ESPNscrum Fantasy Rugby - Six Nations
The runners and riders after round one
February 5, 2013
Owen Farrell is the top-scoring player in this week's Fantasy Game © PA Photos
The winning team - Pasta Batman (117 points)
The dust is barely settling on the first weekend of the Six Nations but the attention is already being turned to round two. Following an eventful and memorable weekend of rugby, we assess how it has been for those playing our Fantasy Rugby game and also give an update on the team news ahead of next weekend's clashes - and until the first ball of the weekend is kicked, keep on checking the site for all the latest team news from the six camps.
However, if you are contemplating shuffling your fantasy pack, then bear in mind that you can make a total of 15 changes throughout the tournament and a maximum of five at any one time.
The three top performing front-rowers from round one were the trio who managed to cross the whitewash. Ireland's Cian Healy burrowed across against Wales while their substitute tight-head Craig Mitchell scored what proved to be nothing more than a consolation score. And Italy's talismanic prop Martin Castrogiovanni also bagged a try - both he and Healy are on seven points while substitute Mitchell is on six.
With three points awarded to those front-rowers who have completed the full 80, only two managed this - Scotland's Euan Murray and Ross Grant. As Lorenzo Ghiraldini was on the field when the full-time whistle blew, he came back onto the field for the sin-binned David Giazzon, he too gets the full three points. If you are looking to maybe tweak your front-row line up then be mindful that Wales' Richard Hibbard has been mentioned as someone who could start against France on Saturday.
England's Geoff Parling was the only lock who managed to bag a try in the opening weekend of action and as he completed the 80 minutes, he gets the full eight points. Elsewhere, there were five locks who managed to play full matches so they are rewarded with three - they are: France's Yoann Maestri, Ireland's Donnacha Ryan, Italy's Francesco Minto, Scotland's Richie Gray and Wales debutant Andrew Coombs.
There are six second-rows currently on two points - a list which includes England's Joe Launchbury, Ireland's Mike McCarthy and Wales' Ian Evans. Another who is on two points - Pascal Pape - will miss their match with Wales so if he is in your team then remember to transfer him out. Toulon's Jose Suta is reportedly the man in line to replace the French skipper.
Only two back-rowers grabbed tries at the weekend and they both came in Italy's clash with France. The Azzurri's imperious No.8 Sergio Parisse grabbed their first while France's Louis Picamoles also scored. The Italian played the whole match so he sits on eight points while Picamoles is on seven. There are 11 players on three points with captains Chris Robshaw, Jamie Heaslip and Toby Faletau all featuring.
Ahead of the weekend's action, Scotland are monitoring the fitness of Johnnie Beattie who is struggling with an ankle injury while Alasdair Strokosch could miss the rest of the Six Nations with a possible fractured eye socket. England are also sweating on Ben Morgan's fitness with an update expected on Tuesday. If he is ruled out of their match with Ireland then James Haskell could start. And England's opponents Ireland are monitoring Jamie Heaslip after he sustained a cut leg against Wales with their boss Declan Kidney confirming his XV on Friday.
Sergio Parisse was the best you could get in the back-row © Getty Images
No scrum-half managed 80 minutes at the weekend but Ben Youngs' two assists for England means that he is the top-scoring No.9 at present with eight points. Danny Care is second with six after his substitute appearance which included a try against Scotland.
Elsewhere there are four players on two points - France's Maxime Machenaud, Ireland's Conor Murray, Italy's Tobias Botes and Wales' Mike Phillips.
England's Owen Farrell is the dominant fly-half this week with a huge 18 points. He was given the Man of the Match award for his 18-point haul against Scotland and with that comes an additional five points. Italy's Luciano Orquera put in the surprise showing of the weekend as he guided the Azzurri to their memorable win over France - he is on 17 points.
France's Frederic Michalak and Ireland's Jonathan Sexton are both locked on nine points while Greig Laidlaw - who started at scrum-half for Scotland but is included as a No.10 for the purposes of the fantasy game - is on eight. Kris Burton's drop-goal cameo for Italy is enough to warrant him two points while Ruaridh Jackson is one ahead on three.
It was the return of the Brian O'Driscoll show at the weekend as he teed up Simon Zebo's score, grabbed one for himself and also scooped the Man of the Match bottle of champagne. They said he was passed it, he proved any doubters wrong. His 16-point haul was by far and away the most a centre managed with England's Billy Twelvetrees managing seven thanks to his debut try. Jamie Roberts teed up Alex Cuthbert's score so he is on six points while Florian Fritz, who grabbed an assist, is on five.
Sean Maitland finished with 11 points to his name © Getty Images
There are five players on three points but there is likely to be some change in the starting XVs ahead of the weekend's action. Manu Tuilagi could get a start for England having recovered from his injury - we will find out England's XV on Friday - while Ireland are monitoring replacement Keith Earls' fitness with the centre seeing a specialist later this week to assess a shoulder problem.
Sean Maitland and Leigh Halfpenny both scooped 11 points from the weekend's action but they managed the feat in different ways. Maitland came through a full game and managed to get a try and an assist while Halfpenny's were thanks to his try and accuracy with the boot. After the Scotland and Welsh backs, there are three on eight points with Chris Ashton, Benjamin Fall and Alex Cuthbert all bagging tries and appearing for 80 minutes on the turf.
The other try scorers at the weekend Simon Zebo and Stuart Hogg registered seven points overall while there were another host on three points who played their match in its entirety. Wales could call on Eli Walker ahead of the weekend but Vincent Clerc is unlikely to feature for France due to a leg injury.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
Tom Hamilton is the Assistant Editor of ESPNscrum.
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