Gareth Thomas’ favourite #TopMoment of the fourth round!
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Tissot, Official Timekeeper of the RBS 6 Nations, has invited some rugby experts and legends to share their views on the games and the teams throughout the Championship. For the fourth round, former Wales captain Gareth Thomas shares his selection of #TopMoments.
It is now your turn to vote for the official #TopMoment of Round #4.
Round Four of the RBS 6 Nations saw England crowned champions for the second season running while Wales and France bounced back to record impressive wins over Ireland and Italy respectively.
It all started on Friday night as Wales downed Ireland 22-9 to end their title hopes, before France powered past Italy 40-18 in Rome on Saturday.
Then with the possibility of the RBS 6 Nations title on offer in case of victory, England produced a dominant performance to beat Scotland 61-21, winning the Calcutta Cup and the RBS 6 Nations in one fell swoop.
This is what Thomas made of the round, picking out his Tissot #TopMoment from each game:
Wales v Ireland: The emotion shown by the Welsh players, particularly George North after his try and Ken Owens when Jamie Roberts scored
I thought it was a really strong performance from a Welsh team that was under huge pressure. I think they outplayed a really good Irish team and at times they made them look quite average, which is credit to them.
It was great to see the reaction of the players and these Friday night games in Cardiff are starting to become quite iconic.
When you look back at Wales’ performances in this Championship, with the exception of the second half in Scotland, they have played very well.
They will have been so disappointed with that and it was the chance for the players to show that they are still worth their place.
I was really pleased for George North in particular, there’s been criticism and that’s part of the professional game.
You have to take it, in the same way you enjoy the praise, but it’s all about how you respond. We’d not seen as much of his hard running and what makes him stand out but the pressure was on him and it was great to see him show how much he wants to keep his place.
Ireland weren’t that far off though, and the disallowed Rory Best try was huge in the context of the game. Robbie Henshaw had a rush of blood and he will learn from it going forward.
It happens to everyone, I remember playing against France in a game where we had a move which meant I should pack down at No.8. The ball flew past me and a minute later we were defending on our line. So it’s not easy trying things which you’re not used to doing!
For my Tissot #TopMoment, I’m going for the emotion on show from the players. Whether it was George North when he scored his second try, or Ken Owens on the sidelines after Jamie Roberts’ try, you could see how much it meant to them. That emotional response was great to see from the entire team.
Italy v France: Gaël Fickou’s try
I was out in Rome for the Italy v France game and I think it was a game that Italy will have targeted. They have a good recent record against France, so they could take some confidence but in the end they struggled at the end of the game as they have in most matches.
France always try to play a lot of rugby, and if you let them they become very dangerous. We’ve seen so far in the Championship that teams have been able to shut them down. That’s always the thing against France, they want to play rugby and you want to stop them from doing so.
We saw on Saturday that if you give them space and time they will make you pay.
Louis Picamoles was just outstanding as he has been all Championship and the back three really enjoyed the space they had. Brice Dulin came back in and it was the perfect game for someone like him who is really dangerous from the back. I’d think he’s done enough to hold onto that jersey from Scott Spedding.
My Tissot #TopMoment was the first French try from Gaël Fickou. It started with Dulin who started running it back from his own 22 and then they were able to read the space and create the holes for Fickou to finish. He spotted the Italian front-rowers in front of him and he was always going to beat them.
England v Scotland: Jonathan Joseph’s hat-trick
It’s amazing to think that people were questioning England’s performances in the build-up to Saturday even though they were going for a world record-equalling win.
That might have played a part in the way they performed and the way the game went, there’s no Scottish fan who would have wanted that.
England were untouchable at times and they played some brilliant rugby. I am sure Eddie Jones has been waiting for them to play like this and if they aren’t the best team in the world, they are definitely in the top two.
For Scotland it was one of those days when there is probably not a lot they could have done but they will just have to bounce back from it.
My Tissot #TopMoment was Jonathan Joseph’s hat-trick. When you think that he was playing club rugby when England played Italy, he clearly wanted to prove a point. To score a hat-trick is impressive but this was such an important game. For me this was like Lionel Messi, the way the great players stand up in the big games. For him to have a hat-trick is such an impressive achievement.
Excellent selection from Gareth Thomas, but you have the final word!
Vote now for the Official #TopMoment of the last Round for a chance to winning a Tissot watch.
Natwest 6 Nations calendar
- 03.02.2018 - 04.02.2018 Round 1
- 10.02.2018 - 11.02.2018 Round 2
- 23.02.2018 - 24.02.2018 Round 3
- 10.03.2018 - 11.03.2018 Round 4
- 17.03.2018 - 17.03.2018 Round 5