While Ireland celebrated their third Grand Slam, Scotland moved up to fifth place in the World Rugby Rankings following the final round of the Six Nations Championship.
As he has done so many times before, Greig Laidlaw stepped up to kick the last-gasp penalty that spared the Scots from defeat at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Gregor Townsend’s side emerging with the tensest of 29-27 victories.
The three-hundredth of a point on offer for their first away win of the season took Scotland above South Africa and into fifth position.
Having wrapped up the Grand Slam with a famous St Patrick’s Day victory over England at Twickenham, second place belongs to Ireland until at least the summer.
As well as moving above England en route to the title, the five straight wins have boosted Ireland’s score to 89.11 leaving them 4.88 points adrift of the world’s number one team New Zealand.
In finishing fifth in the Six Nations table, their worst performance in just over two decades, England have slipped from second to third in the rankings and have lost 4.64 points since the competition began on February 3.
Wales end the Six Nations where they started it, in seventh place but with 83.41 points compared to 82.08, while France, who they beat 14-13 at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, rose one place to eighth, mainly thanks to their win over England in round four.
Not many points were on offer for Georgia in the Rugby Europe Championship as they are by far and away the highest-ranked team in the competition, but they did accrue 0.16 of a point for Sunday’s 25-16, title-clinching victory against Romania.
They remain in 12th place – five ahead of Romania, who celebrated qualification for RWC 2019 on the same day they lost Europe’s second-tier crown to the Lelos.