The 2006 RBS 6 Nations Championship concludes today. In the 6 Nations, each side plays against the other five, alternating year-on-year between two/three home matches, and three/two away. It has been an incredibly close tournament this year, with four teams in with a (mathematical) chance of coming top of the table.
Of the 12 games played so far this year, 10 have been won by the home side (and three of the four teams who can still come top are playing away from home today). So, for example, Scotland has beaten pre-season favourites France and England at Murrayfield; and lost to Wales and Ireland - on paper not as strong as France and England - when away from home. 10-out-of-12 would suggest that the advantage of playing in front of your home crowd makes a massive difference.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great stadium of supporters, let us throw off every tackle that hinders and the rucks that so easily entangle, and let us play with perserverance the game marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12:1-3, paraphrased