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RBS 6 Nations: Round One review

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 03, 2014

The RBS 6 Nations kicks-off on Saturday

Match – France v England:

Having made a nightmare start England showed remarkable grit and determination to come within minutes of pulling off one of the Championship's greatest comebacks. But France, who had flattered to deceive in the previous 70 minutes, turned on the style with that heartbreaking match-winning try.

Player - Yannick Nyanga:

What a luxury to have. Lose your captain Thierry Dusatoir and turn to Toulouse teammate Nyanga. He had a crucial hand in the match-winning try but was a thorn in the Red Rose throughout. Ten tackles, seven defenders beaten, at least four turnovers won.

Try – Gael Fickou v England:

England fans look away now. From the moment Yannick Nyanga surged up the right there was inevitability that Les Bleus would conjure a score. Dimitri Swarzewski showed the pace and prowess of a seasoned centre rather than the hooker he is. He drew the England defence before feeding super-sub Fickou. We all know what happened next.

Six Nations debut – Michele Campagnaro:

Hard man – The Welsh wrecking ball is chiselled from granite. Thank goodness Gloucester have signed the hooker. He always made yards with the ball in hand and made 10 bone-crunching tackles without a miss. Not bad for a front-row forward.

Howler – Angelo Esposito (ITL):

It took reigning champions Wales just three minutes to claim their first try of the 2014 Six Nations but it was truly gifted to them by the Azzurri debutant. He made a complete hash of collecting Rhys Priestland’s dink and Gloucester-born Alex Cuthbert was on hand to collect his eighth tournament try.

Talking Point – Stuart Lancaster’s substitutions:

The England head coach has been criticised for his incessant tinkering and while his replacements often inject much-needed tempo, he got it badly wrong hooking Danny Care and Dylan Hartley. If the duo had stayed on the pitch, England might well have closed out the game. Care was enjoying arguably his finest performance in an England jersey and had been terrorising Les Bleus, while Tom Youngs’ first action after replacing Hartley was to fluff a crucial lineout.

Team of the round:

R Kearney (IRE), Y Huget (FRA), M Campagnaro (ITL), J Roberts (WAL), D Kearney (IRE), J Sexton (IRE), D Care (ENG); C Healy (IRE), R Hibbard (WAL), N Mas (FRA), D Toner (IRE), C Lawes (ENG), P O’Mahoney (IRE), Y Nyanga (FRA), B Vunipola (ENG)

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Stuart Lancaster hauled off Danny Care and Dylan Hartley in England's RBS 6 Nations defeat to France. Did he get it wrong?