It must be said, however, that John Kirwan's side have fully earned their place at the 6 Nations table. It is great to see and they are clearly growing in confidence. I'm sure Italy fancied their chances of beating Scotland and getting their second victory of this year's competition, and at times they looked capable of winning at Murrayfield.
All in all, it has been a wonderful tournament, and one which has again shown how important and worthwhile the 6 Nations is. It built up to a wonderful climax in the form of Ireland and England's Grand Slam showdown on Sunday, which was a fantastic game to watch. Big-match situations often disappoint, but the 80 minutes at Lansdowne Road were brilliant. The Irish forwards looked jaded - I wondered whether the hype of the build-up had got to them slightly - but I was very impressed by England. They will now be very confident ahead of the World Cup.
Scotland, on the other hand, have a lot to work on and many questions still to answer. The debate is raging about Chris Paterson and for my money he needs a run at fly-half. Gregor Townsend no longer causes problems for defences and a change is necessary to give the Scots more quality in attack. I do feel the current squad has a decent amount of ability in it, and enough to build a team on. Ben Hinshelwood will hopefully have recovered from a broken leg in time for the World Cup, and a lot of hard work between now and then can ensure Scotland have a good campaign in Australia.