Six Nations: The seven individual stat leaders from Round One, including most defenders beaten, turnovers and tackles
Following the opening round of the Six Nations, Planet Rugby delves into the individual stats and who topped the respective categories.
Ireland top the standings after the opening weekend thanks to a greater points difference over second and third-placed Scotland and France, with Italy, England and Wales holding the bottom three places, respectively.
With the help of Opta stats, we look at the seven individual stat leaders from the first round of the competition.
Top try scorers
It’s still early days in the Championship, but plenty of tries were scored in the opening round; 17 to be exact.
Ireland, Scotland and France all touched down four times, with England grabbing three, Italy two and Wales one.
Yet, only two players managed to score more than once, both from the clash at Twickenham, namely Duhan van der Merwe and Max Malins.
The pair of wingers now lead the try-scorers’ chart with 13 other players just one score behind them.
Huw Jones also grabbed a try against England, maintaining his perfect strike rate against the Red Rose, scoring five times in five Six Nations matches against the Auld Enemy; only Jason Robinson has scored as many Calcutta Cup tries.
💯 A perfect strike rate v England! #ENGvSCO
5⃣ Games 🧢
5⃣ Tries 🏉
Huw Jones 👏 #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/0obJ5wVqlz
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) February 4, 2023
Fast Fact: It took Caelan Doris 1.59 minutes to score against Wales; it is the third quickest try in a Six Nations match, after Shane Byrne’s try in 2004 and Rory Best’s in 2007, both under a minute against Wales.
Top points scorers
Thomas Ramos has taken an early lead in the top points scorers chart in the Six Nations after his 14-point haul against Italy.
The full-back converted three of France‘s four tries, scoring one himself, and added a penalty. He also missed one penalty.
Tommy Allan is just two points shy of the Frenchman, with Johnny Sexton matching the Italian’s tally on 12 points.
The two top points scorers are next with 10 each.
Fast Fact: Andy Farrell’s side scored 27 points in the first half against Wales, the most they had scored at Cardiff since 2013 and a new Ireland record for points scored in the first half of a Six Nations match.
It was a busy weekend on defence for the flankers and number eights in the Six Nations, with four back-rowers hitting the 20-tackle mark in the opening round.
Taulupe Faletau made the second most tackles, completing 21 and missing three. A monumental shift in defeat. He is closely followed by France’s Anthony Jelonch, who made 20 tackles and missed three.
However, it was a busier weekend for the Scottish back-row, with Luke Crosbie making 20 tackles in 58 minutes without missing and Matt Fagerson topping the count with 26. Fagerson missed just once.
The entire Scotland pack put in a big shift, with the starting eight all making over 10 tackles – Richie Gray (17) and Pierre Schoeman (16) tallying over 15 tackles.
Doris (18) was Ireland’s top tackler, Ben Curry (13) was England’s and Niccolo Cannone (15) was Italy’s.
Fast Fact: Wales (23) made more dominant tackles than any other team in Round One, five more than the next best from Scotland (18). France (7) had the least.
The England pack were busy on Saturday, with two of the top three carriers coming from the Red Rose.
Ellis Genge and Lewis Ludlam made 18 carries apiece, with Genge’s the most ever by a prop in a match. Finn Russell (Scotland) matched their tally but the fly-half (85) made the most metres out of the trio, although Genge (83) and Ludlam (77) weren’t too far off.
Italy’s Allan (17) and Sebastian Negri (16) had the next best tallies with Freddie Steward (14) and Marcus Smith (14) following.
Hugo Keenan and Doris (11) made the joint-most for Ireland, with Gael Fickou and Liam Williams both making 14, topping the count for France and Wales, respectively.
Fast Fact: Scotland had the highest points-visit to opposition 22 ratio of the round, averaging 4.1 points per entry; Ireland were next best with 3.4 per visit and Wales last with 0.9.
Most defenders beaten
Scotland’s match winner Duhan van der Merwe tops this stat with 11 defenders beaten, three better than the next best from Wales’ Liam Williams.
Van der Merwe’s tally is all the more impressive, considering he also had six fewer carries than Williams’ 14.
The player of the match in the Calcutta Cup also beat five defenders with his incredible try from inside his half.
🏴 Duhan van der Merwe just did this for Scotland! #ENGvSCO 😲pic.twitter.com/wrg4mHHF3c
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) February 4, 2023
Surprisingly, the following best in the Scotland team was Russell, who beat just three.
After Williams, the best next tallies were from Italy prop Danilo Fischetti (6), Ireland hooker Dan Sheehan (6) – the joint most ever by front-row players – and France’s Fickou (6), while Marcus Smith’s four was the best from the England team.
Fast Fact: No replacement beat more defenders than France’s Matthieu Jalibert, who beat three in his 15-minute cameo from the bench.
Seven players gained over 100 running metres in an exciting weekend of action.
In fact, France were the only team that didn’t have a player gain 100 metres or more, with Gregory Alldritt (72) topping the charts for Les Bleus.
Smith (112) topped the stat for England, with Steward (101).
Despite the comprehensive defeat, Williams (108) and Rio Dyer (107) racked up respectable tallies for Wales.
Van der Merwe gained 104 for Scotland in his impressive outing, but even his tally wasn’t enough to beat Italy’s superstar Ange Capuozzo (114).
🇮🇹 What a fine finish that was from Ange Capuozzo! #ITAvFRA pic.twitter.com/jLijHPMr7b
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) February 5, 2023
Fast Fact: Line breaks were hard to come by in Round One, with Damian Penaud, Duhan van der Merwe, Kyle Steyn, Rio Dyer, Liam Williams and Dan Sheehan making two each.
The set-pieces are always crucial, and England relied heavily on youngster Ollie Chessum who was called upon to secure possession nine times; no other player won more lineouts.
The other five lineouts went to Lewis Ludlam (4) and Maro Itoje (1).
Similarly, Federico Ruzza (8) was Italy’s go-to man against France, and Peter O’Mahony (5) for Ireland.
Wales alternated between Faletau (4) and Justin Tipuric (4), while France used five different lineout options.
Fast Fact: Turnovers were hard to come by in Round One; just two players managed more than one (James Lowe and Jonathan Sexton, both two).
READ MORE: Six Nations: ‘We weren’t good at anything’ says England head coach Steve Borthwick