The Breakdown: A statistical look at the fifth round of Six Nations matches

By Sports Desk March 15, 2019

Three teams can still win the 2019 Six Nations as we enter the final round of matches this weekend.

Wales are in the driving seat, but they must defeat defending champions Ireland in order to be assured of the title and the Grand Slam.

England could also steal victory if Ireland win in Cardiff and Eddie Jones' men defeat Calcutta Cup rivals Scotland.

Meanwhile, there is little on the line for Italy and France as they reprise a usually one-sided fixture.

With the help of Opta, we take a statistical look at the fifth and final round of matches.

Italy v France

Italy have endured another miserable Six Nations campaign and history would suggest it is unlikely to get better against France.

The Azzurri - on a record 21-match losing run in the Six Nations - have only beaten France twice in 19 meetings in the championship, winning just three of 40 such clashes in all competitions. However, Les Bleus have only won once themselves in this campaign.

Sergio Parisse is set to captain Italy for the 50th time in the competition.

Wales v Ireland

The Grand Slam is on the line for Wales as they face defending champions Ireland, with Warren Gatland's men chasing their 12th in tournament history and fourth in the current format. It would also be the fifth time the Grand Slam has been won at the Principality Stadium - Ireland accounted for one of those.

Wales - on a 13-Test win streak - have won their last two home Six Nations matches against Ireland, but Joe Schmidt's men have triumphed in their last four championship away games.

Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones will win his 134th cap and draw level with Gethin Jenkins as his country's most capped player, fifth in the worldwide list.

England v Scotland

If Wales slip up, England will have the opportunity to take advantage and win the championship if they can beat Calcutta Cup rivals Scotland, who won the sides' last Six Nations meeting.

That was Scotland's first win in 10 against their old rivals in the competition, however, while England have only lost four of the teams' 48 Twickenham clashes - most recently in 1983.

Scotland's last trip to England saw them suffer their joint-worst defeat in the history of this Test fixture, going down 61-21.

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    The damage was done by first-half tries from Alivereti Raka, Maxime Medard and Gregory Alldritt, with Medard adding a second before Antoine Dupont went over with an hour played.

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    Medard touched down in the corner to make it 15-0, Camille Lopez having dispatched his initial attempts from the tee.

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    EVENING ERRORS PREVENT AUSSIES FROM DRIVING HOME THE ADVANTAGE

    Warner's toils with the bat at the hands of Broad so far in the series transferred to some shoddy work at slip as England tottered. Twice Paine failed to call for reviews that would have seen Nathan Lyon dismiss Burns and Stokes lbw. Both factors could prove costly in the final analysis of a rain-affected and low-scoring encounter.

    ARCHER PROVES HE BELONGS

    Where England's World Cup heroes have largely failed to fire with the bat since white ball switched to red, Archer left no doubt over his credentials with a spell for the ages. The rangy speedster taking on Smith truly was an "I was there" moment for all in attendance.

    MOMENT OF THE DAY

    After the thrill and concern of his joust with Jofra, there was a gladiatorial quality to Smith returning to the fray.

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