CHRIS FOY: The verdict on another exciting weekend of Six Nations

CHRIS FOY’S: Resilient France victory highlights Shaun Edwards impact, multilingual referee Luke Pearce impresses and the Lions will have pace to burn this summer… Six Nations verdict

  • Shaun Edwards’ impact helped France to victory they would have usually lost
  • English referee Luke Pearce earned praise for speaking in French during match
  • Warren Gatland will have some serious pace to burn with the Lions in summer
  • Wayne Pivac’s Wales are having excellent campaign after a tough time last year

We were treated to another exciting weekend of Six Nations action with some close-run games and some dazzling individual displays on show.

After Wales, England and France secured important victories, Sportsmail’s Chris Foy picks out the key points from the three games.  

SHAUN CHANNELS FRENCH FIRE

France’s defensive effort to close out their first win for a decade in Dublin showed they can claim a Grand Slam and also highlighted the impact made by Shaun Edwards. 

Shaun Edwards’ impact was on show as France secured an uncharacteristic disciplined win

The visitors would have lost that game a couple of years ago as their discipline would have failed them. Not now. It was a triumph of composure, pragmatism and resilience.

PEARCE TELLS IT HOW IT IS…

Congratulations to English referee Luke Pearce for speaking to the French in their own language. He settled for sporadically using a few key phrases, but the gesture would have been appreciated by tired players. 

Meanwhile, Matthew Carley was right to send off Scotland prop Zander Fagerson on Saturday. Charging into rucks and making contact with an opponent’s head cannot be tolerated.

LIONS WILL HAVE PACE TO BURN

If the Lions play this summer, they should have a lethal back three. Inspired by the captaincy, Scot Stuart Hogg is at his electric best, and Louis Rees-Zammit’s second try at Murrayfield illustrated his turbo-charged credentials. 

George North is revitalised and with Jonny May and Anthony Watson so sharp for England, Warren Gatland has an array of options.


With the likes of Louis Rees-Zammit (left) and Stuart Hogg (right), Lions have pace to burn

FLATMAN CHAT IS A JOY

ITV’S coverage is elevated by front-row insight, with David Flatman expertly decoding the set-piece and complex contact areas, which is vital for a large terrestrial audience who won’t all understand rugby’s endless nuances. 

He does so with a fun tone, too, saying about France’s locks: ‘They just charge around leathering people for a living. What a way to pay the mortgage!’

WAYNE’S WORLD LOOKING UP

Wayne Pivac’s Wales are thriving, thanks to defensive improvements overseen by Gethin Jenkins, plus greater control and authority up front. Wyn Jones at loosehead is having a fine campaign, Ken Owens’ return at hooker is transformative, Leon Brown made an impact off the bench in Scotland and Justin Tipuric is a low-profile, high-class legend.

Wayne Pivac’s Wales are finally thriving thanks to improvements all over the fieldf

TEAM OF THE WEEK

S Hogg (Scotland); L Rees-Zammit (Wales), G Ringrose (Ireland), G Fickou (France), A Watson (England); G Ford (England), A Dupont (France); W Jones (Wales), L Cowan-Dickie (England), K Sinckler (England); I Henderson (Ireland), B Le Roux (France); T Curry (England), C Ollivon (France), J Tipuric (Wales).




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