Wales’ and England’s wide men finished clinically during their wins while France’s passing game remains supreme
When a few England passes went to ground early on against Italy, it explained Eddie Jones’s preference for a kicking game. Space was not at a premium against the weakest team in the tournament, but the champions were often too mechanical to exploit it. At Murrayfield a couple of hours later Wales showed, for the second successive week, that deficiencies at forward can be masked by opportunism. Their passing was more natural than England’s and helped them to win a match that at one point looked beyond them. The two sides meet in Cardiff in the next round and Wales are again likely to need to pass their way out of trouble. France, who are at Twickenham in the fourth round, remain supreme in passing at the point of contact, their first-half try in Dublin after they had soaked up pressure was a gem.