With the dust settled, Ged from The Attacking Scrum podcast looks at the XV players who won’t be pleased with their opening efforts. The Attacking Scrum is a weekly podcast dedicated to Welsh rugby and you can listen here… http://apple.co/2j8lvOf
15. Mike Brown (England) – A firm favourite with the Twickenham faithful, Brown looks quite predictable at full back. Every time he got the ball he looked to run it back but made few meaningful breaks and starved his wingers of any ball.
14. Tommy Seymour (Scotland) – Certainly not his greatest performance in a blue shirt. Very quiet in attack and spilt the intercept chance that would’ve prevented Earls’ try for Ireland.
13. Tomasso Benvenutti (Italy) – Gave away early penalties and never looked much of a threat. Hauled off before the hour mark.
12. Luke MacLean (Italy) – Some nice glimpses but didn’t see too much of the ball in the second half. Looks more comfortable in the outside back positions.
11. George North (Wales) – Although he got on the scoresheet with a late try in Rome, the giant winger still looks out of sorts, even clutching his leg as he touched down. He missed easy tackles and struggled to impose himself throughout. Wales will be hoping that the try gives him a much-needed confidence boost.
10. Jean-Marc Doussain (France) – France were unlucky to be on the losing end of a hard-fought game at Twickenham. One thing that didn’t help their cause was a woeful kick from replacement outside half Doussain who failed to find touch with his penalty.
9. Conor Murray (Ireland) – One of the in-form players in Europe but the Scots targeted him in the first 20 minutes and seemed to disrupt his game. Close call between Murray, Ben Youngs and Rhys Webb but all will want to put in better performances as Gatland considers his scrum half options.
1. Allan Dell (Scotland) – Ireland’s tighthead Tadgh Furlong is a seriously tough opponent and Dell had a hard time containing him.
2. Dylan Hartley (England) – Not a memorable performance and it showed that he’d been missing for a while. Will be looking over his shoulder as his understudy Jamie George impressed again.
3. Samson Lee (Wales) – Outplayed by the Italian front row and didn’t offer much in the loose. Wales looked infinitely better with Tomos Francis in the tighthead berth.
4. Iain Henderson (Ireland) – Another who got on the scoresheet but was dominated by the Gray brothers who looked imperious at set piece and in the loose.
5. Joe Launchbury (England) – An unusually quiet evening for the Wasps man. Didn’t do a huge amount wrong but is the kind of player who normally impresses in the England shirt.
6. Maro Itoje (England) – Seemed to clear up the debate about his best position pretty clearly. An awesome player but very much suited to bossing proceedings in the second row.
7. Tom Wood (England) – Clearly not an international standard openside. Might be filling in but there must be better options in England.
8. Ross Moriarty (Wales) – Not a terrible performance by any stretch but didn’t hit the same level as his autumn performances. The other number eights on display this weekend acquitted themselves better.