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Six Nations: Team Of The Week

Round 2 of the Six Nations was once again hugely entertaining and the Saturday clashes were once again tight affairs, but Ireland ran away with it on Sunday.

Six Nations

Round 2 of the 6 Nations was once again hugely entertaining and the Saturday clashes were once again tight affairs, but Ireland ran away with it on Sunday. Bet Central assembles the best XV of the weekends.

15: Freddie Steward (England)

Simply peerless in the air, Freddie Steward is the safest player under the high ball bar none. But it wasn’t just his aerial ability that won him favour in this team, he showed attacking impetus and linking play that has typically been missing in his game recently. A fine outing.

Debutant Harry Paterson had a good debut against France, but Hugo Keenan continues to be a reliable and safe option for Ireland at the back.

Honourable mention: Hugo Keenan (Ireland)

14: Calvin Nash (Ireland)

A standout performer even last week, but Calvin Nash showed incredible game intelligence in a superb showing to add to his work rate and support play in round 2. Nash is filling the spot left by Mack Hansen with aplomb.

Damian Penaud had one of his quieter outings but is still so efficient. Kyle Rowe looked comfortable on the wing for Scotland.

Honourable mention: Kyle Rowe (Scotland) 

13: Gael Fickou (France)

It has been a while since Gael Fickou has produced such a quality performance. The 29-year-old centre was phenomenal against Scotland. He suffocated Scotland defensively and had some stunning breaks. A bit of gloss in another lacklustre French performance.

Robbie Henshaw had a good game and was unlucky not to score a try after it was ruled out for crawling. He remains a consistent contributor to the Irish.

Honourable mention: Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)

12: Stuart McCloskey (Ireland)

Bundee Aki was given a bit of rest last week and Stuart McCloskey came into the starting XV and he picked up exactly where Aki left off. He was powerful on the carry while he put in some sumptuous offloads to get Ireland through the defensive lines. An accomplished performance that will give Andy Farrell hope if Aki is unavailable.

Fraser Dingwall may lack the physicality at 12, but he has good rugby smarts and that certainly helped England in certain aspects.

Honourable mention: Fraser Dingwall (England)

11: James Lowe (Ireland)

He won Man of the Match and deservedly so, his left boot is effective in the tactical game and to relieve pressure on his side. Added to that he is so strong in contact, and he is a sterling finisher. We won’t quite crown him player of the week though because of one of his teammates.

Louis Bielle-Biarrey had one poor read on defence which is to be expected considering his youth, but apart from that he continues to thrill for France.

Honourable mention: Louis Bielle-Biarrey (France)

10: Jack Crawley (Ireland)

Ireland have found their man. Jack Crowley is no Johnny Sexton yet, but there is no doubt that he has the potential to become the great player Ireland had in Sexton. He was so good in the battle with Paolo Garbisi showing attacking impetus and good temperament throughout the battle between Ireland and Italy.

George Ford is looking comfortable in the 10 jerseys and that can only bode well for England as he could their man at 10 for the next 2 or 3 seasons.

Honourable mention: George Ford (England)

9: Alex Mitchell (England)

Slim pickings between Alex Mitchell and Craig Casey, but the England man won it purely because he thrived with his pack facing a much sterner forward onslaught from Wales as opposed to Ireland who faced a lacklustre Italian pack.

Casey did however show that it would not be a disaster were Ireland to be without the services of Jamison Gibson-Park and Connor Murray.

Honourable mention: Craig Casey (Ireland)

8: Ben Earl (England)

Ben wears his heart on his sleeve and it shows in his play. He pushes himself to the limits on the carry and he has such impressive pace when he is in space. He was incredible on defence in a big shift against Wales.

Gregory Alldritt hardly has a bad game, not a vintage Alldritt performance by any measure either. He is consistent and that helped France get over the line on the weekend.

Honourable mention: Gregory Alldritt (France)

7: Tommy Reffell (Wales)

This is the 2nd week in a row that Tommy Reffell has come into the Team of the Week in a losing effort which shows the kind of quality performances the Welshman has been putting in. He was a nuisance at the breakdown while he also gave Wales some mongrel on the carry.

Charles Ollivon looked much better for France this week, Caelan Doris was also superb at openside flanker this week.

Honourable mention: Caelan Doris (Ireland)

6: Francois Cros (France)

Francois Cros is probably one of the most underappreciated flankers in the world. He is a hybrid in that he can play openside or blindside flank with equal efficiency. He was excellent this past week with his work in the rucks and on defence particularly impressive. A great game for the loose forward.

Ryan Baird looked good on the carry for Ireland and bubbles under the Frenchman this week.

Honourable mention: Ryan Baird (Ireland)

5: James Ryan (Ireland)

No real spectacular performance from the No. 5s this past weekend. But James Ryan was typically perfect with the basics, and it contributed to the efficiency of the Irish pack. A solid performance.

Ollie Chessum also put in a solid performance, but he gets points subtracted for his yellow card.

Honourable mention: Ollie Chessum (England)

4: Maro Itoje (England)

Like Alldritt, he is hardly ever bad in the game and once again Maro Itoje was a busy and efficient contributor. Nowhere near his best, but his contribution this week is good enough to edge him ahead of the no.4 lock contenders.

A revelation in round 1, but Joe McCarthy wasn’t quite at that level this week. He still had a decent shift.

Honourable mention: Joe McCarthy (Ireland)

3: Finlay Bealham (Ireland)

Finlay Bealham became a father this week and he certainly played with the bounce of someone with new inspiration. He was strong in the scrums and carried hard in a good performance in Tadgh Furlong’s absence.

Zander Ferguson also asked a few questions of Cyril Baille in the scrum and was good around the park.

Honourable mention: Zander Ferguson (Scotland)

2: Dan Sheehan (Ireland) – Player of the Week

Dan Sheehan fell millimeters short of scoring a hat trick of tries in a stunning performance from the 25-year-old. The Leinster hooker was busy around the park and showed good speed and mobility in the tight spaces. He was accurate at the lineout as well. A memorable game for the front rower.

Jamie George was once again good as a leader and player for England this week.

Honourable mention: Jamie George (England)

1: Andrew Porter (Ireland)

Ever since he moved from tighthead prop to loosehead Andrew Porter has struggled at times in the scrum, but he was technically sound this week and troubled the Italian scrum. He is always busy and prominent in the loose.

Cyril Baille bubbles under for a good tussle against Zander Ferguson.

Honourable mention: Cyril Baille (France) 

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