It’s fair to say that Round 2 of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations didn’t disappoint.
England responded to their opening round defeat to Scotland with a six-try performance against Italy at Twickenham, as Anthony Watson helped himself to a brace in the 41-18 victory.
That served well to warm us up for the spectacle that was to come at BT Murrayfield, as Scotland and Wales played out a thriller in Edinburgh, with Louis Rees-Zammit stealing the show in a dramatic 25-24 win for the visitors.
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Sunday saw the drama continue in Dublin, with tries from Charles Ollivon and Damian Penaud earning France a second successive victory to leave them top of table after two fixtures played.
And when you look at the stats Powered by AWS it just proves what an unforgettable weekend it was, and we’ve compiled the best of the bunch here for you to enjoy.
160 – Metres gained by Anthony Watson
It’s no surprise to see that Anthony Watson has the most metres gained from the Round 2 action, with the wizard on the wing tearing through the Italian defence to gain 160m worth of Twickenham grass on Saturday.
The Azzurri just couldn’t deal with the fleet-footed star at Rugby HQ, and he looked capable of getting on the scoresheet every time he touched the ball in London.
Stuart Hogg ran Watson close with 151m, with the Scottish captain leading by example with an all-action try-scoring display that was undeserving of ending on the losing side.
And if it’s metres with the boot you are looking for, then James Lowe is your man. We all know the Leinster wing has an iron foot, as he gains so much ground with barely a swing of the leg, and 571 metres from 14 kicks is a monster effort from the wide man.
19 – Tackles made by Taulupe Faletau
Wales may have been missing tackle machine Dan Lydiate through injury in Edinburgh, but Taulupe Faletau more than stepped up to the mark in the resolute victory for Wayne Pivac’s side, with 19 tackles made throughout the 80 minutes.
The Bath star put his body on the line to keep a determined Scottish outfit at bay at BT Murrayfield, with only Charles Ollivon stopping more ball carriers last weekend with 20 tackles to his name.
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And if it’s tackling efficiency you’re after, then you have to look no further than Scotland, with Gregor Townsend’s side missing just 17 tackles so far, 24 less than next best Ireland.
20 – Offloads by France
They may be sitting second in the table after two matches played, but interestingly Wales have gained the least metres out of any side so far in the competition, with the 2019 champions only carrying the ball for 968.9m so far – the only side not to go over 1000m.
Conversely, Ireland’s two defeats haven’t been through a lack of trying, with the Men in Green carrying the ball 315 times in Round 1 and 2, 45 more times than second-placed Scotland, with Wales the lowest on 173.
It’s no surprise to see France leading the way in terms of offloads, with Fabien Galthie’s side getting the ball out the back door 20 times, with Italy next on the list with 12.
It’s a risk and reward strategy for Les Bleus who have recorded the most knock ons in the Championship so far with seven, but it’s certainly one that seems to be paying off as they sit top of the table after Round 2.