WalesI just haven’t had the time to write posts about this year’s thrilling and entertaining six nations championship, which opened on 2 February and closed yesterday, with an imperious Wales putting young pretenders England to the sword at Cardiff and dashing their hopes of the Grand Slam and the Championship. In passing, Italy beat France and Ireland and showed a strong England at Twickenham that this team has to be taken seriously. Scotland played with great heart and throughly deserved their third place finish. There were so many contrasts and passages of brilliant play that the commentators produced a bumper crop of figures of speech. My favourite simile came from Jeremy Guscott, at half time between England and Scotland on 2 February. Both teams had a brilliantly ferocious first half, with furious attack matched by just as furious defence. It was, said Guscott, ‘like watching gladiators play chess.’ As always, there are parallels and metaphors in sport. My favourite in this championship came from the 24 February match between Scotland and Ireland at Murrayfield. The Irish camped out near the Scottish tryline and were 8-0 up at half time. Despite keeping the pressure on for most of the remainder of the match, the Irish could not convert their chances and Scotland won the match 12-8, through four penalties. There are times in life when all we seem to do is to defend, defend, defend, but the moral of that match is that even rare opportunities can be enough if the defence is strong and the chances, when they come, are recognised and taken.