Friday 30 September 2016

Official Six Nations statisticians name five Irish players in team of the week

Tom Rooney

Published 17/02/2016 | 16:26

These five Irish players were picked in the team of the week
These five Irish players were picked in the team of the week

In the immediate aftermath, it seemed nigh on impossible to garner any positives from Ireland’s 10-9 loss to France, yet the number crunchers have taken a wholly different view.

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As the official technology partner to the RBS Six Nations, Accenture collate and collect all the facts and figures from every game of the championship. And, according to their calculations, five Ireland players are worth of place in the Team of Week for round two of the tournament.

Props Jack McGrath and Nathan White are joined by Munster flankers CJ Stander and Tommy O’Donnell, while Robbie Henshaw is the lone back of the pick.

Ireland’s scrum may have disintegrated in the lead up to Maxime Medard’s decisive second half try but McGrath and White proved efficient in the loose.

The Leinster loose head completed 15 of 16 tackle attempts, while forcing one turnover. However, he made just five metres from three carries and conceded four penalties. McGrath, along with Taulupe Faletau, tops the tournament for most tackles at 33. 

 White had a 100 pc return on 12 tackles and gave away a single penalty.

Given he was on pitch for the last hour after replacing Sean O’Brien, O’Donnell’s numbers are very impressive. The Tipperary native made 20 tackles, while missing just two and forced a turnover and found wanting once in the discipline stakes.

Stander made 14 metres from 19 carries, and  finished 15 of 16 attempted tackles and poached two turnovers. What’s more, in the competition to date, no player has more carries than Stander’s 37.

In Paris, Henshaw was on point with 12 of 13 tackle attempts, made 50 metres from 11 carries.  Released seven passes and offloaded once – in this Irish team, who would have thought? Leinster's new recruit may have gone off script.

See below for full team:

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