Jim Hamilton discusses his Tissot #TopMoments from Round Four

Tissot, Official Timekeeper of the NatWest 6 Nations, has invited some rugby experts and legends to share their views on the games and the teams throughout the Championship. Stay tuned for a chance to win a watch, and don’t forget to share your #TopMoment of the matches!

Tissot, Official Timekeeper of the NatWest 6 Nations, has invited some rugby experts and legends to share their views on the games and the teams throughout the Championship. Stay tuned for a chance to win a watch, and don’t forget to share your #TopMoment of the matches!

It’s a shame that we will not have two teams in contention for the title at Twickenham as everyone had been talking about that.

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But there can be no arguments that Ireland are deserved winners of this year’s Championship and there should be plenty of drama as they bid to secure only the third Grand Slam in their history.

Ireland 28-8 Scotland   Scotland are on a bit of a journey, I think they are realistically still a couple of years away under Gregor Townsend before they can beat Ireland in Dublin.

I was a little disappointed for them because they didn’t take their chances when they arose, but I have to say I was not surprised.

Going into the game I didn’t think that they would win, I thought it was a step too far.

They would have had to play at the intensity that they found against England, they needed the breakdown to go the way it did against England and with how well Ireland are coached that was always going to be a tough ask.

If they had been at that England level they might have been in with a chance but anyone who watched the game would have seen that Scotland were a bit off – they made uncharacteristic mistakes like that Huw Jones two on one.

Ireland, let’s not forget, were the only team to have beaten Eddie Jones’ England until this year, they have beaten New Zealand. They are a very good team.

They are well-coached, well drilled and with some unbelievably talented players coming through, they have strength in depth.   France 22-16 England   England needed a reaction after the loss to Scotland, and they didn’t get it.

What disappointed me watching that game was I expected to see a hungry, aggressive, physical England and that never really materialised.

The breakdown was a huge factor against Scotland and had been spoken about for two weeks in the build-up. But France were in charge there as well.

They didn’t turn up again, and frankly, they appeared to be out on their feet at times.

They definitely have not peaked for this Championship and don’t look to be playing at their full potential.

But France deserve a vast amount of credit – with quite a few players missing and a new coach at the helm, this was a huge win for them.

Actually, they had plenty of opportunities, particularly at lineout time, that they couldn’t convert. They could have won that game more comfortably. The difference for me has been the form of Mathieu Bastareaud.   Wales 38-14 Italy   Wales are the team that have probably impressed me the most this Championship.

I know they have lost twice, against Ireland and England, but considering their injuries they have been so impressive.

They lost the backbone of their team at the start of the Championship, guys like Jonathan Davies, Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams was injured in the early stages, George North hadn’t found top form.

But the way they have played has been so impressive.

I was unsure about the amount of changes they made for this game against Italy but Warren Gatland is clearly a fantastic coach who brings the best out in players, he makes the difficult decisions and it paid off again and they will be refreshed for France next weekend.

Italy have shown sparks of brilliance all campaign, I still genuinely believe they are on that upward curve and Conor O’Shea is doing a good job.

They will be desperate to end the campaign on a high against Scotland next week and make sure they don’t finish winless.    #TopMoments   Jacob Stockdale interception try

That was a real momentum shifter, it changed the flow of the game.

Scotland had created a few chances up to that point but when Stockdale picked it off you kind of had a sense of how the game was going to go.

Stockdale has been big in every game for Ireland, but with Scotland arriving in such form – that was a huge moment for him and he obviously bagged a second try as well so that has to be the top moment.   Mathieu Bastareaud tackle on Ben Te’o

The difference for France over these last two games has, without a doubt, been the form of Mathieu Bastareaud.

He clearly has the bit between his teeth, and has led by example for France and shown his quality. If he is up for it then France can beat anyone on their day.

Watching the game and the reaction, the passion and emotion he was showing is something we haven’t seen in that French team for a long while.

That huge tackle on Ben Te’o at the start of the second half epitomised his performance.   James Davies’ debut

James Davies has been in unbelievable form for the Scarlets for two years now and we saw him before that tearing up in the Sevens at the Olympics as well.

He makes turnovers for fun in the Guinness PRO14 and his international debut was long overdue.

A traditional No.7 in the old-school sense, he’s great to watch. Wales have got so many of this type of player but what England would give for someone like him?   Make sure you share your favourite moments for every weekend of games in the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship for a chance of winning a Tissot watch.

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