The Six Nations’ biggest away losing streaks

Date published: February 10 2017

As Scotland head to Paris hoping to end their 18-year wait for a win, here in order are the longest away losing streaks in Five/Six Nations history.

A quick sidenote; any streaks less than seven years (i.e. since 2010) have not been included. Matches outside the Six Nations, Rugby World Cup warm-ups for example, also do not count.

France in Cardiff – 2010

Les Bleus have lost on their last three trips to the Welsh capital making their last victory the 26-20 win back in 2010, when the boots of Morgan Parra and Frédéric Michalak were critical.

France stormed out into a 20-0 half-time lead thanks to tries from Alexis Palisson and François Trinh-Duc, plus some Parra penalties and conversions, but while Wales came back hard through Leigh Halfpenny and Shane Williams scores, the French clung on.

Ireland at Twickenham – 2010

Ireland like France in Cardiff have lost their last three against England at Twickenham, but in 2010 Tommy Bowe was their hero as his brace of tries paved the way for a 20-16 win.

Bowe’s second score clinched the result after Jonny Wilkinson had edged England into the lead with a drop goal, finishing the day with 11 points including a conversion of Dan Cole’s try. The day though was Ireland’s, with Keith Earls also on the scoresheet.

Scotland in Dublin – 2010

While Scotland have struggled to win elsewhere (more on that later) their record in Ireland by contrast looks somewhat healthy, considering they last won in Dublin back at the start of the decade.

They couldn’t have avoided the Wooden Spoon in more dramatic fashion, with a late Dan Parks penalty snatching the win at Croke Park.

Scotland had led 14-7 at half-time thanks to Johnnie Beattie’s try and three Parks penalties to a score from Brian O’Driscoll. But Ireland came back hard, Tommy Bowe’s try and penalties from Johnny Sexton and Ronan O’Gara matching Scotland’s points from a Parks penalty and drop goal, leaving the score at 20-20 before Parks struck.

France at Twickenham – 2005

Last Saturday’s defeat made it 12 long years since France lost won at Twickenham in the Six Nations, making it six straight defeats in a row at the home of their bitter rivals.

The star on that most recent occasion when they did taste victory at Twickenham was Dimitri Yachvili, with the scrum-half kicking six penalties to turn a 17-6 half-time deficit into an improbable 18-17 triumph for Les Bleus.

Olly Barkley and Josh Lewsey had scored England’s tries in the first 40 minutes, and Charlie Hodgson missed a late drop goal as France snatched the win.

Scotland in Cardiff – 2002

The Scots have suffered seven straight losses at the hands of Wales at the Millennium Stadium but 2002 was a happier time, with Scotland booted to glory thanks to the work off the kicking tee late on of Brendan Laney and Duncan Hodge.

Scotland also had a double try scorer that day in their hooker Gordon Bulloch, as the Scots spoiled Rob Howley’s final appearance for Wales. Steve Hansen, the Welsh head coach, offered this glowing verdict: “Saturday was a shambolic, ugly rugby match.”

Italy in Paris/Cardiff/Twickenham/Dublin

The struggles of the Azzurri in the competition are no secret and since their introduction in 2000 they have won just twice, both times at Murrayfield in 2007 and 2015.

The closest they have come otherwise to causing a shock in the road was the 18-18 draw with Wales in Cardiff back in 2006. Aside from that, there record reads 40 losses from 43 matches.

Scotland in Paris – 1999

Much-hyped this week with Scotland heading to Paris with seemingly their best chance for some time of finally defeating France on their own turf. The fact that there are now young Scots legally able to drink who were born in the same year should give most supporters a shudder.

Still, go back to 1999 and Scotland were sensational, cutting France to shreds with their attacking game in a famous 36-22 win for the ages in which Scotland ran in a remarkable five tries in the first half through Alan Tait (two), Martin Leslie (two) and future Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend.

Scotland at Twickenham – 1983

Believe it or not, Scotland’s record in Paris is far from their worst. It has been 34 years since Scotland last won at Twickenham, a record Vern Cotter’s group will be desperate to put in the bin when they head there in a few weeks time.

Back in 1983, lock Tom Smith was a try scorer on debut as Scotland scored two tries to England’s zero in a 22-12 triumph. Roy Laidlaw, uncle of current Scotland captain Greig, was Scotland’s other try scorer as the points of full-back Peter Dods kept Scotland in the lead.