Team of the week: Wales and Ireland's stars joined by Under 20s loose forward
Last Updated: 14/02/17 9:52am
Wales and Ireland dominate our team of the week, but there is room for a rampaging No 8 from the Under 20 Six Nations.
Wales came agonisingly close to becoming the first team to inflict defeat on Eddie Jones in his time as England coach, while Ireland's thrashing of Italy in Rome handed them the Six Nations' first ever try-bonus point.
But who were the top individual performers of the weekend?
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
Another brilliant Six Nations run-out from Hogg. When the 24-year-old took the field in Paris he became Scotland's youngest player to reach 50 Test caps, but he ensured that his form was the talking point of his day.
Though Scotland were beaten 22-16 by France, Hogg carried nine times for 84 metres - the most by a Scottish player on the day - and beat five defenders as well as making two clean breaks. His first-half try gave Vern Cotter's side an early lead at Stade de France.
14. Lydia Thompson (England Women)
England women smashed their Welsh counterparts 63-0 at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, scoring 11 tries in the process.
The attack was led by winger Thompson, who crossed the whitewash three times in a dominant display in the Welsh capital.
The bonus-point victory puts England second in the standings, with Ireland's perfect haul of 10 points from two games giving them top spot. Ahead of the Six Nations there was talk of the final round in Dublin providing a Grand Slam decider between Ireland and England. The way things are going in the Women's Six Nations, it may yet.
13. Garry Ringrose (Ireland)
Ringrose made the most tackles of all the Irish backs with eight, but it was his work with ball in hand in which he inflicted the most damage. The Leinster midfielder carried 10 times for 78 metres, and scored a try as well as beating five Azzurri defenders.
Granted the 22-year-old was playing against the weakest team in the Championship, but is he giving Warren Gatland food for thought ahead of the Lions tour?
12. Scott Williams (Wales)
The Welsh centre bossed the midfield in Cardiff, no easy task given his opposite number was Owen Farrell.
His 15 tackles were the most of any of Wales' backs, and he made 10 carries up the field as well as beating three defenders and making a clean break.
A nod to Farrell too, as the Englishman once again showcased his all-round credentials. His abilities in the No 10 and 12 jersey gives Eddie Jones plenty of flexibility with England.
11. Craig Gilroy (Ireland)
It's not often a replacement comes off the bench and scores a hat-trick. In fact it hasn't been done since Deon Kayser managed the feat against Italy in 1999, when the Springboks beat the Azzurri 101-0 - how times have changed!
But Gilroy's tries were not the only reason the winger impressed; the Ulsterman made three clean breaks, beat five defenders and the 88 metres he made with the ball were the most by any Irish player in Rome. Not bad for a 33-minute shift.
Of course there has to be a mention for Elliot Daly, whose stock in English rugby is still on the up. The Wasps flyer repaid Eddie Jones' faith by scoring the winning try for his country in one of the tensest Tests in recent memory.
10. Dan Biggar (Wales)
There are several players who could have featured in this position after a weekend in which Paddy Jackson slotted a perfect nine conversions from nine attempts and Ryan Mills scored all of Worcester's points in a 24-18 victory over Saracens in the Premiership.
But it was Biggar's spirited showing at the Principality Stadium that gets him into the team. The Ospreys fly-half made 14 tackles and ran for 73 metres, the most in the Welsh camp.
The bulk of those metres were earned in his vital interception on his own line in the 65th minute when England had numbers to the right, a moment that could well have swung the game Wales' way if he'd been able to run the distance.
9. Rhys Webb (Wales)
Conor Murray ran the show along with Paddy Jackson in Rome, but Webb is handed the No 9 jersey this week. The Ospreys half-back called the shots from the back and it was his pass to Liam Williams in the 38th minute that gave the home side the lead at a crucial time.
With Gareth Davies and Ben Youngs thrown into the mix too - and Greig Laidlaw - the fight for Lions places at scrum-half is shaping into quite a battle.
1. Cyril Baille (France)
The French front row made short work of the Scottish props in the scrum, which kept Guy Noves' side in the game while they were behind and eventually allowed them to nose ahead when it counted at the end.
Baille also made an incredible 14 tackles on Scottish ball carriers in Paris to round off a highly effective afternoon for the 23-year-old.
2. Ken Owens (Wales)
Owens hit jumpers with all seven of his lineout throws, and also made a monumental 16 tackles in Cardiff.
The hooker carried eight times and beat two defenders with ball in hand. In a game of extreme attrition, Owens was a huge asset to Wales' cause.
3. Uini Atonio (France)
Much like Baille, Atonio was part of a demolition job on the visiting scrum, without which France would have struggled to snatch the win.
Props may not win games for their teams in the way wingers and fly-halves do, but Atonio showed the value of a solid tighthead prop on Sunday.
4. Joe Launchbury (England)
Will Greenwood described Launchbury as 'Martin Johnson-esque' after the second rower's indomitable showing in Cardiff.
With 23 hits on Welsh ball-carriers - effecting a turnover with one of those tackles - as well as four lineouts won and a mammoth 18 carries up the pitch, Launchbury was certainly deserving of Greenwood's praise.
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
Wales' captain led from the front, running with the ball 12 times - the most of any of his team-mates - while also putting in 10 tackles.
Jones embodied the work ethic required from the two sets of forwards in such a physically taxing encounter.
6. CJ Stander (Ireland)
This was a straight shoot-out between Stander and Sam Warburton. The Welshman gave up the captaincy to concentrate on his game, and it appears to have worked - Warburton was a constant thorn in defence, and Wales benefitted tremendously from having an additional fetcher in the back row.
But Ireland's Stander scored a hat-trick in Rome as well as tackling 11 Azzurri runners, and carrying the ball 22 times while beating 11 defenders.
7. James Davies (Scarlets)
The Welsh back row was ferocious over the weekend but what about the performance of Davies for Scarlets in their 26-14 win over the Warriors in Glasgow?
Davies scored a try and made the most carries of all his team-mates (11) as well as the most tackles (24). There are the right kind of selection headaches at loose forward for Wales in 2017.
8. Zach Mercer (England Under 20s)
There were several performances at No 8 that are worthy of team of the week, including Josh Strauss and Louis Picamoles in Paris, and Ross Moriarty and Nathan Hughes in Cardiff. Moriarty was particularly talismanic for Rob Howley's side, but it was Mercer's work rate for England Under 20s that catapults him into our team of the week.
Mercer put in 11 tackles - tied for second for the most in his team - and forced two turnovers, but it was his delivery with the ball that was particularly outstanding. The No 8 carried 28 times for 159 metres as he helped his side to a 37-21 victory over their Welsh counterparts.
The Bath man also beat seven defenders and scored a vital try - a future with England surely beckons for Mercer.