Planet Rugby

Six Nations: Team of Round 4

13th March 2012 11:32

Share:

Ben Morgan

Ben Morgan: Owned the Paris pitch

Now that the dust has settled across Europe, Planet Rugby thought it was only right to hand out some praise to the stars of Six Nations, Round 4.

England's win over France in Paris on Sunday was the highlight of the fourth round. The visitors outscored the French by three tries to one as they became the first team to win at the Stade de France in the Six Nations since their compatriots prevailed in 2008.

On Saturday, Ireland extended Scotland's winless streak with a 32-14 victory in Dublin. Defeat for Scotland was their sixth in a row and left them facing yet another wooden spoon decider away to fellow strugglers Italy in Rome next weekend, after the Azzurri went down 24-3 to Wales.

So which players stood head and shoulders above the rest?

15 Ben Foden (England): Exorcised the ghost of last year's World Cup defeat to France with a world-class performance in the number 15 jersey for England. Foden also returned to try-scoring form after rounding off Ben Morgan's storming run.

14 Alex Cuthbert (Wales): A strong-running display against the Italians that deservedly reaped the reward of a late try for Wales. Picked up the man of the match award that was the icing on the cake for the Cardiff Blues speedster.

13 Manu Tuilagi (England): Plenty of power and a turn of pace made him a constant threat at the Stade de France, with his opening try setting the tone for the rest of the match. Arguably one of his most impressive afternoons in an England jersey.

12 Wesley Fofana (France): The pick of France's backs. What a dream Six Nations debut the Clemont star is having... four tries from four outings for the French - enough said.

11 Chris Ashton (England): We were pretty stumped on this one. Ashton gets the nod after relatively quite performances from everyone else in the left wing position. Always in the thick of it, Ashton's tackle on half-way did set up Tuilagi's try which ultimately was a game-changing moment for England.

10 Owen Farrell (England): Another authoritative display from England's young gun on Sunday, typified by some excellent place-kicking. At 20 years old, Owen Farrell has already drawn comparisons with Jonny Wilkinson, and if the prodigiously talented fly-half continues to produce his best form in an England shirt, he could be the man to ensure Stuart Lancaster gets the job.

9 Mike Phillips (Wales): A workaholic display by the Wales scrum-half, who was relentless behind his forwards' heels to set up numerous attacks. Worthy mentions for England's Lee Dickson and Eoin Reddan of Ireland, who are both a tad unlucky to be missing out following top notch outings for their respective teams.

8 Ben Morgan (England): A titanic performance against France by the Gloucester-bound number eight, who roamed the Paris pitch at times as if he owned it. It was a tough call between Morgan and opposite number Imanol Harinordoquy, who played at full throttle from start to finish for Les Bleus.

7 Peter O'Mahony (Ireland): With Sean O'Brien set for a return to Ireland's line-up this weekend, O'Mahony can count himself desperately unlucky if he misses out on a starting spot at Twickenham. The 22-year-old marked his full debut with a purposeful showing, proving he's one to watch for the future.

6 Tom Croft (England): Arguably his best outing at international level since his starring role for the 2009 British and Irish Lions, Croft beats off stiff competition from Ireland's Stephen Ferris and Wales flank Dan Lydiate. Croft scored the decisive try in the closing stages against France to cap the kind of commanding all-round display he has been striving for with England for three years.

5 Donnacha Ryan (Ireland): A man-of-the-match display from Ireland's tall timber after being given the ardous task of filling in for the injured Paul O'Connell. However, he didn't disappoint. Ryan put in a tireless performance - dominating the line-out by winning Ireland clean ball and disrupting the Scots' set-piece. He was everywhere...

4 Richie Gray (Scotland): Scotland may have produced their poorest performance of the tournament in Dublin, but Gray was able to leave the field with his head held high. Without a doubt Scotland's most dangerous attacking player, Gray was rewarded with a try for his efforts. If he wasn't before, the second-rower must now be a certain Lion in 2013.

3 Dan Cole (England): Replaced at half-time when England last visited Paris, but he was a tower of strength this time around in the set-pieces and open play. Also made a telling contribution in defence, with one tackle saving a potential try.

2 Rory Best (Ireland): Wearing the skipper arm band in O'Connell's absence, Best acquitted himself well in the emphatic Irish victory over Scotland. Ireland's stand-in captain courageous led from the front, and helped lay the foundation of the home side's win with his spectacular try early on.

1 Gethin Jenkins (Wales): Another player handed the captaincy reigns with regular leader Sam Warburton sidelined with injury. Was a rock at scrum-time against the Azzurri, and a constant menace in the loose.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00