With the third round of games played in the 2022 Six Nations let’s look back on the action.
Scotland vs France
A decisive game for both sides, Scotland looking to bounce back after a loss to Wales and France trying to claim their third consecutive victory.
After a hard-fought 80 minutes it was Les Bleus who came out on top in a 36-17 victory.
This gave the side their second bonus point victory and with only Wales and England left to face a potential Grand Slam.
England vs Wales
Always a tightly fought game between two big rivals in the Six Nations, Wales the defending champs in England’s capital.
It was heartbreak for the men in red though as England ran out victors 23-19.
It could have been worse for Wales had England not switched off in the second-half gifting them three tries.
England were 12-0 up at half-time and that increased to 17-0 later on in the game thanks to a try from Alex Dombrandt.
Nevertheless, it’s four more points for England who sit third playing Ireland at home next.
Ireland vs Italy
This game was a little bit farcical with Italy reduced to 13 men after 19 minutes.
Gianmarco Lucchesi was forced off injured after nine minutes and was replaced by Hame Faiva.
Faiva then saw red 10 minutes later leaving Italy without a specialist Hooker.
This called for uncontested scrums which meant Number Eight Toa Halafihi was asked to leave the field.
This was part of some new Six Nations rules I don’t quite understand.
This resulted in a 15 vs 13 situation for Ireland who dominated the game, eventually winning 57-6.
So what happened of note around the three games this weekend?
Joey Carberry started for Ireland and had an impressive performance dictating his sides’ nine try win.
Marcus Smith impressed again scoring 18 of his sides 23 points over rivals Wales.
Damian Penaud again showed his prowess scoring twice against Scotland, making him joint-top-try-scorer in the Six Nations this year.
This is tied with fellow Frenchman Gabin Villiere who scored a hat-trick against Italy in matchday one.
This now means Penaud has been directly involved in 22 tries in his last 25 tests for France.
Scoring 15 and assisting seven in those games.
Ben Youngs is now the most capped Men’s England player, (115) overtaking Jason Leonard who had 114.
This is after coming on for Harry Randall against Wales at Twickenham.
A Look Back
We made predictions for the players to watch this tournament – so let’s see how many of them have done well and highlight a few others.
Up first is Marcus Smith, he’s the Six Nations top points scorer (48) and has bagged himself two tries in three games.
He’s been England’s points outlet scoring 65.75% of all his sides 73 total points so far.
At just 22 as well he can get even better, maybe a Smith at 10 and Farrell at 12 combo could be England’s immediate future.
Next is Antoine Dupont who has scored 2 tries so far and set up a whole bunch more.
Antoine Dupont is pretty good at rugby, isn't he? 👀
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 6, 2021
The frenetic little Frenchman has been in fine form this tournament since this try against Italy three weeks ago.
Everything France do well comes through him and he showed that again with an amazing run to cut Scotland apart to assist yet another try.
Louis Rees-Zammit and Matthew Fagerson, neither player has lived up to expectations so far.
Rees-Zammit hasn’t scored yet and Fagerson, just like Scotland, has dropped off since that first game against England.
All is not lost for either of them as both Wales and Scotland still have to face Italy.
It could be a chance to redeem themselves and show what we all know they can do.
And finally for the ‘Top 5’ we have Andrew Conway – he hasn’t scored since his double against Wales in game week one.
After being torn apart in Ireland’s last game against France Conway was dropped from the team.
Head Coach Andy Farrell favoured James Lowe and moved Mack Hansen to right-wing for his sides game against Italy.
Conway didn’t even make the bench, and he does not seem to be injured either.
We had four honourable mentions as well in the original list:
Mack Hansen-Has continued to impress for Andy Farrell starting all three games in this tournament.
Sam Simmonds-Has been dropped in favour of Alex Dombrandt, makes a cameo off of the bench but nowhere near as deadly as thought.
Paolo Garbisi-Still a bright spark in a very gloomy Italian side scoring a lovely penalty to make it 7-3 against Ireland. You feel if he was at another nation he could do so much more.
Damian Penaud-He’s been revolutionary for France, scoring and assisting for fun, one of the hottest prospects around.
So now after seeing each team play three games we’ll keep the first two picks so Marcus Smith and Antoine Dupont can stay.
As for the other three spaces, we bring Damian Penaud up off the honourable mentions.
And we add Gael Fickou who’s been electric for France so far, powering away in midfield.
Finally, we add Jamison Gibson-Park – scoring two tries so far this tournament and being omnipresent at the breakdown.
He’s one of the best scrum-halves right now so he makes his way onto the list.
Which now looks like this:
- Marcus Smith
- Antoine Dupont
- Damian Penaud
- Gael Fickou (New addition)
- Jamison Gibson-Park (New addition)
(rugby union, six nations – pic under creative commons by Copyright: Fanny Schertzer)