England and France kept up their blistering try-scoring form as they ran in nine and seven tries respectively in the Women’s Six Nations.
It was a record-breaking weekend for Italy, who maintained their unbeaten start by beating Ireland by just two points at Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium.
Their triumph on home soil was the first time they had ever beaten Ireland in the competition.
Here are some of the best statistics from the Round Three clashes in the Championship.
Italy 29-27 Ireland
A closely fought contest which really showed in the statistics, with near identical statistics in metres gained and turnovers conceded.
But the hosts had more success when it came to linebreaks, which could have been the difference between the two sides.
Italy had nine compared to Ireland’s four, which included three for winger Sofia Stefan and two for scrum-half Sara Barrattin.
Double try-socrer Giada Franco made the metres when it counts but was integral to what her side did around the field.
Her 90 metres made was the most among all forwards on both teams, with her closest competitor being Ireland’s Anna Caplice with 74 metres made.
The pair were not the only only back-rowers putting in decisive displays, with Italy’s No.8 Elisa Giordano leading the tackle count across both teams with 24.
— Italrugby (@Federugby) February 23, 2019
She was also one of the favoured line-out jumpers for Italy, with her five takes equalling the efforts of lock Giordana Duca, who also had two steals off Irish ball.
But it was the work in the loose by the front rows which really separated the two sides.
Laura Feely, Emma Hooban and Leah Lyons combined for 21 tackles while the Gaia Giacomoli, Melissa Bettoni and Lucia Gai had 51.
Even if you factor in the Irish replacements, introduced with 30 minutes to play, they still fall 10 short of the tackle count of the Italian front row.
🇮🇹Italy Women 29- 27 Ireland 🍀Women
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 23, 2019
The Irish back three carried the ball strongly as Alison Miller, Eimear Considine and Lauren Delany combined for 297 metres made – more than a third of their sides total.
Considine was rewarded with two tries as she crossed the whitewash but all three ran up tackle breaks and linebreaks during their performance.
Lauren Sheehan joined the fray late in the first half and managed to grab herself a try, as well as 37 metres made on her four carries – including a 100 per cent gainline success rate.
France 41-10 Scotland
It was a special afternoon for Gabrielle Vernier, who touched down for hat-trick as the hosts were clinical in attack against Scotland.
Her incisive attacking running from inside centre proved vital as she bust through the defensive line with aplomb on her way to 93 metres made on 12 carries.
Vernier was not the only slicing runner for the 2018 champions with winger Lea Murie grabbing two linebreaks and two tackle breaks on her way to 86 per cent gainline success rate.
She also had 120 metres made, at an average of ten metres per carry, as she also grabbed two offloads.
But the most threatening member of the backline was full-back Doriane Constanty, whose 129 metres made in 55 minutes on just nine carries.
She was mesmeric as she ran up three lines breaks as her attacking lines also helped her to a try in Lille.
— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) February 23, 2019
France were dominant on the gainline with a 66 per cent success rate compared to 47 per cent from the visitors.
It showed in the total ball carry metres, as the host’s total of 974 metres was more than double Scotland’s count of 441 metres.
The French attack had to come from a steady base and France were perfect at the lineout and scrum.
It was a happy afternoon for the pack as they won all seven scrums and 11 lineouts.
With all the attacking rugby from the French, there were some monster defensive efforts from Scotland – particularly in the back row.
WOMEN | FULL-TIME
A loss for Scotland in France tonight, the visitors secured two tries in front of an atmospheric crowd in Lille.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 23, 2019
Blindside Sarah Bonar led the way with 28 tackles, while her back row colleagues Rachel McLachlan and Jade Konkel had 16 and 18 respectively.
The latter, playing at No.8, was one of the most destructive forces for Scotland as she registered a linebreak, tackle break and two offloads as she carried 17 times for 76 metres.
Hannah Smith was the most destructive of the runners in the backline as she made 54 metres on nine carries, as well as three offloads from outside centre.
Her midfield colleague Lisa Thomas was efficient when it came to carries as she had gainline success on all five of her carries but made only 27 metres.
Wales 12-51 England
An all-action display from Sarah Beckett helped England on their way to triumph at Cardiff Arms Park.
She had a second-half try but it was her effort around the park in attack and defence which made he crucial to the visitor’s triumph.
The blindside flanker had 56 metres carried on 11 attempts, as well as 24 successful tackles for the Red Roses.
She was closely followed by Catherine O’Donnell (22) and Zoe Harrison (17) at the top of the charts.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 24, 2019
Jess Breach continued her successful start to life in the Women’s Six Nations as she scored her fourth and fifth tries in the competition.
Despite her two scoring efforts she did not even crack the top five for metres made for England, with one of her two scores coming from a clinical finish close to the line.
Such is Breach’s try-scoring proficiency she is pushing Katy Daley-Mclean to be her country’s top scorer in the tournament, with her total of 25 points just two shy of her goal-kicking colleague.
Despite the results Wales can take heart from running in their first two tries of the 2019 Championship.
Despite a fine try for @9Jessk9 and @CerysRhiannon‘s close range score, @EnglandRugby were too dominant in #WalesWomen‘s first home match of the @Womens6Nations. Wales will go again against @Scotlandteam in Rd 4 #HWFN
📰MATCH REPORT https://t.co/uV479LTZOT pic.twitter.com/kBwZlYdRyO
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 24, 2019
Jess Kavanagh-Williams and Cerys Hale both touched down in Cardiff, as the hosts got one in each half.
The former had 39 metres made, the most of any Welsh back, while Hale made her impact off the bench in the final 13 minutes.
Siwan Lillicrap, the No.8 who has not missed a minute in this year’s Championship, led the charge for Wales with 16 tackles.
She also carried the burden in attack as she had 20 carries for 67 metres made, with tighthead Amy Evans next best with 50 metres.