Fantasy Rugby: What did we learn from Round 4?

Round 4 of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations was full of thrills and spills which translated into plenty of points in the fantasy game.

Round 4 of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations was full of thrills and spills which translated into plenty of points in the fantasy game.

History was made at Twickenham, as England suffered a record home loss as France put them to the sword in a 53-10 win, while Wales got their first win of the Championship against Italy and Ireland took one step closer to the Grand Slam with a win over Scotland.

Players and coaches would have learnt a lot from an action-packed weekend, but, they are not the only ones.

Fantasy Rugby players across Europe will be much wiser after watching three fascinating case studies.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at what Fantasy Rugby players can take from Round 4 of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.

Thomas Ramos can be France’s main man

France full-back Thomas Ramos was battling with Melvyn Jaminet for a starting spot in 2022, but with Jaminet injured and Ramos flying for Toulouse, he started all three Autumn Nations Series Tests.

Saturday’s performance against England showed he really is ready to be their main man for the foreseeable future.

Ramos registered an incredible 93.2 Fantasy Rugby points at Twickenham, his highest score of a breakout Championship for the 27-year-old.

He crossed for France’s opener and kicked 18 points from the tee, missing just one of his seven conversion attempts.

With a potential Championship-deciding clash to come against Wales in Paris on Super Saturday, Fantasy Rugby players now know they can rely on Ramos to perform on the biggest stage.

Ireland are just as threatening out wide as they are in the forwards

Mack Hansen and James Lowe were both superb against Scotland, showing precisely why Ireland are feared all over the pitch.

The pair are now Ireland’s two highest scorers on Fantasy Rugby after they both touched down in the 22-7 win.

There has been a lot of talk about Ireland’s forwards during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, but Hansen and Lowe have proved equally clinical in Fantasy Rugby.

Hansen scored 95.8 points in Round 4 after producing a fantastic finish for his side’s opener, while Lowe continued his fine form in this year’s Championship with a 71-point haul following his try.

So be sure to have at least one of them in your starting XV for the Grand Slam decider against England.

You should not write off Wales’ experienced stars just yet

Almost three years on from his last test match start, Rhys Webb returned to the Wales starting XV this weekend, and boy did he make an impact.

Wales beat Italy 29-17 and Webb was key, setting up two tries to set his side on track for a desperately-needed win.

That left him with 69 points at the end of Round 4.

There has been plenty of debate about Wales’ experienced stars and if it is time for some of them to make way for a new generation.

However, on Saturday, Webb showed that age is nothing but a number and they remain fantasy options.

Italy must give Paolo Garbisi a chance to shine

Italy will be disappointed with the loss against Wales after heading into the Championship with such high expectations.

However, they have played well at points, and Paolo Garbisi has been outstanding since returning to the starting XV.

He recorded 27.4 points on his return in Round 3 and was able to score a further 20.4 points against Warren Gatland’s side despite the results.

Italy do have real attacking talent in their back line now, but if they are going to continue their progress under Kieran Crowley then they need to do more to get the best out of their talismanic stars Garbisi and Ange Capuozzo.

Scotland’s forwards must offer more

Scotland’s forwards have only scored two tries all Championship, joint-lowest with Italy after four games.

With such an exciting back line and an abundance of talent up front, it is strange they have struggled to find their way over the line.

Of course, they do move the ball out wide a lot, and with the likes of Duhan van der Merwe and Kyle Steyn out wide you can understand why.

However, with Matt Fagerson currently Scotland’s highest-scoring forward, Fantasy Rugby players are learning that Gregor Townsend’s forwards are not try scores, potentially making them less attractive.

England need to end the fly-half debate

It is almost impossible for Fantasy Rugby players to predict who will start at fly-half for England in Round 5.

England have struggled to settle on a starting fly-half since the start of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, opting to go with Smith at ten and Farrell at 12 against Scotland.

Then, Steve Borthwick switched plans, moving Farrell to fly-half for two matches before demoting his skipper to the bench in favour of Smith for the France game.

Fantasy managers across the world will be hoping to see some consistency this weekend in order to make their plans.