It was good to see Scotland end the 2003 RBS 6 Nations with a victory over Italy, and especially pleasing that, for perhaps the first time in the tournament, we saw real attacking flair from our three-quarters. You have to give credit to Italy, they are very dogged, but I think they suffered as a result of missing too many first-time tackles. That gave the Scots time and space to take on the Italian defence and produce the type of creative rugby which otherwise has been sadly missing. Against Wales, victory was achieved largely by bullying them into submission - it was an entirely different scenario on Saturday.
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.