The Anglo-Welsh Cup is the perfect stage for tomorrow’s stars to shine, but it was Wasps’ experienced scrum-half Dan Robson who caught the eye of the statisticians this week with a fine display against Worcester Warriors.
Robson scored two tries, set up three more and gained 192 metres – almost twice more than anyone else last weekend – in an impressive 62-10 victory.
The 24-year-old led the way for a fresh-faced Wasps side, which also included the likes of Thomas Young and Tom Cruise, while 18-year-old Jacob Umaga also played – scoring two tries.
Back row player Alex Rieder will also have caught the eye of coach Dai Young as he made 23 carries at the Ricoh Arena, more than any other player across the weekend’s eight matches, according to the Opta Rankings.
Worcester Warriors spent much of the match on the back foot, which meant their tackle count was mightily impressive as Sam Lewis, Sam Betty and Andrew Kitchener all got stuck in.
Lewis made more tackles than anyone else with 26, while Betty and Kitchener were second and third in the standings – with Harlequins’ No.8 George Naoupu the best of the rest with 17.
Exeter Chiefs got their Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign up and running with a commanding 62-25 win against Cardiff Blues.
Michele Campagnaro was excellent in the backs as he beat six defenders, while 21-year-old scrum-half Stu Townsend did his bit at the breakdown – winning three turnovers.
Young back-rower Sam Simmonds was also crucial, as he made four offloads and five line breaks, making a massive contribution to Exeter’s fluent attacking play.
Elsewhere, it was an almighty battle in Wales as Harlequins made it two wins from two with a 15-12 victory against Ospreys, on the night Adam Jones returned to the region.
Quins’ second row Charlie Matthews was dominant in the air, winning a remarkable 15 line-outs and scoring one try, while Ospreys hooker Scott Otten (18) and No.8 Dan Baker (17) made plenty of powerful carries.
Winger Tom O’Flaherty was also dangerous with ball in hand as he beat eight Harlequins defenders, more than any other player.
Elsewhere, Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens held off Newcastle Falcons 29-18 with Nick Tompkins, Scott Spurling, Jared Saunders and George Perkins scoring tries.
The aerial route did not pay off for Newcastle Falcons, with Joel Hodgson kicking 13 times in the match – only Freddie Burns at Leicester Tigers (16) kicked more.
Burns put in an impressive display as the Tigers beat Gloucester Rugby 42-3, as his quick feet also beat five defenders, while Mitch Eadie starred as Bristol Rugby beat Sale Sharks 26-11, making three crucial steals at Ashton Gate.
And Jack Condy and Josh MacLeod impressed for Scarlets in their 44-21 win against Bath Rugby, as Condy’s carries (16) and MacLeod’s tackle count (16) set the tone on a memorable night.
Sam Lewis (Worcester) 26
Sam Betty (Worcester) 24
Andrew Kitchener (Worcester) 18
George Naoupu (Harlequins) 17
Josh Macleod (Scarlets) 16
Alex Rieder (Wasps) 23
Scott Otten (Ospreys) 18
Dan Baker (Ospreys) 17
Tom Cruise (Wasps), Jack Condy (Scarlets) 16
Dan Robson (Wasps) 192
Tom Howe (Wasps ) 98
Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors) 92
Jeff Williams (Bath Rugby) 81
Thomas Young (Wasps) 80
Charlie Matthews (Harlequins) 15
Rory Thornton (Ospreys) 10
James Craig (Northampton Saints), Glen Young (Newcastle Falcons). Will Rowlands (Wasps) 7
Tom O’Flaherty (Ospreys) 8
Jeff Williams (Bath Rugby) 7
Michele Campagnaro (Exeter Chiefs) 6
Thomas Young (Wasps), Freddie Burns (Leicester Tigers), Liam Belcher (Cardiff Blues), Dan Robson (Wasps) 5