Six Nations showcased plenty of northern talent

At least the Six Nations teams will bring a level of unpredictability to the RWC with four of the teams looking they might surprise fans in how they perform. The other team that I think is being written off somewhat is Argentina. They won't fear facing either France or Ireland in a quarter final spot if they qualify and with all of their players on board could easily topple either of them.

24 Mar 2015
Six Nations showcased plenty of northern talent

Not a bad assessment at all, Harry. I'd spare a thought or two for Scottish captain, Greg Laidlaw, he kicks, snipes, hassles, harries and is one of the better players alongside Hogg and Gray. Heals doesn't seem to have won much plaudits in any teams of the tournament and yet he made some critical interventions and go-forwards in some of Ireland's games, the best of them being his try-saving, Championship winning tackle on Hogg at the death to prevent Ireland losing 7 points on their winning margin. Sexton waxed and waned and overall, I'd give the plaudits to Ford for coming of age. For Ireland, their most important player was the least obvious - Mike Ross shored up the TH role in quiet but determined fashion - Ireland's scrum stayed rock solid throughout and was never an issue - he still has it at 35. O'Connell and Jones were brilliant for Ireland and Wales. I thought Johnny Gray was superb, as was Devin Toner, and Lawes as you point out. Back three? Sarto and Venditti for Italy were superb on occasions when given the ball and licence to run. Hogg was outstanding - particularly in last line of defence. I thought Rob Kearney had a poor tournament overall, either carrying an injury or else loss of form and pace. rugby.net ran an assessment tracker of all players during the tournament, and their top 4 for each position at the end looked like this. Props - Marler, Cole, Ross, McGrath Hookers - Best, Hartley, Baldwin, Ghuirado Locks - O'Connell, Wyn Jones, Gray, Maestri Flankers - Robshaw, O'Mahony, Warburton, Haskell No 8 - Vunipola, Faleteau, Parisse, Murphy Scrum-half - Murray, Youngs, Webb, and Laidlaw Out-halves - Ford, Biggar, Sexton and Lopez Centres - Joseph, Henshaw, Payne, Davies Wings - Nowell, Watson, Williams, Bowe Full-back - Hogg, Halfpenny, Kearney, Brown

24 Mar 2015
Ireland win the Six Nations to emerge as World Cup targets

Inaccurate - England v Italy - second round - 6 tries to 2. And if you watched the Wales v Ireland and thought it was rubbish then perhaps you should stop watching rugby. Incidentally, in the first week of the Rugby Championship last year, there was just one try scored between the four teams. NZ got three bonus points in the whole tournament. SA got 1 and Australia and Argentina got zero. It's not all about scoring tries, much less four of them every match.

23 Mar 2015
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