Six Nations 2014: Latest Standings, Stats for Top Players and Table Predictions

Dan BrettContributor IIIMarch 12, 2014

England's Luther Burrell, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a try against Wales during the Six Nations Rugby Union match between England and Wales at Twickenham stadium in London Sunday, March, 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

England's Triple Crown win summed up an excellent tournament from Stuart Lancaster's men against the home nations, but they still have plenty to do if they are to clinch the RBS Six Nations.

Level on six points with Ireland and France, the top three all still have a chance to take top spot in this year's competition, with England's fellow title chasers facing off in Round 5's final fixture.

England travel to Rome to take on bottom-placed Italy, knowing they might need to win by over 50 points if Ireland do overcome France on foreign soil.

In such high-pressure scenarios, match-winners come to the fore; so let's take a look at this year's standings and top stars ahead of the final round.

RBS Six Nations: Table as it stands
PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostPDPoints
1Ireland4301816
2England4301326
3France430136
4Wales4202-54
5Scotland4103-432
6Italy4004-680
RBS6Nations.com

 

Top Try Scorers

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  England player Luther Burrell in action during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on March 9, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Top Try Scorers
PlayerTeamTotal
Luther BurrellEngland3
Yoann HugetFrance3
Mike Brown, Danny CareEngland2
Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jonathan SextonIreland2
Alex DunbarScotland2
Michele CampagnaroItaly2
RBS6Nations.com

As we go into the final round, Ireland have, by far, the most try-laden squad across the Six Nations, with 10 different scorers in this year's competition.

France will have to defend admirably if they're to overcome the Irish in Paris, and in particular, they will have to keep a watchful eye on Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble and Jonathan Sexton, who have all notched two tries each to put their side in top spot.

Scotland take on Wales at the Millennium Stadium, with the Scots' attacking force consisting of just two Alex Dunbar tries, with a score apiece for Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour making four tries in total for Scott Johnson's side.

Welsh flanker Dan Lydiate—in particular—will be looking to shut down his opponents' attacking threat this weekend. OptaJonny's tweet highlights an excellent defensive statistic from Lydiate:

England's Luther Burrell has bagged three tries in this year's tournament to sit level on touchdowns with France's Yoann Huget. Burrell's attacking influence has been integral to his side's rise up the table.

The Northampton Saints centre bagged his first try of the tournament at a crucial time in England's opening match with France, helping to overturn the 16-8 half-time deficit to bring England level. It should have inspired an England win, which would have seen them chasing a Grand Slam this weekend, but Burrell's team-mates failed to hold on in Paris.

Thiabult Camus/Associated Press

Burrell then bagged another in his side's 20-0 victory over Scotland as he built on Danny Care's fifth-minute drop goal to spring England into an early position of dominance. It helped Lancaster's men pick up their first win of the tournament.

His best was yet to come though, latching onto Billy Twelvetrees' clever kick to touch down against Wales in a vital victory at Twickenham.

Italy have conceded 14 tries in their first four matches, and up against Burrell, you'd be forgiven for thinking he might cash in to finish top of the try-scorers this weekend.

 

Top Goal Kickers

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Jonathan Sexton of Ireland congratulates team-mate Rob Kearney after he scores a try during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on February 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Sha
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Top Goal Kickers
NameTeamConversionsPenalties
Leigh HalfpennyWales315
Owen FarrellEngland610
Jonathan SextonIreland69
Jean-Marc DoussainFrance37
Greig LaidlawScotland24
Maxime MachenaudFrance24
Tommaso AllanItaly24
Paddy JacksonIreland30
Duncan WeirScotland11
Luciano OrqueraItaly20
Jules PilssonFrance01
Alex GoodeEngland01
RBS6Nations.com

This year's Six Nations has seen an abundance of fine kicking displays spread across all six sides, with Wales' Leigh Halfpenny unsurprisingly topping the table with 18 successful efforts across four matches.

He's in good company though, after an excellent tournament from Owen Farrell, who has kicked six conversions and 10 penalties. He will be looking to extend his personal tally as his side travel to Stadio Olimpico.

Halfpenny will miss the final weekend due to injury, per Guardian's Michael Aylwin, so Farrell has the opportunity to finish above his Lions team-mate in the rankings.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 08:  Jean Marc Doussain of France kicks the last minute match winning penalty during the RBS Six Nations match between Scotland and France at Murrayfield Stadium on March 8, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Photo by David Rogers/
David Rogers/Getty Images

France vs. Ireland is likely to be a tight affair this weekend, separated by only a few points, so the two teams will need to rely on Jean-Marc Doussain and Jonathan Sexton respectively.

Sexton edges his French counterpart by five successful kicks, helping his side to the top of the table, and he has also chipped in with his fair share of tries. However, pressure will be amped up this weekend in hostile territory.

 

Top Points-Scorers

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  Leigh Halfpenny of Wales kicks for goal during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on March 9, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Top Points-Scorers
NameTeamTotal
Leigh HalfpennyWales51
Jonathan SextonIreland49
Owen FarrellEngland42
Jean-Marc DoussainFrance27
Tommaso AllanItaly21
Danny CareEngland16
Greig LaidlawScotland16
Maxime MachenaudFrance16
RBS6Nations.com

Halfpenny's omission will come as a damaging blow to Wales, as the full-back's injury means he cannot extend his personal lead at the top of the points-scorers table.

This could open the door for any of the chasing pack to take over, with Sexton sat just two points behind and Farrell in with a realistic shout to overturn his nine-point swing.

Speaking at a press conference, Sexton told of his desire to pick up the Six Nations trophy with a win over France, and he admitted a shared feeling within the dressing room, per Irish Times' Gavin Cummiskey:

I was very lucky that I was at Leinster in a period when we were in nine finals; we won six. Blessed to be there for that period of time and picked on the Lions more on the back of my Leinster form rather than Ireland form and then achieved success there.

It is the same for a lot of the boys. There are only three or four guys who have lifted a trophy with Ireland. We are all desperate to go out and do it this weekend.

Sexton's ability with the boot, allied to a knack for crossing the whitewash, will make him the most likely to finish as the tournament's top points-scorer.

However, England have the easier final fixture against Italy, so Farrell can be expected to fill his boots in Rome.


How The Table Will Look

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 08:  Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland applauds at the end of the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Italy at Aviva Stadium on March 8, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

All eyes will be firmly on the top three as the final round of fixtures get under way, with Ireland knowing victory over France will likely be enough to take the title.

England, though, know they go into their match against Italy as favourites and will be hoping for a French win, of any scoreline, which will enable them to leapfrog Joe Schmidt's men and cap a memorable tournament.

It's a trickier route to victory for France, though, as even if they do record a win over Ireland, they'll still have to hope that Italy can pick up their first result of the tournament against England. If England do win, Philippe Saint-Andre's side will have to overturn a 29-point difference over Lancaster's men to win the tournament.

RBS Six Nations: Predicted final standings
PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostPoints
1Ireland54018
2England54018
3Wales53026
4France53026
5Scotland51042
6Italy50050
Other

For that reason, Ireland are likely to top the group as they prove too much for France, with Wales picking up a heavy win over Scotland that will see Gatland's side leapfrog France into fourth, as Scotland and Italy stay fifth and sixth respectively.