Team of the week: Alivereti Raka joins Six Nations stars
By Keith Moore and Tony Tighe
Last Updated: 21/03/16 5:22pm
Two of England's Grand Slam-clinching side join Clermont's latest Fijian flyer Alivereti Raka in our team of the week.
15. James Marshall
Scott Spedding was effective on the counter-attack for France and forced England to scramble in defence, but he is edged out by Hurricanes full-back Marshall.
The Canes crushed Western Force in Palmerston North with Marshall scoring the first of five second-half tries. The 27-year-old capped off a sweeping backline move that took the ball the width of the field.
Marshall, who joins London Irish next season, beat three defenders and made one line break as he gained 68 metres from 15 carries.
14. George North
Poor Italy caught North on an upward curve. The Wales wing racked up 148 metres from his 12 carries, making four breaks and beating five defenders.
North carved through the Italian defence on first-phase ball to score Wales' fifth try as they finished with a flourish in Cardiff. He also worked hard in defence, making five tackles - the most of the Wales backs - and winning two turnovers.
13. Charles Piutau
The All Black scored the sixth-fastest try in Premiership history to help Wasps kept their play-off aspirations on track against Sale.
Piutau scored after just 24 seconds, cruising over after a powerful burst by Nathan Hughes for his seventh Wasps try in 17 appearances.
The 24-year-old gained 60 metres from his six carries and made five tackles, while also winning a turnover.
Mentions also go to Jared Payne and Duncan Taylor who enjoyed a fantastic tussle in Dublin on Saturday.
12. Jamie Roberts
The Wales centre made a whopping 18 carries against Italy, gaining 77 metres as he consistently punched holes in the opposition defence.
Roberts combined with Dan Biggar for Wales' second try, scored their fourth shortly after half-time, and fixed the Italian defence to allow George North to ghost through for their fifth.
11. Alivereti Raka
The 21-year-old Fijian scored two stunning tries as Clermont defeated Toulouse to move to the Top 14 summit.
For his first, Raka came off the wing to receive Aurelien Rougerie's offload inside his own half and turned on the gas, beating five Toulouse defenders for an incredible individual score.
Raka's second was scored from a similar distance, fellow Fijian Noa Nakaitaci releasing him up the left wing for another lung-busting effort.
Another Fijian, Nemani Nadolo, also deserves a mention for his two-try display as the Crusaders crushed the Kings. He beat seven defenders in a one-sided contest in Christchurch.
10. Rhys Patchell
The 22-year-old was huge for Cardiff Blues as they dented Munster's PRO12 play-off hopes on Friday night.
Patchell was six from six off the tee and took his points tally to 19 when he raced away for the bonus-point try with seven minutes remaining.
The fly-half was a constant threat with ball in hand and made two line breaks, one of which should have resulted in a try for Dan Fish.
9. Danny Care
The Harlequin's tempo at the breakdown kept England on the charge and it was a big surprise to see him replaced after just 43 minutes.
1. Jack McGrath
The Leinsterman started all five of Ireland's Six Nations games and signed off a fine tournament in style by besting Scotland's highly-rated tighthead WP Nel.
McGrath made eight tackles and nine carries; Cian Healy faces a major battle to reclaim the No 1 shirt for Ireland's summer tour of South Africa.
2. Agustin Creevy
Italy are having to justify their place in the Six Nations but there is no such treatment for Argentina and the Jaguares, and they have both been ably led by this man.
Creevy scored a try and made noise in the loose, winning two turnovers and making 12 carries. He also made a team-high four offloads as Los Jaguares suffered late heartbreak in their first ever home game.
3. Anton Peikrishvili
The tighthead scored two first-half tries as Georgia won their sixth successive European Nations Cup with a 38-9 victory over Romania.
The Lelos strengthened their case for Six Nations inclusion by running in six tries in front of over 52,000 supporters in Tbilisi.
And it was a memorable afternoon for Brive prop Peikrishvili. He broke off a driving maul on two minutes to open the scoring and finished the first half in style when he took Mamuka Gorgodze's offload just inside the Romania 22 and beat three defenders for a fantastic try.
4. Jacques du Plessis
Eben Etzebeth impressed in the Stormers' win over the Brumbies but we've gone for fellow Springbok Du Plessis after Montpellier crushed Racing 92.
The 22-year-old forward dotted down for the third of Montpellier's nine tries and made a team-high 13 carries, gaining 34 metres and beating four defenders.
Du Plessis also made 13 tackles and won a turnover as Jake White's men moved into the top four.
5. George Kruis
How was the Saracen not even nominated for player of the tournament? Kruis was once again outstanding in the lineout, stealing three French throws and winning six on the England put-in.
Kruis was England's top tackler in Paris with 14, missing just the one, and also made strong powerful carries as they clinched the Grand Slam.
6. CJ Stander
The Munster captain has made a huge impact in his first Six Nations campaign. He was, yet again, Ireland's leading ball-carrier against Scotland, making 32 metres and beating four defending from his four carries.
Stander produced an NFL-style finish when he dived over for Ireland's first try and is already relishing the prospect of facing touring his native South Africa in June.
7. Ross Moriarty
What a Six Nations debut for the 21-year-old as he came off the bench to score two tries against Italy.
The Gloucester flanker was called into action after just 16 minutes following an injury to Justin Tipuric and grabbed his chance with both hands.
Italy simply could not cope with Moriarty's physicality. He made nine tackles, 12 carries and crossed for two tries in 14 second-half minutes.
8. Jamie Heaslip
Billy Vunipola was excellent once again for England but Heaslip pips him after an awesome display against the Scots.
Second only to CJ Stander in terms of carries, Heaslip got through an incredible amount of work, including 11 tackles and none missed, and was a useful option at the lineout.
Heaslip made a fantastic carry and offload for Devin Toner's try and with Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony hoping to be fit and firing for the tour of South Africa, Ireland's back row options are looking healthy.
Time to tinker
Dewi Morris looks at the areas that England need to strengthen ahead of their tour to Australia.