Round 3 of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations delivered a bucket load of drama heading into the second rest week of this year’s Championship, setting us up for a thrilling two-week finale later this month.
Wales secured the Triple Crown with an epic 40-24 victory against England and will be eyeing a second Grand Slam in three years, with games against Italy and France to go.
Meanwhile, Ireland got back on track with a commanding win away to Italy in Rome.
Plenty of individuals put in impressive performances and we’ve selected four men to be in the running for the Guinness Six Nations Player of Round 3.
Now it’s up to you, the fans, to decide who earns the gong by voting below. And here’s a reminder of what they did on the opening weekend.
Few players know what it takes to beat England quite like Alun Wyn Jones and the Wales captain steered his side to another thrilling victory in Cardiff.
Jones led by example and was all over the field, making 12 tackles and appearing at almost every ruck in a lung-busting performance.
The second row missed a large chunk of the season through injury and returned just in time for this year’s Championship. On this evidence, it’s not taken him long to get back to the top of his game
Wayne Pivac’s decision to bring on Callum Sheedy in Scotland proved a masterstroke, and the fly-half was at it again as Wales clinched the Triple Crown against England.
The circumstances may have been different but for the second game running in a pressure situation, Sheedy played a vital part in a Wales victory.
The fly-half kicked three crucial penalties in eight second-half minutes to put Wales clear and en route to the win after England had muscled their way back level.
He was also alert in defence as England chucked everything they had at Wales late in the game with his interception eventually setting up Cory Hill’s bonus-point try.
Italy conceded 18 penalties against Ireland and flanker Tadhg Beirne was their chief tormentor at the breakdown.
Beirne totalled 27 own ruck arrivals and 10 opposition ruck arrivals, completing 12 cleanouts, ensuring that his side maintained their momentum and forcing Italy into errors.
The 29-year-old switched from lock to No.6 for the game at Stadio Olimpico and made it look effortless in a Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match performance.
It would be easy to pick a number of Taulupe Faletau’s stats from his Guinness Six Nations Player of the Match performance as he helped Wales overcome England in Cardiff.
His 14 tackles were the second most behind Josh Navidi but he also led the way for the most carries (18) and metres carried (112) for Pivac’s side in an impressive all-round display.
After an injury-hit couple of seasons, Wales No.8 looks back to his brilliant best and underlined that with another magnificent performance.