Six Nations Round 4: Team of the Week

Six Nations Round 4: Team of the Week
  1. Cian Healy

Very solid at scrum time. He got through an impressive amount of work at the breakdown, both offensively and defensively. Carried dynamically throughout, consistently getting over the gain line and recorded a 100% tackle success rate, including some thumping collisions around the fringes.

  1. Guilhem Guirado

The French captain was one of the best performers in a powerful French forward pack this weekend. He made an impressive 12 tackles, some of which coming in key areas of the pitch. He didn’t carry very often but when he did, he was effective, recording an average gain of almost 6 metres per carry. The French lineout functioned adequately for the most part but there moments where communication between Guirado and his jumpers seemed to be lacking.

  1. Tadhg Furlong

Locked out the scrum really well which provided Ireland with an excellent attacking platform throughout. Carried dynamically showing good bursts of pace as well as sheer brute strength to consistently power his way over the gain line. Made some huge hits around the fringes and managed to secure a turnover inside the Irish half.

  1. James Ryan

The Leinsterman was one of Ireland’s main ball carriers on Saturday, consistently getting over the gain line and stealing vital yards. He was excellent in defence, making 14 dominant tackles, always looking to get his hands on the ball and rip it from the opposition. Also showed great body position at the breakdown to secure two turnovers.

  1. Jonny Gray

Again, Gray was stand out performer in the Scotland forward pack. On an individual level, he defended exceptionally well, making a staggering 27 tackles and only missing one. He was impressive at the lineout  and dogged at the breakdown. A disappointing result but he is one of very few Scots that can be happy with their efforts.

  1. Justin Tipuric

Good running lines from the blindside led to a couple of line breaks. His combination of searing pace and a great offloading game constantly kept the ball alive and caused the Italians an array of problems. Defensively he was solid; always very quick to get off the line and get up in the faces of the opposition.

  1. Dan Leavy

Won a key turnover inside his 22 to stop the Scots dead in their tracks. Great chop tackling technique and strong carries when called upon. One of Ireland’s top tacklers with 13 successful efforts. Leavy continues to show he is more than capable of filling the Irish number 7 jersey in the absence of Sean O’Brien. 

  1. Taulupe Faletau

In his first game of this year’s Six Nations Championship, Faletau showed Welsh fans exactly what they had been missing in his absence (not that they needed any reminder). He looked to get on the ball as often as possible, carrying 12 times for a total gain of 43 metres. He showed great attacking awareness and lovely soft offloading skills to set his teammates into dangerous attacking spaces. Also defended resolutely, making some huge hits including a bone cruncher on Tommaso Allan in the first half.

  1. Maxime Machenaud

Consistently very quick to clear the ball from the breakdown which negated England’s ability to counter ruck. Box kicked very well and made a couple of clever sniping breaks. Maintained a high tempo throughout that England struggled to deal with and slotted all four of his attempts from the tee.

  1. Jonathan Sexton

Despite Sexton not hitting top gear this weekend, he was still stand out performer amongst the other international out-halves. Attacked the line impressively and showed good awareness to set teammates into key attacking spaces throughout. Accurate with the boot for the most part, slotting 4/5 attempts from the tee.

  1. Jacob Stockdale

Another try scoring masterclass from the young Ulsterman who scored his 5th and 6th tries of the championship. Showed great awareness to intercept a loose George Horne pass for his first and great footwork to step inside for his second. The Scottish defence couldn’t handle him at all as he made 72m and 2 clean breaks. Also showed much more defensive solidity than we have seen from him in previous weeks.

  1. Mathieu Bastareaud

The French inside-centre was one of the standout performers in a fluid backline performance as his side secured a huge win over England. Most impressive of all was his defence, recording a perfect tackle success rate. He consistently got in over the ball and was immovable, forcing countless breakdown penalties and disrupting the speed of the opposition attack. His undying willingness to run straight at the heart of the opposition defence created the platform for several attacking opportunities for his teammates.

  1. Garry Ringrose

Ringrose was the standout performer in the Irish backline this weekend. He posed a constant threat in attack, causing the Scottish defence an array of problems throughout with his combination of blistering pace and the ability to step off both feet. He made several breaks for a total gain of 92 metres and even managed to set up Stockdale’s second try when he ran a beautiful loop move.

  1. George North

The Northampton powerhouse was the key attacking performer for Wales in their demolition of Italy this afternoon. He made several clean breaks, for a total gain of 101 metres, beating 3 defenders with his beautiful footwork and incredibly strong fend. Also stood up to the test defensively, recording a perfect tackle success rate and capped off his excellent performance with a brace of tries.

  1. Rob Kearney 

One of the standout performers in the Irish backline, playing his best game in an Ireland jersey for quite some time. Attacked the line well and dominated the aerial battles. Made 2 clean breaks for an impressive total gain of 138 metres and was crowned man of the match. Chose not to pass on a couple of occasions, denying his teammates good attacking opportunities but a very impressive performance overall.

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