Stat attack: Six Nations Round Four statistics
By Rhodri Jeremiah | Twitter: @RhodriJeremiah
Last Updated: 14/03/19 5:26pm
Rhodri Jeremiah takes a closer look at what stood out after the fourth round of the Six Nations.
Before a ball was even kicked in this year's Six Nations, Wales head coach Warren Gatland stated that if they beat France in the opener, they could win the Championship. Not only did they go on to beat France, but they've also beaten Italy, England and Scotland. Joe Schmidt's Ireland stand in their way and if Wales are victorious on Saturday, it will be Wales' third Grand Slam in Gatland's tenure.
Wales' defence was once again key to their win at Murrayfield last Saturday. The Scots had 57 per cent territory and 59 per cent possession during the game and Wales had to make over 200 tackles to seal the win. Justin Tipuric was a rock in defence completing all 25 of his tackles.
Last Saturday was a special day for captain Alun Wyn Jones. Not only did he lead Wales to their 13th consecutive win, he also overtook Gethin Jenkins' record in having the most wins for Wales. This was the lock's 62nd victory in the red shirt.
Hamish Watson was Scotland's standout performer despite being a replacement. He came on deep into the second half, played 22 minutes and beat 10 defenders - the most by a Scotland player in a Six Nations fixture.
England hit 50, 57 to be exact, against Italy at Twickenham in the second fixture of Round 4 and Eddie's men are still in with a chance of winning the Championship if Ireland beat Wales in Cardiff. Jonny May once again crossed over the whitewash as did Manu Tuilagi (2), Jamie George, George Kruis, Brad Shields (2) and Dan Robson.
England were rampant in attack making 643 metres from their 120 carries. Joe Cokanasiga made the most metres at HQ (107) beating four defenders along the way. Brad Shields had a strong game in both defence and attack. He made all 20 of his tackles and scored a brace in attack.
Jonny May has now scored 17 tries at Twickenham - only Rory Underwood (27), Ben Cohen (20) and Jeremy Guscott (19) have scored more at the venue. May's five tries in this year's tournament makes him the top try scorer for this campaign.
Since Italy made their debut in the Six Nations, they've faced England on 20 occasions and lost all of them. In fact, England is the only side in the tournament that Italy haven't beaten.
In the final game of Round 4, Ireland welcomed France to Dublin and recorded a 26-14 win. It's safe to say that this was Ireland's best performance of the tournament so far and they always looked in control despite Les Bleus scoring two late tries through Yoann Huget and Camille Chat.
Johnny Sexton kicked six points with the boot and also scored a try which is a rarity. He last scored a try in the green of Ireland against Canada in 2015. He's scored ten tries in total in 82 caps for his country.
Come this Saturday, all roads will be leading to Cardiff and all eyes will be on the Principality Stadium come 2.45pm. Wales have conceded the fewest tries in this year's Championship (6) and if they are to clinch the Grand Slam, their defence will have to be at its very best come kick-off.
Wales v Ireland, Gatland v Schmidt, if it's the former that comes out on top, it'll be the perfect Six Nations present in his final swansong prior to the World Cup. If it's the latter that wins, Eddie across the bridge, just might have the last laugh.