports. To compete like we do at rugby against the 3 big teams in the 6N is fantastic and should never be played down. Our 6N record is very impressive.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,243 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    remembering back to the days of the late eighties, when i would have been 10, i do recall the triple crown being a big thing to win, even if it was a fictional title. Thinking back on it now, that was probably because it was a realistic goal for an amateur irish side.

    we won the Triple crown in 82 and 85...... and would not win it again until 2004 !!!

    wooden spooned in 86
    2nd in 87
    wooden spooned in 88
    joint last in 89
    4th in 90
    joint last in 91
    wooden spooned in 92
    3rd in 93
    4th in 94, 95
    joint last in 96, 97, 99
    wooden spooned in 98


    so as you can see i was brought up with some harsh realities when it came to irish rugby.... a Triple crown will always be a valuable return no matter what the season.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,960 RuggieBear


    i went to practically every championship game in LR in the 1990's and i think i saw maybe 3 or 4 wins over the entire decade :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,199 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34


    Yeah its true, lads playing 20s today and the young families that have come to support rugby in recent years can't even conceive at how bare the cupboard was.

    Winning a 5 nations was huge, as don't forget there was no cross border club comps to get behind, the provinces played each other a few times a year for bragging rights. Before 1990 the provincial leagues were where the passionate supporters showed their colours, all 200 of them at a time.

    Trophies or no trophies, if Ireland had won a grand slam in the 60s 70s or 80s, it would have been the biggest story of whichever year, so it was always hugely important.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,101 Rightwing


    GS was always the ultimate goal for all teams. The triple crown was a big one too, but with the demise of the Scots, it has lost its value.


  • Registered Users Posts: 49,260 ✭✭✭✭ walshb


    Rightwing wrote: »
    GS was always the ultimate goal for all teams. The triple crown was a big one too, but with the demise of the Scots, it has lost its value.

    Lost some of its value. But today some people barely give credit to the lads for achieving it. Complacency and arrogance. It's still a fantastic achievement.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,101 Rightwing


    walshb wrote: »
    Lost some of its value. But today some people barely give credit to the lads for achieving it. Complacency and arrogance. It's still a fantastic achievement.

    It is relative.

    A triple crown would be great for the Scots now, as you have Irl/Eng/Wales operating at a high level. But when 1 or 2 teams are on the floor, it's not a big deal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 49,260 ✭✭✭✭ walshb


    Rightwing wrote: »
    It is relative.

    A triple crown would be great for the Scots now, as you have Irl/Eng/Wales operating at a high level. But when 1 or 2 teams are on the floor, it's not a big deal.

    Yes, it would be amazing for them. But that doesn't mean that it's not a fantastic result for Ireland to win a triple crown. Fortunes can change each season. Scotland have had a poor few seasons, but they have beaten us many times over the past 25-30 years, and I don't believe that we have a monopoly on success against them. They lead us in the all time head to head. And, they beat us twice in the 6N over the past 5 years.

    15-14 to Scotland since 1990.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,101 Rightwing


    walshb wrote: »
    Yes, it would be amazing for them. But that doesn't mean that it's not a fantastic result for Ireland to win a triple crown. Fortunes can change each season. Scotland have had a poor few seasons, but they have beaten us many times over the past 25-30 years, and I don't believe that we have a monopoly on success against them.

    I certainly hope we don't, but since professionalism has come in, the fortunes of the 2 countries have changed dramatically.


  • Registered Users Posts: 49,260 ✭✭✭✭ walshb


    Rightwing wrote: »
    I certainly hope we don't, but since professionalism has come in, the fortunes of the 2 countries have changed dramatically.

    When did the era of professionalism come in? I think we were always behind the others as regards that professional approach. They were pros when we were amateurs.

    BTW, I as an Irishman certainly do hope we have a monopoly of success against them!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,175 ✭✭✭ Sanjuro


    Look at Parisse's reaction after a single win against Scotland. Never question the value of a victory to a professional sportsperson.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,101 Rightwing


    walshb wrote: »
    When did the era of professionalism come in? I think we were always behind the others as regards that professional approach. They were pros when we were amateurs.

    BTW, I as an Irishman certainly do hope we have a monopoly of success against them!

    Very hard answer that. Officially in 1995, but in reality probably 2000 onwards.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ Chivito550


    I think some people don’t really understand what I was asking.

    It’s clear that the Triple Crown was the pinnacle when it was the Home Nations Championship, and also in the early years of the 5 Nations, as France were not much good at the time. Once France became a force the concept of the Grand Slam came about. The term was coined in 1957 for the first time from what I’ve read. So the Triple Crown has always been a big deal (although less so now), and the Grand Slam has been a big deal since the 50s.

    However, what I want to know is when did winning the championship (topping the table) become a big deal? Was it always so, or is it only something which has gathered media attention in the last 20 years or so (since the trophy has been commissioned, and points difference has been used to split ties).

    For example, Ireland are listed as Championship winners in 1974. We did not win the triple crown, we did not win the grand slam. We won 2 games, drew 1 and lost 1, and finished in an outright first place. This was the first outright first place for Ireland in 23 years. You’d think that something like this would be a big deal. That there would be a media frenzy about the end of a long championship drought. 6 page spread in the major newspapers about a championship win. But was there?

    When I read about the history of Irish rugby, triple crowns are all that seem to be mentioned, and the championship seems like an afterthought. I was wondering if those who were watching rugby during these times could give more insight.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,243 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    well i think traditionally the success of a team was the measurement of gram slams and triple crowns they had.

    The triple crown came from the fact that the first championships were between the home nations, so beating the 3 effectively gave you the triple crown which was de facto the championship and the grand slam, even if those titles were not afforded to the winners.

