Vote for your Sage Play of the Championship

Scotland celebrate v Italy 2000x1125SB
As the sun sets on the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, it is now time for fans to vote for their Sage Play of the Championship.

As the sun sets on the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, it is now time for fans to vote for their Sage Play of the Championship.

There were plenty of thrilling moments across the 15 breathtaking matches that will live long in the memory, but just four have made the shortlist.

Using Sage’s new innovative smart ball technology through Sportable and working with StatsPerform to ensure all stats datapoints are considered, here are the stats behind the four most impressive plays this Championship.

Ireland’s electric counter attack v France

If there was one game that defined the 2023 Championship, it was Ireland’s titanic battle with reigning Grand Slam champions France.

Andy Farrell’s men emerged 32-19 victors at the Aviva Stadium, thanks in no small part to Hugo Keenan’s superb try to open the scoring after just eight minutes.

Ireland’s win probability jumped from 54% to 75% after Johnny Sexton added the extras, with the try encapsulating all that was good about the eventual Grand Slam champions.

Caelan Doris carried the ball 17.3m, one of three carries he made over 10m in the match, before a ruck speed of 1.32 seconds quickly set Ireland away to play in Keenan, who carried 30.7m to score.

Kinghorn’s sprinter’s speed v Italy

Scotland finished their 2023 Championship in style with a 26-14 win over Italy at BT Murrayfield, and no play reflected Gregor Townsend’s side’s new-found confidence than Blair Kinghorn’s third try.

Starting on their own 5m line, Scotland raced away down the left wing as Kinghorn exchanged passes with Duhan van der Merwe as the pair surged past the Italian defence before Kinghorn powered home to seal his hat-trick.

Van der Merwe carried the ball 40m, the 16th longest carry of the Championship, before passing inside to Kinghorn who then took it another 54m for the seventh longest carry of the Championship to dot down for the only hat-trick of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.

Dupont’s sensational set-up v Wales

France were convincing winners in their final match against Wales, running in five tries in an impressive performance.

George North had struck the first blow for Wales, but France responded in style within two minutes, with the magic of Antoine Dupont inevitably at its epicentre.

Romain Ntamack shrugged off Nick Tompkins before selling a delightful dummy to break the Welsh line.

The fly-half then offloaded to Dupont who found himself surrounded by red shirts, only for the Player of the Championship to produce a wonderful pass to find Penaud unmarked with the freedom of the Stade de France.

It was the perfect pass under immense pressure from Dupont, who fired the ball out to Penaud at 24.2mph over a distance of 20.5m to set France on their way to another victory.

Van der Flier turns the tide v Scotland

When Ireland look back on their 2023 Grand Slam, attention will understandably turn to the 20 tries they powered home.

But Championships are so often won on defence, and Ireland’s six tries against was half the total of next best Scotland (12).

An imperious rearguard was built on the backs of the likes of Josh van der Flier, who produced a vital play as they fought their way past Scotland 22-7 at BT Murrayfield in the fourth round.

With Ireland leading 8-7 in a tense first half, Van der Flier produced a try-saving turnover to halt the onrushing Scots after Duhan van der Merwe had wrestled free of green shirts.

The turnover was just 2.7m from the Irish try line, the closest of any turnover in the 2023 Championship and in turn boosted Ireland’s win probability from 60% to 71%.