Sometimes, the stats really do lie…
After a phenomenal Six Nations campaign that saw Ireland romping home to the Grand Slam in Twickenham, Opta has compiled a statistical team of the tournament that includes just four Irish players.
According to the stat masters, Conor Murray was the player of the tournament while CJ Stander, Tadgh Furlong and Jacob Stockdale also justifiably make the cut.
Despite a far more impressive campaign than what was expected, no French players made the XV while perhaps most bizarrely, the team features more Scottish players than Irish with five of Gregor Townsend’s men listed.
Justifying the selection, Opta stated that the XV was entirely based on their video analysis scoring system while they also explained the reason why Conor Murray was selected as their player of the tournament.
“After each match Opta complete video analysis of every touch of the ball.”
“Each action is awarded a points value depending on its relative importance. The player is then given a score for all his actions and this is tallied up over the tournament.”
“He [Conor Murray] was involved in six tries for Ireland as well as completing 93% of his 34 tackles and making 5 clean breaks from 32 carries.”
Opta’s 2018 Six Nations Team of the Tournament
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Johnny May (England)
13. Huw Jones (Scotland)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Wales)
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ireland)
10. Tommaso Allan (Italy)
9. Conor Murray (Ireland)
1. Mako Vunipola (England)
2. Stuart McInally (Scotland)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
4. Jonny Gray (Scotland)
5. Cory Hill (Wales)
6. Sebastian Negri (Italy)
7. Hamish Watson (Scotland)
8. CJ Stander (Ireland)
Hat tip: The 42