Super Saturday – as the final day of the Six Nations has come to be known – is shaping up to be a bit of a damp squib for the neutrals this year, with it being confirmed yesterday that the France versus Ireland game had followed the Italy versus England match in being postponed (perhaps until the end of October) due to the threat of coronavirus, leaving just one game between two of the tournament’s ‘also-rans’ going ahead.

Scotland will go top of the table if they beat Wales in Cardiff in four days’ time, and if that happens then having a few months looking down at the likes of England, France and Ireland will be a pleasant novelty for long-suffering supporters of the thistle – but the reality is that it will be a temporary high.

Once the postponed matches are played out, at least two of those teams are bound to leapfrog back in front of Scotland – unless, that is, Italy suddenly discover a way to beat both England for the first time ever and/or Ireland for the first time since 2013 (and only the second time in the Six Nations era) in their two remaining matches. That simply isn’t a credible prospect

Wales, meanwhile, have already lost three of their four matches played so far, so can’t win the championship, but neither are they in any real danger of falling behind Italy to end up with the wooden spoon.

This, however, is not to say that Saturday’s match is a dead-rubber. Far from it. For Wales, there is the fear of losing four games on the trot and ending up with their worst Six Nations return since 2007, which would be a humiliating fall from grace for last year’s Grand Slam winners.

The first year after a World Cup tends to be turbulent for all nations as new coaches and players bed in, and the departure of Warren Gatland from Wales after 12 highly successful years was always going to be tough – but the good people of the Principality have grown used to feasting on success in recent years, and with that comes impatience.

Losing fairly narrowly to traditional powerhouses Ireland (away), France (at home) and England (away) is one thing, but Wales have won their last 10 home games on the bounce against Scotland (with an average margin of just over 16 points), so another defeat is almost unthinkable – and could start tremors of panic in the valleys.

Scotland, meanwhile, have the opportunity to make it three wins on the trot in the same championship for the first time since 1996. Italy’s overall limitations as a team, and France’s indiscipline which led to them playing almost three-quarters of the game with 14 men, mean that nobody is getting carried away yet. But given where this team started the campaign – reeling for an early World Cup exit and missing the talismanic Finn Russell – things are definitely looking much brighter than six weeks ago.

When Steve Tandy and Pieter de Villiers were recruited before the tournament to coach defence and scrum, respectively, it looked a bit like head coach Gregor Townsend was shuffling the deck chairs while the ship went down – but a renewed emphasis and simplified approach in these two key areas has paid rich dividends, and with Scotland appearing to rediscover some of their attacking mojo against France at the weekend, the boys in blue have every reason to look ahead optimistically to their Cardiff jaunt.