Monday, 13 February 2017
Six Nations 2017 - Round 2 Verdict
ITALY - poor. Conor O'Shea now has the near impossible task of unearthing a new generation of Italian players who won't be utterly reliant on Sergio Parisse and will be able to sustain intensity beyond 50 minutes. The case for Georgia's promotion to the Six Nations grows week by week.
IRELAND - ruthless, efficient and mostly error-free against the Italians, but it will only be possible to judge this team when under sustained pressure - something that they simply did not experience in Rome.
WALES - monumental effort in Cardiff but the Welsh performance again raises the perennial question: if Wales can rouse themselves to these levels against England then why not on a regular basis?
ENGLAND - true grit. England's rookie back row were always going to be up against it but the collective will and effort of the pack and the cool heads outside them saw them home in a pulsating finale.
FRANCE - kicked on after a promising start at Twickenham last week and ultimately had too much power for Scotland in Paris. If they can add a bit of finesse to the midfield France could be a force to be reckoned with.
SCOTLAND - little doubt now that the Scottish revival is something of substance, although their second string props were taught a lesson in Paris and the Scots' scrummaging will need to improve if the revival is to be sustained.
TEAM OF THE WEEK:
15. Scott Spedding 14. Craig Gilroy 13. Gary Ringrose 12. Owen Farrell 11. Elliot Daly 10. Dan Biggar 9. Connor Murray 1. Joe Marler 2. Guilhem Guirado 3. Rabah Slimani 4. Joe Launchbury 5. Courtney Lawes 6. CJ Stander 7. Kevin Gourdon 8. Josh Strauss