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Stat watch: McKenna, Menager & Caplice star on second Women’s Six Nations weekend

Stat watch: McKenna, Menager & Caplice star on second Women’s Six Nations weekend
  • England hit the ruck fastest of any side on second weekend of the Championship
  • Anna Caplice starred for Ireland, as she registered 20 carries - more than any player in Round Two
  • Wales winger Jasmine Joyce second in metres made, behind only France's Romane Menager

Round Two of the Women’s Six Nations is in the books, with England sitting at the top of the table following two bonus-point victories.

They ran in seven tries as they saw off last year’s Grand Slam winners France 41-26 at Castle Park.

Elsewhere Ireland bounced back after their loss to England by seeing off Scotland 22-5 at Scotstoun, while there was a gripping 3-3 draw in Lecce between Italy and Wales.

Here we look some of the stand-out statistics from this weekend’s action in the Women’s Championship.


England 41-26 France

Both teams notched a try bonus point in Doncaster but it was the hosts who grabbed the win – dominating the statistics in the process.

England showed their speed around the fringes, hitting 67.3 per cent of rucks inside three seconds, almost ten per cent higher than any other team in Round Two.

Poppy Leitch made the most of her chance in the No.7 jersey, stepping up after Marlie Packer was forced to miss the match with a shoulder injury.

The Bristol Bears back-rower had 35 ruck arrivals as well as 12 cleanouts for her side.

Leitch led the defensive effort with 22 tackles, as well as two lineout takes and five carries for 32 metres.

Sarah McKenna provided some attacking edge to the Red Roses’ back play, with her three line breaks and almost 109 metres made.

She wasn’t the only menace in the back three with ball in hand, with Jess Breach making 103 metres, as well as scoring two tries, while Kelly Smith had 71 metres made.

For the visitors it’s hard to look past the performance of No.8 Romane Menager, who made 155 metres, 37 more than any other player on the second weekend of the Championship.

She had a game-high 17 carries, as the Montpellier player caused havoc with ball in hand – grabbing one line-break, two tackle breaks and two offloads.

Full-back Caroline Boujard and replacement Doriane Constanty provided some attacking edge to the French attack – particularly in the second half.

The latter featured for just 20 minutes in Doncaster but racked up the offensive statistics with 88 metres made on five carries, including two offloads, a tackle break and a line break.


Scotland 5-22 Ireland

Try-scorer Anna Caplice was the star for Ireland as they secured victory in Scotland.

The flanker led the game in carries and metres made as she racked up 106m across her 20 carries, the most of any player in Round Two, while also registering two offloads.

Caplice was also Ireland most prolific tackler, as she completed all 20 of her tackles attempted – making up a significant number of her side’s 137 in the match.

The Irish were perfect at the lineout, winning all nine of their own, while also stealing one from Scotland.

Lock Nichola Fryday led both sides with her 60 attacking ruck arrivals as she put in the hard yards at the breakdown.

The match was short on incisive attacking runs with just three line breaks – one apiece Scotland’s Chloe Rollie and Ireland’s Ailsa Hughes and Alison Miller, who grabbed the bonus-point try for the visitors.

Scotland’s pack put in a monster defensive effort in a match which was contested in and around the breakdown.

Seven of the eight members of the pack registered more than 21 tackles, with lock Deborah McCormack making 12 before she was removed from the fray at the break.

All five of the top successful tacklers this weekend played for Scotland. Blindside Rachel Malcolm had 67 metres made while chipping in with 33 tackles made – the most of any player in match.

Tighthead Megan Kennedy was also an unlikely contributor in the loose as her 12 efforts registered 51 metres made.


Italy 3-3 Wales

The two sides in Lecce made 1,535 metres between them but neither were able to breach the try-line.

Wales winger Jasmine Joyce led the way across the two sides, with 118 metres made on just seven carries.

She and full-back Lauren Smyth both had three tackle breaks as they provided some incision in the Welsh backline.

Manuela Furlan made 92 metres on 12 carries and the Italian skipper provided an attacking edge for her side with three offloads and two tackle breaks.

Stern defensive efforts were the backbone of this draw, with Italy tighthead Lucia Gai leading both sides as she racked up 22. Not far behind was Wales captain Carys Philips with 21 tackles.

Italy were more dominant on the gainline, with 54 per cent of their carries going over, whereas Wales only had a 45 per cent success rate.

No.8 Elisa Giordano was crucial at the breakdown for the Italians as she hit 51 rucks in total, registering 16 cleanouts.