Oval Talk

Six Nations Team of Week 1

Oval Talk

Here is Oval Talk's Team of the Week and statistics following the first weekend of Six Nations rugby.

1. Rhys Gill - Wales
The Welsh pack set the tone early in the match and Gill was simply stupendous in the first half in the scrum as well as the loose.

2. William Servat - France

The hooker handled the sustained Italian pressure well with Leonardo Ghiraldini posing him a number of problems. Two of Servat's line-outs were stolen but that did not detract from what was a solid performance.

3. Martin Castrogiovanni - Italy

This prop is no ordinary man and he was ferocious in the scrum and at the breakdown. Sadly for Castrogiovanni, his and the pack's efforts were not ably supported by the Azzurri's somewhat lacklustre backs.

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Gray wins a lineout

4. Richie Gray - Scotland

The Scot was outstanding at the World Cup and he put in another sterling performance against England. Gray was a real threat with the ball in hand and was reliable when carrying out his catching duties at the lineout.

5. Pascal Pape - France

A disciplined performance from the Stade Francais forward, who made a number of piercing runs. Pape was strong in defence and consistent at the line-out. A brilliant display.

6. Thierry Dusautoir - France

Any suggestions the 2011 World Player of the Year was going to take his foot off the pedal were quickly dashed. He led his team to an 18-point victory against a dogged Italian outfit. Dusautoir put in some massive hits and was potent with the ball in hand.

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Robshaw lifts Calcutta Cup

7. Chris Robshaw - England

For his first game as captain in only his second cap for England, the Harlequins flanker acquitted himself well. There was the odd mistake but that could be put down as nervous energy. The win will settle Robshaw and he will go from strength to strength.

8. Louis Picamoles — France

A new coach and a new lease of life for Picamoles who justified the faith put in him by Philipe Saint-Andre. He was a massive presence for France and played a vital role in Julien Malzieu's try.

9. Mike Phillips - Wales

When Philips is in full swing he is a joy to watch. He is a classy act and his opponents never know for certain what he is going to do. The scrum-half is at his best when Wales are going forward, but can be accused of getting stuck at the bottom of too many rucks.

10. Jonathan Sexton - Ireland

Sexton did not match his own usually high standards but he still kicked well and tried to dictate the game.

11. George North - Wales

Wales' best player, hands down. North was involved in all three tries and showed good strength for the one scored. His pace, power and skill tormented Ireland all afternoon.

12. Wesley Fofana - France

The Clermont Auvergne centre had a shaky start to his debut, but by the second half he was showing why he had earned the call-up and capped off a fine performance with a well-taken try.

13. Jonathan Davies - Wales

A lot of the pre-match talk was about his centre partner Jamie Roberts, but Davies stole some of the headlines by scoring two tries. He was strong and direct, the two fundamental characteristics you want from your number 13.

14. Julien Malzieu - France

He might have been playing on the left wing, but OT had to fit him in the team somewhere as he was France's man-of-the-match. Malzieu scored a sensational solo try, beating six players on a 40-metre run. He caused problems all day and was great to watch.

15. Leigh Halfpenny - Wales

A wonderfully composed display from Cardiff Blues back. He ran the ball well and handled the pressure of scoring the winning penalty.

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