And that’s it. The 2019 Six Nations is over. Wales were ruthless under a roofless Principality Stadium, restricting Ireland to an in-the-red converted try, as they claimed a thoroughly deserved Grand Slam. France, meanwhile, should consider themselves more than fortunate to have beaten Italy to, somehow, end up fourth — and then England and Scotland hit the party button just a little early, winding up the tournament with a thoroughly non-northern hemisphere 11-try, 76-point, draw.
But, the important question for ESPN Fantasy Rugby managers remains how well their team has fared on this last week of competition — and the Scots did really well this week courtesy of their so-near so-far comeback, while the Irish failed to get a single player into the team of the week.
Without further ado, here are the players who made the final ESPN Fantasy Rugby team of the week.
9 points, 61.7% owned
A sixth try in the 2019 tournament, his 14th in 15 internationals, gave the England speedster five of his nine points — and he also made his tackles and did his fair share of running. It wasn’t his greatest performance … to be honest, not much could top that hat-trick against France in the second round. But May is selected to score tries — and that’s what he’s done.
17 points, 1.7% owned
What have you guys got against Anscombe? Only 1.7 percent of Fantasy Rugby managers have him in their team. Whatever your problem with him was, a near-perfect 17-point man-of-the-match performance in the Grand Slam match against Ireland, that started with that oh-so clever chip for Hadleigh Parkes after just 70 seconds, should change your mind. He was perfect off the tee, and switched seamlessly from out-half to fullback, where the Fantasy Rugby Points elves have selected him for the second week in a row after George North’s early exit with an injury.
13 points, 0.5% owned
A try on his first start last week, and two more touchdowns in that crazy tournament-ending match at Twickenham. Graham must be thinking this international rugby lark is pretty easy — even after that armless hit from Owen Farrell. Did okay in defence, too, after a shaky start in May’s contrails. Still, as with last week, he’d probably trade at least some of his personal performance for a win.
13 points, 6.4% owned
Playing on the wing in real life but a centre in Fantasy Rugby, Penaud also managed to be a rare highlight in another disjointed performance for France, where the whole has very definitely not outweighed the sum of its parts in this tournament. The stats will tell you he made a bunch of tackles, scored a try, made another and ran plenty. They won’t tell you he saved more than French blushes five minutes from time, knocking the ball out of Marco Zanon’s hands as the Italian dived over the line; then he gave the score in Rome a flattering look with a sprint to the other in-goal area.
11 points, 1.4% owned
Wales’s Hadleigh Parkes can consider himself unfortunate not to have made the final Fantasy Rugby team of the week. However, being asked to stand in the way of Manu Tuilagi has made bigger players than Sam Johnson quail. The Glasgow Warrior was one who did not shrink from the task — and his own try in the 76th minute that looked like it had won it for Scotland was a thing of joy.
19 points, 14.7% owned
Meet the magician who masterminded that stunning second-half comeback from Scotland. He scored one of their six tries, and was instrumental in much of the Scottish good stuff — and there was plenty of it — in that scintillating, bizarre 13-minute period when they scored four tries to leave England utterly shell-shocked.
8 points, 0.5% owned
On a day of multiple missed chances for Italy, the livewire scrum-half scored the second-half try that kept Italy in the game just a few minutes after Yoann Huget had gone over for France. If only Zanon had been able to take just one of the two chances that had come his way, Italy may well have been celebrating their first victory in 21 Six Nations outings.
6 points, 0.4% owned
On as a relatively early replacement after Ben Moon went off with a shoulder injury after five minutes, Genge did all the work you’d expect of a prop and even tried a couple of those bullocking charges he’s so well-known for. Got an assist bonus for neatly putting Kyle Sinckler through a gap in the build-up to Joe Launchbury’s try.
13 points, 20.8% owned
Flanker-turned-hooker McInally showed all his pace to score from 55-plus metres out after he had charged down an Owen Farrell kick to give Scotland a sniff of hope when they looked there for the taking and did his fair share of tackling. It’s been a decent tournament for the Edinburgh player.
4 points, 17.8% owned
Speaking of decent tournaments, Dell may not have been at his most effective this week — Twickenham is a noted graveyard for Scottish front rowers — but he still did enough honest graft to get a slot in ESPN’s Fantasy Rugby team of the week for a third time. Which can’t be bad.
12 points, 6.9% owned
It’s not so much what any Fantasy Rugby managers may have against Launchbury, but what real-life England coach Eddie Jones has against the Wasps player. He may have an expression like Droopy’s more miserable brother but he’ll still put in a shift worthy of his permanently world-weary countenance every time he’s on the pitch. His face even threatened to crack — just a little — when he sidestepped his way to the line for an early try as England were threatening to run riot.
6 points, 0.4% owned
Twenty tackles. Twenty. Two-zero. Basically, a huge number of hits from Toolis on a day when few others seemed to be doing much in the way of defensive work. A tackling performance worthy of Jonny Gray.
12 points, 11.4% owned
The 20-year-old has performed all tournament as if he has seven years more experience behind him. It’s honestly hard to believe this was his first full Six Nations. His performance this weekend featured a try and more selfless work in defence. If he can stay fit, surely a shoo-in for the plane to Japan
13 points, 0.2% owned
Here’s a keeper. This was Bradbury’s first international start at number 8, and he looked born to it. There was barely a TV camera angle all game that didn’t show at least part of his body, such was his ubiquitous presence at Twickenham. His best performance in the Six Nations – and thoroughly deserved his try.
6 points, 45.7% owned
Looked like he could have walked on water at a rain-sodden Principality Stadium even after he had put in a 20-tackle day’s work as part of an exceptional 80-minute defensive effort that stifled the fight out of Ireland. His 29 points overall aren’t enough to make ESPN’s Team of the Tournament, but the Welsh coaching staff know the value of the work he put in throughout the 2019 Six Nations.