Six Nations Round 2 stats and standouts
By Rhodri Jeremiah | Twitter: @RhodriJeremiah
Last Updated: 13/02/19 2:34pm
Sky Sports Rugby's stats guru, Rhodri Jeremiah, takes a closer look at what stood out after the second round of the Six Nations...
A first-half hat-trick a decade in the making
England welcomed France to Twickenham on Sunday and once again put in a dominant display. Owen Farrell, Henry Slade and Jonny May were on a different level in terms of skill, pace and intensity.
The Leicester wing scored a hat-trick in the first half - the last time that happened in the tournament was over 10 years ago in 2008 when, ironically, it was a French man in Vincent Clerc that accomplished the same feat against Ireland.
May's treble was also the first England hat-trick against France since Jake Jacob way back in 1924.
Farrell's kicking from hand was a joy to see and his all-round game management was second to none. He did, however, miss a couple of kicks off the tee and with the World Cup in Japan in mind, that accuracy will need perfecting.
Les Bleus' sub nine the only positive
France can play rugby - they showed that in the first half against Wales the previous week. However, they were bullied at Twickenham and there was only ever one side in it.
England scored six tries to France's one. Apart from May's first half hat-trick, Farrell and Slade both crossed over the whitewash. Damian Penaud scored France's only try and both he and replacement scrum-half Antoine Dupont were the shining lights for the visitors.
As well as scoring a try, Penaud made eight carries, 77 metres and beat five defenders. In defence, he wasn't as reliable missing two of his six tackles.
Antoine Dupont is a classy player and he made a difference to France's play, albeit too late. He played 34 minutes, made 11 carries, the most metres in the game (78) and beat nine defenders.
He is the heir apparent to the nine jersey and many will be calling for him to start in Paris when they welcome Scotland in Round 3.
Ireland back on course….?
In the opening game of Round 2, Ireland got back to winning ways with a 22-13 victory over Scotland in Murrayfield. Conor Murray, Jacob Stockdale and Keith Earls all scored for the men in green.
However, the manner in which they won must be a cause of concern for Joe Schmidt with the World Cup just round the corner, they're simply not firing on all cylinders. They're second in the World Rankings sandwiched between New Zealand and England but on recent performances, they're miles off the pace.
Joey Carbery replaced Johnny Sexton 23 minutes into the game after the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year failed a head injury assessment. It was Carbery's longest minutes accrued from a single Six Nations Test in his career to date.
The Munster 10 has stardust quality and it'll be interesting to see come the World Cup who's where in the pecking order.
Wales win but no great joy
The least said about the Welsh performance in Rome the better. The 26-15 score line flatters Wales but the importance of Alun Wyn Jones was once again reinforced in Stadio Olimpico.
He came on in the second half and took instant control; he steadied the ship and led his troops home to record Wales' 11th win on the bounce - equalling the longest winning run in their history from 1910.
Who's up next for Wales? England. Eddie Jones has already started the mind games by calling Warren Gatland's side "the greatest Wales side ever". The iconic side from the 70s including Gareth, Gerald, JPR etc might have something to say about that.
Will Wales continue their unbeaten run? It's not for me to say or even comment.
What I can say is that on current form, England are definitely favourites but in Cardiff with the roof open or shut, and the passionate Welsh support singing loud and proud, Eddie Jones' comments might be proved right come full time...