Stats Review of the Weekend as Simmonds stars

With the domestic leagues reaching the tail end of the season and still a lot to be decided, plenty of NatWest 6 Nations stars were in the thick of the action at the weekend.

With the domestic leagues reaching the tail end of the season and still a lot to be decided, plenty of NatWest 6 Nations stars were in the thick of the action at the weekend.

Among the headline makers was England’s Sam Simmonds for Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership, while Ireland Grand Slam hero Conor Murray also impressed in the PRO14.

Here are some of the eye-catching statistics to have emerged from the weekend as we look at some of the standout individual performers.

Hat-trick hero Simmonds

Reigning Premiership champions Exeter sealed a home semi-final with a comfortable 45-5 win at London Irish on Sunday, with the hosts hanging on to their Premiership status by a thread.

Despite not being at their best, Chiefs outclassed the league’s bottom side largely thanks to a hat-trick of tries from England’s new No.8 Sam Simmonds.

He crossed the whitewash twice before half-time and once again soon after the break in a towering performance, in which he made 14 runs, 94 metres with the ball in hand and three clean breaks.

It was not just the attacking side of his game that made a difference, with Simmonds also making 21 tackles during the 80 minutes – the most of any player on the pitch.

Conor’s class shows for Munster

Having claimed the Grand Slam with Ireland, the scrum-half produced a match-winning performance from the bench to help Munster recover from 14-0 down against Cheetahs.

His introduction after the half-hour made the difference as he ran in Munster’s first try off the back of the scrum just before the interval in the PRO14 clash in South Africa.

Murray went on to make 26 passes – the second most on the pitch behind Tian Meyer – before landing a 58-metre penalty to seal victory with 14 minutes left on the clock.

The hard-fought win saw Munster secure a home berth for the Guinness Pro14 semi-finals, while Murray’s intervention consigned Cheetahs to only their second defeat at home this season.

Allan leaves Leinster red-faced

Tommaso Allan demonstrated his ability to make Italy tick during the 2018 NatWest 6 Six Nations and the fly-half was at it again for his club side against Leinster.

He delivered a man of the match performance to guide Benetton Rugby to history as they won for the first time in Dublin with a 17-15 triumph in the Guinness PRO14.

Allan capitalised on Leinster captain Jack McGrath’s loose pass by hacking the ball forward before touching down on 54 minutes and converting to give Benetton the lead.

His Italy team-mate Sebastian Negri also impressed in both attack and defence, making the most runs of any player on the pitch (24) and 15 tackles against the Irish province.

Williams runs Bath ragged

Welsh international Liam Williams touched down for Saracens as they swept aside Bath Rugby in the Premiership with a comprehensive 41-6 victory at Allianz Park.

He raced home from 75 metres out to dot down the hosts’ second try, before finishing with 13 runs, 190 metres and three defenders beaten during the 80 minutes.

England international Owen Farrell was also among the try scorers, finishing with 16 points in total after kicking four conversions and one penalty.

Despite the Blue, Black and Whites slipping to defeat, Welsh star Taulupe Faletau showed his class by making the most runs (17) and gaining 93 metres with the ball in hand.