    Thus the triple crown still was the aim even after the french, and if you beat the home nations, you generally won the championship.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,599 matthew8


    Problem with the triple crown is that recently it's been the we didn't beat France trophy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 908 ✭✭✭ endabob1


    1993 was when the first trophy was given & that was when the change started, Professionalism enhanced the idea of a winner as we now know it;

    Pre-93 there was no trophy, just "titles" you won either a grand slam or a triple crown, by their very nature only one team could do either (or both). There was no table, or certainly I don't remember there being tables printed in the papers like we see now.

    Since it became the 6 nations it has really become a proper "Championship" and because I would say it's harder* to do a slam now, winning a Championship is becoming increasingly important.

    * There were 6 in the 90's & the same in the 00's so this is just based on my perception and the fact that there are more games with smaller breaks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,433 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster


    walshb wrote: »
    Yes, it would be amazing for them. But that doesn't mean that it's not a fantastic result for Ireland to win a triple crown. Fortunes can change each season. Scotland have had a poor few seasons, but they have beaten us many times over the past 25-30 years, and I don't believe that we have a monopoly on success against them. They lead us in the all time head to head. And, they beat us twice in the 6N over the past 5 years.

    15-14 to Scotland since 1990.

    Since 2000 it's 13-3 to Ireland. It doesn't matter what they did over the last century, they've only beaten us 3 times since the 6 Nations started and we're expected to beat them and Italy every year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 49,260 ✭✭✭✭ walshb


    Since 2000 it's 13-3 to Ireland. It doesn't matter what they did over the last century, they've only beaten us 3 times since the 6 Nations started and we're expected to beat them and Italy every year.

    And when do we stop expecting to beat them? When they beat us? Scotland have a couple or recent wins over us.

    Anyway, bottom line: A triple crown is fantastic. A slam is extra fantastic. A triple crown will always be fantastic. Beating a mighty nation like England will always be fantastic, and not just in rugby. We need to always feel that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,433 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster


    endabob1 wrote: »
    1993 was when the first trophy was given & that was when the change started, Professionalism enhanced the idea of a winner as we now know it;

    Pre-93 there was no trophy, just "titles" you won either a grand slam or a triple crown, by their very nature only one team could do either (or both). There was no table, or certainly I don't remember there being tables printed in the papers like we see now.

    Since it became the 6 nations it has really become a proper "Championship" and because I would say it's harder* to do a slam now, winning a Championship is becoming increasingly important.

    * There were 6 in the 90's & the same in the 00's so this is just based on my perception and the fact that there are more games with smaller breaks.

    There were tables, but there were no tie breakers (points diff) so championships were shared. Without a table there would be no wooden spoon for finishing bottom.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,433 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster


    walshb wrote: »
    And when do we stop expecting to beat them? When they beat us? Scotland have a couple or recent wins over us.

    Anyway, bottom line: A triple crown is fantastic. A slam is extra fantastic. A triple crown will always be fantastic. Beating a mighty nation like England will always be fantastic, and not just in rugby. We need to always feel that.

    Twice in 6 seasons and both shock results. At the end of the day Ireland are now a level above Scotland and would be expected to beat them every time.

    I think the triple crown has lost it's relevance in the modern game. It's all about winning the Championship now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 49,260 ✭✭✭✭ walshb


    Twice in 6 seasons and both shock results. At the end of the day Ireland are now a level above Scotland and would be expected to beat them every time.

    I think the triple crown has lost it's relevance in the modern game. It's all about winning the Championship now.

    Every time? That's like predicting the future. It's one game and season at a time. This reeks of arrogance for me. Was it the same for Scotland when they were beating us regularly? Was that expected to happen all the time? We reversed that trend, but that doesn't give us the monopoly on success against them.

    As for shock results. I don't buy that at all. Of the 15 or so matches since 2000 several were closely and hard fought matches. Scotland beating us at Murrayfield should not be seen as a shock. I will take the wins each match at a time, but never get so complacent and arrogant as to expect to beat them each year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,433 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster


    walshb wrote: »
    Every time? That's like predicting the future. It's one game and season at a time. This reeks of arrogance for me. Was it the same for Scotland when they were beating us regularly? Was that expected to happen all the time? We reversed that trend, but that doesn't give us the monopoly on success against them.

    As for shock results. I don't buy that at all. Of the 15 or so matches since 2000 several were closely and hard fought matches. Scotland beating us at Murrayfield should not be seen as a shock. I will take the wins each match at a time, but never get so complacent and arrogant as to expect to beat them each year.

    It's not arrogance, it's realism. Is it arrogant to expect to beat Italy every season? The games before 2000 don't really count, because it was basically before professionalism in Ireland. Since we've gotten our act together we've been miles ahead of the Scots and would usually be expected to beat them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 577 Ed The Equalizer


    1982 were referred to as the Triple Crown winners, 1985 were the Triple Crown and Championship winners. It was absolutely a big deal winning the championship in 1985. I was at the France game with my Dad and then was absolutely gutted when my Mum took the second ticket for the final game against England.

    RTE produced a video for both years too.

    On the other side of it, we shared the championship with France in 1983, but no big deal about that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,693 ✭✭✭ Chivito550


    1982 were referred to as the Triple Crown winners, 1985 were the Triple Crown and Championship winners. It was absolutely a big deal winning the championship in 1985. I was at the France game with my Dad and then was absolutely gutted when my Mum took the second ticket for the final game against England.

    RTE produced a video for both years too.

    On the other side of it, we shared the championship with France in 1983, but no big deal about that.

    We won the championship in 82 also.


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