On the whole the home nations made impressive starts to their autumn campaign with Scotland, England and Ireland getting off the mark early with only Wales going down to defeat against an impressive Australia team.
After the first weekend of action, we pick our home nations team of the week.
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
The Glasgow Warriors fullback was a constant threat in attack, making one clean break, beating two defenders and making 49 metres from 14 runs and capped off an impressive display with his 17th international try.
14. Andrew Conway (Ireland)
Making his fourth appearance for his country, the Munster flyer had a stormer. Showed great alertness and pace to score his first international try and always looked dangerous with ball in hand, making three clean breaks, beating two defenders and racking up an outstanding 99 metres in attack.
13. Huw Jones (Scotland)
Glasgow’s new signing continued his fine form at international level with another highly impressive display.
Showing great strength to touch down for his fifth international try in only nine tests, the former Western Province and Stormers centre was a constant threat in attack, making an excellent 82 metres from eleven runs, including one clean break, two defenders beaten and an offload.
12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)
The Connacht centre enjoyed an excellent debut with his huge hit on Boks prop Coenie Oosthuizen in the first couple of minutes forcing the Stormers prop off the field and setting the tone for an excellent Irish display.
Aki made an impressive 15 tackles in total – with only No. 8 CJ Stander (16 hits) making more than the former Chiefs man – and will be an important figure for the future.
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ireland)
On his first home start for his country, the Ulster winger, still only 21, showed exactly why so many people are raving about him. A real threat in attack, Stockdale made an impressive 72 metres with ball in hand, which included three clean breaks and four defenders beaten.
Rock solid in defence, the youngster also put a huge hit in on opposite number Dillon Leyds and capped off a cracking display with a well-taken try.
10. Jonathan Sexton (Ireland)
Bagged 14 points with the boot and pulled the strings beautifully at fly-half, keeping South Africa pinned back in their half with his excellent kicking from hand.
Also offered a real threat in attack with his distribution skills and his trademark wrap arounds.
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
The Lions scrum-half tormented the South African back three all afternoon with his inch-perfect box kicks, with one of them prompting a Courtnall Skosan error, which led to Ireland’s first try. Controlled things excellently from 9 and passing was smooth and crisp as always.
8. Nathan Hughes (England)
One of the few bright lights in a laboured English performance, the powerful Wasps backrower carried relentlessly making a hugely impressive 75 metres from 15 carries and topping the metres made charts. With a first-half try, which he finished off impressively, being a just reward for a super display.
7. Sam Underhill (England)
The 21-year-old Bath flanker enjoyed a superb home debut at HQ, making 21 tackles, including a huge hit on 20st Pumas second-row Tomás Lavanini in a tremendous defensive display.
While Underhill, playing in only his second Test, was also a nuisance at the breakdown, slowing down Pumas ball and proving once again that he has a huge future ahead of him.
6. Aaron Shingler (Wales)
Wales’ main source of ball in an impressive Welsh lineout, which saw Wales win 14 out of their 15 throw-ins. The versatile Scarlets backrower also made ten tackles and two offloads in an impressive display.
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
A typically industrious performance from the Wales skipper as he made 15 tackles and seven carries during his side’s defeat. Led from the front as always and was solid in the lineout.
4. Iain Henderson (Ireland)
Part of an Ireland front five that dominated the Boks, the versatile 25-year-old was superb. Bowled South Africa hard man Eben Etzebeth over in a bulldozing first-half run and carried hard throughout, making seven carries in total, which yielded 24 metres.
Topped off an all-action display with five tackles and was reliable at lineout time.
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
The hosts won the battle at scrum-time with the Leinster prop doing a good job against Springbok legend Tendai Mtawarira in another impressive display.
Outfoxed ‘The Beast’ on a couple of occasions and got around the field well, making a couple of his trademark carries as well as putting in some good tackles.
2. Stuart McInally (Scotland)
Earned the Man of the Match gong after an outstanding individual performance in his side’s exciting 44-38 win over Samoa.
Scrummaged well and was accurate in the lineout but really caught the eye in the loose where he was everywhere, being rewarded with two tries in his first start at Murrayfield.
1. Mako Vunipola (England)
Winning his 43rd cap, the Saracens prop put in a tremendous display. Was solid in the scrum and excellent in the loose, carrying powerfully and showing some lovely handling skills, including a lovely pass to George Ford in the build-up to England’s first try.
Also made a massive 19 tackles and was deservedly named Man of the Match.
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