As Warren Gatland says, they have forgotten how to lose and it is amazing the way they are able to ramp up their performance levels when they need to. That comes down to the coaching staff and their ability to manipulate their players’ emotions, get them to a point and keep them there. It’s 12 wins a row, they will be absolutely thrilled by that and I think the fallow week comes at the perfect time for them. I know Alun Wyn Jones said they wanted to play this week, they didn’t want to lose the momentum, but my question would be can they get themselves up again so quickly. If their win against England was their World Cup final then playing Scotland seven days later would have been a big ask. Their final match against Ireland will be fascinating because those are the two teams who seem most able to get themselves emotionally right on the day. Jones takes plenty of credit of that – to think he has 123 caps is staggering and it is not like he’s a 50-minute man.
Star performer He may have been under the radar for a bit but there is no chance Josh Adams will stay there. The best Wales have in the back three in terms of defence, his aerial skills are superb and so is his finishing.
The rest of the Six Nations for England is all about finishing with a flourish. Every single minute they have on the training pitch together is hugely valuable with the World Cup on the horizon so while they may have two matches that you would expect them to win, there will be no going through the motions. Equally, it would be disappointing if England produce two wins without performances at the standards they would expect of themselves. This week and next it is all about shutting out the noise from the fallout of the Wales defeat and focusing on themselves. Eddie Jones has got so much right so far but I just don’t understand his thinking when it came to his replacements against Wales. Luke Cowan-Dickie has played 23 minutes so far, Ellis Genge has played eight, Dan Robson 11 and Brad Shields just four. A coach’s two main jobs are to pick the right team and make changes at the right time. In all nine matches so far, the team that has won the match has won the second half and replacements play a fundamental role in that.
Star performer After two matches I’d have said Jonny May because of his tries. Kyle Sinckler, Tom Curry and Mark Wilson have all impressed too but Jamie George has been excellent in terms of his lineout and work-rate. He is now a starter, not a finisher.
A positive result against Scotland – you know it is going to be their day when you see Mathieu Bastareaud chipping and chasing – but they cannot let it paper over the obvious cracks. I do not believe Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez should have gone public with their criticism but now that they have, they need to be listened to. Is the problem Jacques Brunel or is it more systemic? The future does at least look bright for France – I fell in love with Demba Bamba at last year’s Junior World Cup, I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen from Romain Ntamack as well but the key for France will be developing them in the right way. They have all this young talent but you don’t want to rush them through, and at the same time you need to make sure they are given the right opportunities.
Star performers In Ntamack, Bamba, Antoine Dupont and Damian Penaud they have a really strong quartet for the future. Ntamack impressed me against France, playing in his second favourite position, in particular.