RBS 6 Nations Team of the Week: Round 3

Team of the Week

1. Paul James
Not a vintage weekend for loosehead props, but James was effective enough against Martin Castrogiovanni despite being penalised unfairly a few times.

2. Dylan Hartley
Hartley is growing into a top hooker, having straightened up his throwing, and he’s making a real impact in the loose as Steve Thompson used to do. He’s successfully becoming ‘passionate’ rather than ‘hot-headed’.

3. Martin Castrogiovanni
If Italy run a side close, Castro tends to be at the heart of it, and so it was in another powerful, passionate performance from perhaps the best tighthead in the world.

4. Richie Gray
Impressive return from illness, always looking for work and making yards with every carry. Not surprisingly at 19 feet tall, he’s pretty handy in the lineout as well.

5. Tom Palmer
What has happened to Tom Palmer? No longer just content to push in the scrums and jump a bit, Palmer seems to be everywhere, making tackles and causing a nuisance in defence, and then carrying forcefully at every opportunity.

6. Sean O’Brien
What a player O’Brien is! Fast and powerful, he’s hard to stop when he takes the ball up, and he’s also strong with a low centre of gravity – and apparently very hard to shift from a ruck when he’s trying to nick your ball.

7. Sam Warburton
Another great performance from the Wales openside, and took his first international try well. Works hard and always seems to be in the right place like any good 7.

8. Sergio Parisse
The other Italian talisman had a fine game yet again, and really deserves to win more than he does for Italy. Full of heart and intent.

9. Mike Blair
Not a lot of competition for the 9 jersey this week, but Blair was as good as any. Looked busy and made a few important tackles.

10. Ronan O’Gara
The return of ROG has given Declan Kidney further headaches over the fly-half jersey. He controlled the game beautifully with excellent kicking from hand, and his distribution was superb as well.

11. Vincent Clerc
Looked dangerous and very nearly escaped the desperate clutches of English defenders on several occasions. Strange to think that he might not be first-choice for Marc Lievremont.

12. Jamie Roberts
Typically powerful crash-ball performance from Roberts, showing how destructive he can be in attack as well as defence. Room for improvement with his distribution, but you’d still want him in your side.

13. Aurelien Rougerie
Another of France’s key dangermen, and he seems to be flourishing in the midfield role. They used the high ball effectively, and Rougerie was always giving chase.

14. Max Evans
Evans looked hungry for work and would be a real threat if Scotland could unleash him properly. Also impressed in defence with a couple of big tackles.

15. Ben Foden
Emerged from the shadow and hype of his Northampton team-mate with a fine effort. Came through a stern test under the high ball, and showed his pace and power to score the game’s only try.

Thanks to everyone on our Facebook page for your suggestions for this side.

16 thoughts on “RBS 6 Nations Team of the Week: Round 3

  1. Hard week this week – one of the poorest weeks for standards of rugby in a long time imo. I am again left thinking this is the poorest 6N in terms of quality of rugby (though the excitement is still there). Looking at the selection options it is even more the case imo.

    Palmer was outstanding though, player of the weekend imo

  2. Agree that this weekend wasn’t great, but I think the overall standard of rugby is better than last year when France cruised to a Grand Slam and Mathieu Basteraud was one of the best players in the tournament.

    There have at least been some good moments in games like Wales v England, France v Scotland, Ireland v France, but there hasn’t been a really comprehensive performance against a competitive team that might strike any fear into the Southern Hemisphere sides.

  3. “Paul James – 5
    A distant second best to Castrogiovanni, and lucky not to be sent to the sin-bin.” Paul Frenches opinion of Paul James’s performance and i personally agree with it!

    Cant agree with that decision for team of the week,

    Corbisiero should be a better shout despite only playing an hour!

  4. Healy at loosehead did well. How did Mike Blair make the team – he was anonymous, and the delivery to the backs improved when Lawson came in. Yachvili or Reddan would have been my choices.

    Surely POC deserved a call-up, for those last 5 minutes alone, although Palmer was excellent. These 2, plus Richie Gray are the 3 Lions second rows right now.

  5. POC was very close to the team – I loved watching him for those last few minutes.

    Strong competition in the second row this week, but not much at prop and scrum-half – there’s a case for and against everyone that played in those positions.

  6. Rugby Nick, I think we all look at the 6 Nations through rose-tinted specs by about 2 months after it’s finished. I think just about every year for the past 5 years we’ve said that it’s one of the poorest 6 Nations and then we forget about it and get overexcited again. THere are always a couple of crap games. I agree with Hutch that this has not been too bad a year. Last year France won by virtue of the fact that everybody else was useless. I think pretty much every team is slightly better than they were last year. But the last one was still not a great weekend.

  7. Sorry but I have only seen one performance of note, usually we will have looked at a few performances and a couple of games and say ‘well at least that happened’. Maybe last year was just as bad built for me all teams that aren’t England are worse this year than last year

  8. KOB, the bloke who is single-handedly beating England at cricket. And his brother, the wicketkeeper is rather unfortunately called NOB. Parents didn’t think that one through…

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