Oval Talk

Six Nations Team of Week 4

Oval Talk

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Croft was a class apart in Paris

Here is Oval Talk's Team of the Week and statistics following the fourth weekend of Six Nations rugby.

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
He might have been sin-binned, but he was still worth eight out of 10 on the Oval Talk player rating. He scored 11 points with the boot and has been one of Wales' key players in this championship.

14. Alex Cuthbert (Wales)
The winger has improved with each game in this tournament. The man of the match put in a strong running performance against Italy and capped it off with a try.

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Tuilagi tackles Aurelien Rougerie

13. Manu Tuilagi (England)
When the Samoan-born centre is in the mood, he is just brilliant. Tuilagi was efficiently brutal in his defensive duty apart from one high tackle which gave away a penalty. He also scored England's first try. A top performance.

12. Wesley Fofana (France)
Fofana was by far Les Bleus' most dangerous player when going forward and was pretty useful when making a tackle too. His efforts were finally rewarded with a late try which gave France a real chance to win, had Francois Trinh-Duc not missed his drop-goal attempt.

11. Andrew Trimble (Ireland)
What he lacks in world-class quality Trimble makes up for with his work ethic. The Ulster man just never stops and fully deserved it when he went over to score against Scotland.

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Farrell kept cool under pressure

10. Owen Farrell (England)
The Ice Man. Farrell might have missed a first-half penalty, but he handled the pressure superbly to convert Tom Croft's try. And his crunching tackle on Imanol Harinordoquy in the dying moments will live long in the memory.

9. Mike Phillips (Wales)
Phillips was always looking to make a break, even at times when it was not really on. His biggest weakness was his impatience - but his class shone through and he organised his pack well.

1. Gethin Jenkins (Wales)
In what was Jenkins's fourth game captaining his country, the Cardiff Blues prop did well. After recovering from an early scrum penalty he was an instrumental player. Jenkins can also claim an assist for Alex Cuthbert's try.

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Captain Best scored another try

2. Rory Best (Ireland)
Best scored his seventh try in as many games and also got to captain the team for the first time in the Six Nations. A superb display.

3. Adam Jones (Wales)
He won his personal battle with Andrea Lo Cicero despite the referee awarding some bizarre decisions against him. Jones will have to be victorious once again in the scrum in next week's Grand Slam decider against France.

4. Richie Gray (Scotland)
OT is just running out of superlatives for this man. Consistently Scotland's best performer - his solo try against Ireland alone will put him in the 2013 British and Irish Lions squad. A shining star in what is an average team.

5. Yoann Maestri (France)
He was visibly disappointed to be replaced in the second half, and rightly so. Maestri, a giant of a man, worked tirelessly in defence and attack for his team. His efforts largely went unnoticed from his coach, though.

6. Tom Croft (England)
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Croft was the best player on the pitch. His performance will be remembered for the cover tackle on Julien Malzieu and he also showed great pace to score the winning try. Not too shabby in the lineout either.

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Harinordoquy: Everywhere for France

7. Justin Tipuric (Wales)
With Sam Warburton on the sidelines, Tipuric took his opportunity and showed why he is so highly thought of. He is a different player to Warburton in that he does not pose the same threat at the breakdown but his support runs and the amount of ground he covered was extraordinary.

8. Imanol Harinordoquy (France)
A performance out of the top drawer: he was arguably France's best player. Whether it was in the lineout, the scrum or defence, Harinordoquy was immense.

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