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Six Nations XV of Round 2

Another fascinating weekend of Six Nations rugby is in the books and the Grand Slam dreams of England and Ireland both live on.

In contrasting fashion to the opening weekend, England snuck by Wales in a rain-soaked encounter at Twickenham, whilst an in-form Ireland side powered through the challenge of Italy in Dublin.

The other fixture of the week saw Scotland bounce back from their opening week horror show to beat France, 32-26, in Edinburgh.

We have selected our form XV of the round below.

 

  1. Mike Brown, England

It was an excellent performance from England’s unfashionable full-back and one suited perfectly to the testing conditions at Twickenham on Saturday. He was brave and reliable dealing with the high balls, ran hard at the Welsh line and didn’t put a foot wrong in his defensive duties.

 

  1. Keith Earls, Ireland

It seems fitting Earls pops up next to Brown, two players who are perennially underrated and the target of an unfair amount of vitriol at times from opposition fans. Earls turned in a polished, hard-working and ambitious performance for Ireland and whilst he was a constant threat going forward, it was his 60m run back down the field to put in a try-saving tackle which really summed up his efforts on Saturday.

 

  1. Robbie Henshaw, Ireland

It was a shame to see Henshaw leave the field in the second half of Ireland’s game with Italy and though that could have consequences for Ireland later in the tournament, it was an outstanding performance from the Leinster centre. Running outside of Bundee Aki, Henshaw thrived in the less congested areas of the pitch, picking lines that the Italian defence just couldn’t deal with.

 

  1. Owen Farrell, England

Farrell’s long, raking grubbing kick to set up Jonny May’s first try was an exquisite piece of skill, whilst his cover tackle on Aaron Shingler saved an almost certain try. He also turned over a Welsh attack deep inside England’s 22 and made the key pass to Joe Launchbury, which set up May’s second score. It seemed that at all the key moments in the game, Farrell was present and having an influence.

 

  1. Teddy Thomas, France

You wouldn’t go far wrong with either Jonny May or Jacob Stockdale here, but Thomas slides over from the right wing due to his all-round performance at Murrayfield. The Frenchman added two more blistering tries to his tournament tally on Sunday, as well as defending and covering well.

 

  1. Gareth Anscombe, Wales

The Kiwi-born back moved up from full-back to fly-half when Rhys Patchell was taken off and helped spark a Welsh comeback that came incredibly close to knocking England off their perch. His play at full-back had been impressive up to that point, but the extra opportunities to influence the game really showed at 10 and Anscombe was unlucky not to engineer a Welsh win at Twickenham. He should have finished the game with a try to his credit, too, were it not for TMO intervention.

 

  1. Conor Murray, Ireland

Murray almost singlehandedly blew Italy away in the opening 20 minutes at the Aviva Stadium. He set up two tries with accurate passes away from the ruck when Ireland were camped on Italy’s try line and then scored one himself for good measure. Away from the tries, it was the standard immaculate controlling performance that we all expect of him.

 

  1. Mako Vunipola, England

Tackled and carried his guts out for England, as well as scrummaging well against Samson Lee. He played 76 minutes in the tense affair at Twickenham and was still making important one-on-one tackles in the open spaces right at the end of that shift.

 

  1. Rory Best, Ireland

A clean, faultless performance from Best, capped fittingly with a try. There’s not too much else to say, the Ulsterman did everything well at the Aviva.

 

  1. Andrew Porter, Ireland

Came on very early against Italy with talismanic tighthead Tadgh Furlong leaving the field with an injury. Porter turned the screw well on Nicola Quaglio at the scrum and picked up the slack around the fringes in a role that was not dissimilar to the multi-dimensional one that Furlong regularly plays.

 

  1. Joe Launchbury, England

Another workhorse who stepped up for England, predominately as an attacking force in the first half, before emptying the tank in the second half defensive stands and making way for George Kruis. The Wasps lock’s carrying and breakdown work were big parts of England’s first half success as an attacking force.

 

  1. Jonny Gray, Scotland

The Glasgow lock played a pivotal role in Scotland’s narrow victory over France, delivering his trademark defensive efficiency, as well as constantly hitting rucks for 80 minutes. His teammate Grant Gilchrist went well, too.

 

  1. Aaron Shingler, Wales

Shingler continues to shine in the absence of Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau in the Welsh back-row. His big break late on against England caught the eye, but it was his tireless work carrying, rucking and tackling that really set him apart at Twickenham.

 

  1. Yacouba Camara, France

Camara was the busiest forward in French colours on Sunday, showing no signs of the fatigue that often afflicts French sides late in the game. There was arguably no one area where he truly excelled, but he showed no weaknesses and was continuously positively impacting Les Bleus, even in a losing cause.

 

  1. Ryan Wilson, Scotland

A mention for Chris Robshaw, who was tireless at Twickenham and featured at both seven and eight, but Wilson helped push a positive Scottish performance over the top and delivered a much-needed win. He carried strongly, contributed to crucial turnovers and seemed to be at the forefront of the Scottish defensive line.

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Six Nations XV of Round 2 | RugbyPass