Week three of the Six Nations saw wins for Wales, England and Scotland. Italy, missing Sergio Parisse, struggled to make an impact in Rome as the Welsh dominated from the off. Meanwhile in London, Chris Robshaw’s England defeated a resurgent French side, who only had themselves to blame for their second half deterioration. Ireland will be rueing missed opportunities after dominating large parts of their match, only to be denied by the ruthless Scots. Here is a look at the top performers from Round Three:
1. G. Jenkins (Wales): Jenkins recently announced he would be returning to Cardiff to play his rugby next season. This is a real coup for the region as he seems to have found his form once again; he dominated the famous Italian scrum on Saturday.
2. T. Youngs (England): He may have only played thirty minutes against France, but his impact was huge. Direct and combative, the Tigers’ hooker must now be favourite to start against Italy.
3. G. Cross (Scotland): Scotland spent so much of their time on the back-foot it is remarkable they managed to secure victory. The set-piece dominance helped in their cause and Cross was excellent in the scrum.
4. J. Launchbury (England): Launchbury is quickly building himself a reputation for hard yards and dynamic ball carrying. The Wasp produced a good display against the physical French pack.
5. J. Hamilton (Scotland): The lineout battle was so important in the Scotland – Ireland match and Hamilton dominated it. The best word to describe Hamilton? Nuisance.
6. R. Harley (Scotland): Born in Crewe, the young Scottish flanker has made a big impression since his debut against Samoa in June 2012. Tackling won Scotland the game and Harley did his fair share of that.
7. C. Robshaw (England): Described as ‘Captain fantastic’ in some parts, Robshaw has the useful talent of being in the right place at the time right time; he clears up a lot of potential problems for England.
8. T. Wood (England): Tom Wood produced one of his best displays in an England shirt on Saturday and was a constant thorn in his opponent’s side. His fortuitous kick though led to a try and was symbolic of his disruption of the breakdown.
9. G. Laidlaw (Scotland): The dogged Scotsman kicked four penalty goals to seal victory at Murrayfield. His hard work around the park was also incredibly impressive.
10. D. Biggar (Wales): It was a difficult weekend for fly halves in the Championship. Biggar’s composure stands out as being the most influential factor over his contemporaries.
11. M. Brown (England): Conditions meant it would be a hard weekend for the outside backs. Brown’s full back roots helped him put in a solid performance which silenced the threat of the deadly Vincent Clerc.
12. W. Fofana (France): Moved to the centre (at last), the young speedster was the most impressive performer of any on the losing side. His try was a combination of pace, determination and, as ever, a little bit of luck.
13. M. Tuilagi (England): Billed as the heavyweight clash of the tournament, Tuilagi out-muscled Bastareaud and scored an important try at Twickenham.
14. A. Cuthbert (Wales): Cuthbert’s decisive try in Rome came on the back of a solid performance. He loves scoring Six Nations tries.
15. L. Halfpenny (Wales): The Cardiff Blues full back is proving to be one of the most influential players in Northern hemisphere rugby; another stellar performance.
Please feel free to comment on who you think should have made my team of the week.
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