NatWest 6 Nations: Statistical leaders after four rounds

As the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations heads towards its final weekend, there have been many standout players across the first four rounds.

As the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations heads towards its final weekend, there have been many standout players across the first four rounds.

Some new stars have emerged, like Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale, the Championship’s top try scorer with six while some older heads have continued to shine, with Connor Murray making a staggering 456 passes.

When we look into the stats over the course of the Championship, the same faces are often cropping up in several categories, with some nations showing how they have improved this year.   Hogg-ing the limelight

He’s been named the Player of the Championship for the last two seasons and Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg is having another barnstorming NatWest 6 Nations.

His 116 metres gained in his country’s 28-8 defeat to Ireland last Saturday moved him further clear of Jacob Stockdale in that particular category, with his ability to wreak havoc from deep clear for all to see.

Along with Ireland centre Bundee Aki, no back has made more carries either, with both making 53, putting them eight clear of their nearest competitors – Steff Evans, Rob Kearney and Stockdale.

Scotland were left to rue not making the most of his creativity at the Aviva Stadium, as Hogg moved himself up to second in the charts for offloads made.

Only France’s Yacouba Camara has made more than Hogg’s six, but two of his teammates have done well in the try assist stakes in Finn Russell (3) and Greig Laidlaw (2).   Metres gained Stuart Hogg (Scotland) – 368 Jacob Stockdale (Ireland) – 316 Steff Evans (Wales) – 286 Rob Kearney (Ireland) – 283 Jonny May (England) – 239   Carries CJ Stander (Ireland) – 72 Sebastian Negri (Italy) – 59 Bundee Aki (Ireland) – 53 Stuart Hogg (Scotland) – 53 Dan Leavy (Ireland) – 47   Offloads Yacouba Camara (France) – 7 Keith Earls (Ireland) – 6 Stuart Hogg (Scotland) – 6 Jacob Stockdale (Ireland) – 5 Aaron Shingler (Wales) – 5 Gareth Anscombe (Wales) – 5 Remy Grosso (France) – 5   Wales running riot

For the second time in this year’s NatWest 6 Nations, Wales produced a very impressive home performance as Italy were defeated 38-14 at Principality Stadium on Sunday.

While their back row has previously attracted plenty of praise, this was a chance for their backs to shine and none did so more than centre Hadleigh Parkes, who scored the first of their five tries.

So many of the Welsh’s best attacks came through the New Zealand-born 30-year-old and he has now beaten the most defenders in the Championship (15), moving one ahead of Bundee Aki.

Another attacking area where a Welshman comes out on top is linebreaks, where winger Steff Evans leads the way with ten, two more than closest contenders Jacob Stockdale and Jonny May.

Evans has also gained the third most metres with 286, while Josh Navidi (5) continues to score highly in the amount of turnovers won.   Defenders beaten Hadleigh Parkes (Wales) – 15 Bundee Aki (Ireland) – 14 Matteo Minozzi (Italy) – 12 Huw Jones (Scotland) – 11 Remy Grosso (France) – 11 Keith Earls (Ireland) – 11 Sebastian Negri (Italy) – 11   Linebreaks Steff Evans (Wales) – 10 Jacob Stockdale (Ireland) – 8 Jonny May (England) – 8 Huw Jones (Scotland) – 7 Keith Earls (Ireland) – 6 Remy Grosso (France) – 6 Matteo Minozzi (Italy) – 6   France fighting back

Since losing their first two games in this year’s NatWest 6 Nations, it’s been a spirited response from France, who followed their victory over Italy with a famous 22-16 win over England.

A key part of their first win over the English in the Championship for four years was their domination of the Red Rose at the breakdown.

The only surprise is that, instead of back row forwards, their two best turnover winners are centre Mathieu Bastareaud (5) and scrum-half Maxime Machenaud (4).

Another star performer for the French in Paris was captain Guilhem Guirado, who is now second on the list of tackles completed with 69 after Scotland lock Jonny Gray made a mammoth 27 in Ireland to overtake him.   Turnovers won John Barclay (Scotland) – 6 Josh Navidi (Wales) – 5 Mathieu Bastareaud (France) – 5 Maxime Machenaud (France) – 4 Chris Robshaw (England) – 4 Owen Farrell (England) – 4   Tackles completed Jonny Gray (Scotland) – 80 Guilhem Guirado (France) – 69 Hamish Watson (Scotland) – 59 John Barclay (Scotland) – 56 Josh Navidi (Wales) – 56