Six Nations Results 2015: Round 4 Scores, Updated Table and Sunday Prediction

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2015

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 14:  Ireland player Jamie Heaslip is beaten in the line up by Luke Charteris of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Wales ruined defending Six Nations champions Ireland's chances of a Grand Slam with a 23-16 win on Saturday, while England recorded a 25-13 win over Scotland at Twickenham, meaning the race for this year's Six Nations title is still wide open.

France and Italy will meet on Sunday in the final fixture of Round 4, but fans are already turning their eyes toward the final week of rugby, where England meet France, Ireland play Scotland and Wales take on Italy.

Here's how the current standings look:

Six Nations Standings

Leigh Halfpenny was once again the hero for Wales, kicking five penalties to guide the hosts to a win over Ireland. Scott Williams added a try for the Welsh, while Dan Biggar converted a drop goal. For Ireland, Johnny Sexton produced all of the points, kicking three penalties and a penalty try, via BBC Wales Sport:

BBC Sport Wales @BBCSportWales

FT: WALES 23-16 IRELAND Try by Scott Williams, five penalties by Leigh Halfpenny and a drop-goal by Dan Biggar. Penalty try for Ireland.

The hosts took a quick 12-0 lead behind the kicking of Halfpenny, but Ireland were able to claw their way back into the match after Samson Lee left the pitch with an ankle injury and Sam Warburton was sin-binned.

Lee eventually returned to the sidelines, but as shared by BBC ScrumV, his 2015 Six Nations tournament seems all but done:

BBC ScrumV @BBCScrumV

Great applause for Samson Lee as he hobbles to the bench on crutches. Suspected broken ankle. More details on that injury later.

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Ireland were the more attacking team for much of the match, but Wales' defence was simply excellent, to the enjoyment of the Millennium Stadium. The Irish methodically worked the ball around, but simply couldn't find an opening.

Paddy Power voiced what most were probably thinking:

Paddy Power @paddypower

Well this wasn't supposed to happen, it's Wales 20-9 Ireland, 66 minutes played. #WALvIRE

The Welsh resilience was perhaps best illustrated inside the final two minutes, when they were forced to defend with Jonathan Davies sitting in the sin bin. Ireland pushed and shoved, but the hosts held on for a famous win.

Coach Warren Gatland knew he had just witnessed a special match:

BBC ScrumV @BBCScrumV

"Atmosphere, intensity, it had everything. I'm pleased with the maturity...composure...our ability to close down games" says Warren Gatland

England missed a plethora of chances and left it late to beat Scotland 25-13, meaning they'll hold just a four-point advantage in points difference over Ireland heading into the final matchday.

George Ford's kicking and a late try from Jack Nowell put England in pole position entering the final week, but only just. The hosts dominated for the better part of the match, but somehow, the Scots actually held the lead at half-time, via BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce:

tomfordyce @tomfordyce

Remarkably, given that England could have been 21-0 up, Scotland lead 13-10 at HT. Eng first leave points begging and then cede all control

England shored things up defensively in the second half but were still far too wasteful on the other end, meaning they'll sport just a small lead over Ireland heading into the final week. 

Wales will need a minor miracle to win this year's title, chasing England by 25, but with the leaders hosting France and Ireland visiting Scotland, anything is possible.

Sunday Prediction

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 09:  Wietz Tobias Botes of Italy passes the ball during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Italy at Stade de France on February 9, 2014 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

France travel to Rome to take on Italy, who beat Scotland in the previous round and will be looking to carry that momentum to another win.

The French have endured another disappointing Six Nations campaign and will enter the contest with a revised team, calling up Noa Nakaitaci for his first cap.

Speaking to the tournament's official website, coach Philippe Saint-Andre is confident his side will turn things around against the Italians:

We need to get out of this rough patch, that is for sure.

Let's play some rugby, believe in ourselves, not be afraid, enjoy, tackle, move the ball around. We will go to Italy with all these intentions.

We have quality players, and they will prove their worth on the pitch. Our squad is made of great professionals, they know they have to do better.

We trust them, they are focused, and I know they will perform on Sunday.

In terms of talent, the visitors should have the upper hand, but concentration and discipline have been issues so far in the tournament. Italy have built their team around solid play and tackling, making quite the impression early against both Ireland and England.

Those two teams made the difference in the second half, turning early pressure into dominance late, as the Italians tired. A similar gameplan should be in store for the French, but such tactics won't come easy in Rome.

That said, I expect the French to use their size and superior ability on set pieces and the scrum to pull out a late win.

Prediction: Italy 13-20 France.

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