Netherlands and England claim Six Nations titles
The Netherlands claimed the prestigious Six Nations crown on Sunday evening, seeing off Wales 13-5 in the final to retain the title they won last year. The women’s title went to England, who whitewashed Northern Ireland 5-0 in the decider.
The Netherlands team of Martijn Kleermaker, Jeffrey Sparidaans, Willem Mandigers, Chris Landman and Wessel Nijman came into the tournament in excellent form, with all five impressing in 2019 to date. They dominated their opening group game against Republic of Ireland, winning out comfortably 13-3. Their deciding group game was against Wales, and this was a much tighter affair, as they pulled through 13-9 with Willem Mandigers claiming the deciding leg. Their semi-final was surprisingly one-sided, with The Netherlands defeating Scotland 13-4 to book their spot in the final where they would rematch the Welsh team, led by World Championship semi-finalist Jim Williams. Wales had seen off the highly fancied English team 13-8 in a thrilling tie to book their place in the decider, with Darren Bingham winning the last leg. The final was a relatively one sided affair, wirth The Netherlands always in control. They took a 6-4 lead early on, and reeled off 7 of the next 8 legs to claim the title in fashion, with the excellent Martijn Kleermaker pinning the winning double.
In the women’s competition, England were the dominant victors, with Fallon Sherrock, Lorraine Winstanley and Maria O’Brien proving too strong for the other nations. They won their group easily, seeing off both Northern Ireland and Scotland by 7 legs to 2. In the semi-final, they came up against stiff competition from Wales, with Maria O’Brien claiming the crucial 5th leg to win 5-2. Their opponents in the final were Northern Ireland, who had seen off The Netherlands 5-3 in the last 4. England proved too strong in the final however, winning 5-0 with Lorraine Winstanley pinning the winning double for the triumphant English team.