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Six Nations Team of the Weekend: Round Two

Rugby World

After some quality attacking rugby and colossal defence in this weekends matches, Sam Tremlett was once again tasked with deciding who made it into the Team of the Weekend. What do you think of his selections?


Six Nations Team of the Weekend: Round Two

With some great attacking rugby, combined with some superb defensive displays, round two of the Six Nations provided gripping rugby. So here is Rugby World‘s Team of the Weekend. Let us know what you think of our selections.

1. Jack McGrath (Ireland)

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The Ireland loosehead was solid as ever in the scrum and had eight tackles to his name, showing that his work ethic can never be questioned.

Hard Work: McGrath (right) put in a good shift at prop for Ireland this weekend (Getty Images) Rugby World

2. Ken Owens (Wales

Owens put in a terrific performance at Twickenham despite shocking conditions. His work as a hooker was brilliant – only one lineout went awry from 15. He also pilfered a couple of turnovers to halt English momentum.

Pass master: Ken Owens in the thick of the action against England. Photo: Inpho Rugby World

3. Sarah Bern (England Women) 

The 20-year-old has been playing tighthead for less than two years but has been quick to become one of the world’s best players in the position. In England’s 52-0 thumping of Wales, Bern not only helped to provide a dominant platform at scrum time but also punched holes in the wide channels with her carrying game –  and one such burst led to a try for Leanne Riley.

Feel the Bern: The England prop put in a great performance against Wales (Getty Images) Rugby World

4. Joe Launchbury (England

Massive performance, made countless tackles, was frequently carrying the ball into contact and over the gain-line. And who can forget the sublime offload that set up Jonny May for England’s second try. That kind of skill would look right at home in the southern hemisphere, let alone on a cold, rainy day in London.

Related: Talking Points on England v Wales

Offloading Joe: Launchbury was brilliant for the whole game against Wales, this offload to Jonny May was sublime (Getty Images) Rugby World

5. Jonny Gray (Scotland) 

Both Gray and Grant Gilchrist gave Scotland go-forward with their carries against France and the directness of their runs allowed the back-line to move the ball wide. Gray made 12 carries in the match – a tally only beaten by Stuart Hogg – and topped the tackle charts from a Scottish perspective too with 13 hits. Brilliant work-rate.

Related: Talking Points on Scotland v France

Younger Gray: Showed excellent work rate in carries and tackles against France (Getty Images) Rugby World

6. Aaron Shingler (Wales) 

Shingler was once again Wales’ best player on the pitch in round two. He was so physical in everything he did against England, whether it be bone-crunching hits – one on Farrell was particularly forceful – or taking the ball into contact. He was a nuisance in the lineout and made a a standout break in the second half.

Brief mention here to Poppy Cleall, who scored two tries in England Women’s demolition of Wales and was Player of the Match for the second week running.

Aaron the Physical: Shingler undoubtedly caused some bruised English bodies this weekend with his confrontational play (Getty Images) Rugby World

7. Dan Leavy (Ireland

Yes, Chris Robshaw did have a good game against Wales and Leavy did miss a tackle that led to an Italian try. But, apart from that one mistake, Leavy was everywhere on the pitch. He poached the ball to set up Keith Earls’s try in the first half and was often given the task of taking the ball into heavy contact.

Related: Talking Points on Ireland v Italy

Poacher: Leavy's first half pilfer helped set up the try which gave Ireland the bonus point (Getty Images) Rugby World

8. Ciara Griffin (Ireland Women) 

The new Ireland captain scored a brace of tries in the second half as Ireland beat Italy 21-8 in the Women’s Six Nations. The Irish had a huge advantage up front and Griffin showed great control at the base to score her second from a five-metre scrum.

Skipper: Ciara Griffin scored two tries for Ireland Women. Photo: Inpho Rugby World

9. Greig Laidlaw (Scotland) 

There was much debate about the return of Laidlaw at scrum-half for Scotland in place of Ali Price, but his importance to their win over France cannot be underestimated. Not only did he provide 22 of their 32 points with his boot, but he also added more control to the Scottish game and he even saw out the match at fly-half.

Quality Comeback: Laidlaw kicked Scotland to victory against France showing composure when it mattered most (Getty Images) Rugby World

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Ireland’s Conor Murray also had a good weekend, winning Man of the Match against Italy despite playing only 50 minutes.

Related: Conor Murray takes lineout

10. George Ford (England) 

The England fly-half controlled the game beautifully, particularly with the boot, as he was able to find space with ease. Additionally, when called upon he showed how deft his hands could be in the midfield. His partnership with Farrell is slowly becoming one of the strongest parts of England’s game because they complement each other so well.

Starting ten: Ford played brilliantly at fly-half against Wales (Getty Images) Rugby World

11. Jonny May (England) 

May had a strong game on the wing against Wales, scoring two tries and hardly putting a foot wrong throughout the 80 minutes. His positioning is always solid and he showed how deadly he can be when glued to the touchline. There are few players who can match him for pace.

Double trouble: May scored two tries to win the game against Wales (Getty Images) Rugby World

12. Owen Farrell (England)

As you would expect, Farrell was well up for the Wales game this weekend, to the point where he was involved in absolutely everything. He controlled the game with Ford, never backed down from contact, and showed excellent vision and skill to kick through to set up May for his first try.

Boot to ball: Farrell kicked regularly against Wales, with great accuracy and skill to put the Welsh on the back foot. (Getty Images) Rugby World

13. Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

Henshaw scored two tries against Italy to continue his good form and was a solid performer across the board. It looks like he suffered a dislocated shoulder in scoring his second try, which will be a big blow for Ireland coach Joe Schmidt.

Honorable mentions also to 18-year-old Ellie Kildunne, who put in a fine performance in scoring two tries against Wales Women, and Huw Jones, who looked far more comfortable in the outside-centre berth than he did at 12 last week against Wales. He also picked a superb line for his try.

Injured Scorer: Henshaw was having a great game against Italy, scoring two tries, until a dislocated shoulder forced him off (Getty Images) Rugby World

14. Teddy Thomas

So close to being the hero against Ireland, Thomas once again showed his X-factor against Scotland. His first try was set up by a cracking hand-off and then he ghosted past Finn Russell. He then scored his second after one of his chips through bamboozled Greig Laidlaw, Thomas gathered and scored under the posts.

X-Factor: French winger was once again electric against Scotland scoring two well taken tries (Getty Images) Rugby World

15. Mike Brown (England)

Wales coach Warren Gatland acknowledged how imperious and dominant England were in the air on Saturday and Brown was the main man responsible for that. The Man of the Match only dropped one or two high kicks the whole game in conditions that were less than favourable.

Imperious: Man of the Match Mike Brown proved the critics wrong against Wales with a near-perfect performance (Getty Images) Rugby World