The second round of the Six Nations — and ESPN Fantasy Rugby 2018 — has been completed as the contenders begin to move clear of the pretenders.
Scotland got their campaign back on track in Sunday’s match with a win at home over France, but did any of their players do enough to make our fantasy team of the week?
ESPN breaks down the big performers from round two.
Jonny May, England
13 points, 17% owned
The Leicester wing was the difference maker against Wales, scoring the only two tries of the game as Eddie Jones remained unbeaten as England coach at Twickenham. May showed searing pace to haul down an Owen Farrell kick for his first, while he was right place right time after Joe Launchbury’s offload for his second. In all he ran more than 50 metres to pick up an extra point.
Jacob Stockdale, Ireland
13 points, 9% owned
It was predictable that tries would be on offer for Ireland against Italy and the Ulster wing was one of a number of players to cash in to help Joe Schmidt’s side record a big win. Stockdale grabbed two tries for 10 fantasy points, and also ran more than 50 metres.
Teddy Thomas, France
13 points, 5% owned
The Frenchman has been on fire so far this Six Nations. After scoring a try in the opening round against Ireland, Thomas nabbed a brace in Edinburgh and ran more than 50 metres with ball in hand to haul in 13 fantasy points. His first try in the second minute came out of nothing as he scooted past Finn Russell from close to halfway.
Bundee Aki, Ireland
13 points, 7% owned
The Connacht star continues to build from strength to strength in the Ireland jersey and had another all-round game against Italy. Aki scored a try, had an assist, made more than 10 tackles and ran more than 50 metres in a starting performance to earn 13 fantasy points. Aki’s try was his first for Ireland in four Test appearances.
Robbie Henshaw, Ireland
13 points, 17% owned
Italy had no answer to Henshaw’s direct running with the try line beckoning as the big Leinster centre bulldozed through for two tries in Dublin. Like his teammate Stockdale, Henshaw finished with 13 points courtesy of two tries and more than 50 metres ran. It may have come at a cost, however, with Henshaw injuring his shoulder while scoring his second try.
Tomasso Allan, Italy
10 points (if selected as kicker), 0.4% owned
Clearly not considered a fantasy threat by many, Allan continues to be one of Italy’s best in a losing side. The Azzurri managed three tries against Ireland, and their playmaker scored one and converted two. He also picked up a point for completing more than five tackles to finish with a total of 10 points.
Conor Murray, Ireland
19 points, 55% owned
The Munster scrum-half pulled the strings during Ireland’s win over Italy. In tandem with Johnny Sexton, Murray directed much of the attacking play and laid on the last pass for two of Ireland’s tries while also scoring one himself. He made more than five tackles too, with his influence on the game making him an easy pick for man of the match and a fantasy total of 19 points — the most this round.
Rory Best, Ireland
10 points, 18% owned
Rory Best almost has as many fantasy points as he managed throughout the entire Six Nations last year after one act for Ireland against Italy. The experienced hooker scored a try, to collect eight points, with the extra two points coming from starting the match.
Mako Vunipola, England
5 points, 26% owned
There weren’t many players to collect a bucket-load of fantasy points in the England match against Wales such was the nature of the game, but Mako Vunipola put in a tireless defensive shift to make the team of the week. Eddie Jones kept Vunipola on past the 70 minute mark, and the Saracens prop delivered with more than 15 tackles for three fantasy points.
Guilhem Guirado, France
4 points, 60% owned
You could take your pick of as many as six front rowers who ended up with four fantasy points, but with the French captain the most popular among them he keeps his place in the team of the week. While it wasn’t as big of a performance as he delivered the week prior against Ireland, Guirado still managed more than 10 tackles from the start to collect four points.
Joe Launchbury, England
8 points, 23% owned
Launchbury was superb on both sides of the ball for England, but it was his brilliant offload for Jonny May’s second try that saw him jump into our team of the week. Launchbury picked up three points for the assist, and another three points for making more than 15 tackles in the game.
Arthur Iturria, France
5 points, 0.7% owned
Three second rows finished on five points this week, including Iturria from France. He managed a lineout steal and more than five tackles in a losing cause against Scotland. Wales’ Cory Hill and Italy’s Dean Budd also picked up five fantasy points during this round.
Aaron Shingler, Wales
7 points, 11% owned
Backing up from a man-of-the-match effort against Scotland, Shingler was a menace in Wales’ pack as they came close to beating England. The back row made more than 15 tackles, ran for more than 50 metres with ball in hand and stole a lineout to finish with seven points.
Sergio Parisse, Italy
7 points, 55% owned
Like a fine wine, Parisse gets better with age. Despite being on the back of a hammering against Ireland, the Italy captain dug deep and led from the front with more than 10 tackles and a try assist to help add some respectability to the scoreline.
Jack Conan, Ireland
6 points, 3% owned
Having missed the first round, Conan seamlessly slotted into Ireland’s back row and prospered with some strong link play. He picked up an assist and made more than five tackles in a starting performance which was enough to secure six fantasy points and sneak into our team of the week.