Stats review of the weekend’s drama in the June tests

Jonny May 24/2/2018
The teams from the NatWest 6 Nations are pitting their wits against the best of the rest of the world as the June Tests continue apace.

The teams from the NatWest 6 Nations are pitting their wits against the best of the rest of the world as the June Tests continue apace.

Wales sealed a first series win in Argentina since 1999 with an impressive 30-12 triumph in Santa Fe, ensuring they round off their tour of the Americas unbeaten.

A memorable series between Ireland and Australia is set for a decider, while Italy avenged defeat to Japan with gritty 25-22 victory in the second Test.

With some of the Championship’s top talent putting in impressive performances, we take a look at the numbers behind the plaudits.


Warren Gatland has uncovered plenty of squad depth in the Wales ranks during their 2-0 series win, auguring well for next year’s World Cup.

Placating the Pumas’ powerful pack was the key task and in both games Wales have delivered voracious defensive performances to smother their opponents.

166 tackles, backing up last week’s haul of 201, made them the most physical side representing Rugby’s Greatest Championship over the weekend.

Elliot Dee’s 20-minute substitute appearance was nothing short of Herculean, making 16 tackles in that time, and reinstated flanker Ellis Jenkins crunched 22.

Italy also had plenty of work to get through as they scrambled to avert a Japan turnaround and their 124 challenges helped them hold on.

Selected top tacklers Ellis Jenkins (Wales) – 22  Elliot Dee (Wales) – 16 Ross Moriarty (Wales) – 15 CJ Stander (Ireland) – 14 Owen Farrell (England) – 14


Eddie Jones described England’s fifth-straight Test defeat as “like a horror movie,” but Jonny May has been an all-action thriller on the tour of South Africa.

The winger has now crossed the whitewash in each of his last four outings for the Red Rose, going back to NatWest 6 Nations scores against France and Ireland.

He covered 112 metres with ball in hand in Bloemfontein, beating three defenders and making a team-high three line breaks in the process.

Despite tinkering with his stable back three in Kobe and introducing Jayden Hayward at 15, Conor O’Shea watched the Azzurri run in three tries and storm 455 metres.

Selected top metres made Jonny May (England) – 112 Jayden Hayward (Italy) – 99  Blair Kinghorn (Scotland) – 94 Matteo Minozzi (Italy) – 81 Kevin Gourdon (France) – 78


Ireland’s first win down under since 1979, setting up a Sydney decider next week, was built on midfield supremacy and the ability to consistently wriggle out of tackles.

Australia missed 34 tackles in the game, the most impact errors made by any team across the weekend that made more than 100 challenges.

Equally, Ireland’s beating of 35 defenders was more than any other NatWest 6 Nations side managed.

The visitors were an elusive bunch, man of the match Tadhg Furlong slipping through six tackles on his return to Joe Schmidt’s line-up.

Selected defenders beaten Mathieu Bastareaud (France) – 8  Blair Kinghorn (Scotland) – 8 Jake Polledri (Italy) – 7 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland) – 6 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland) – 5