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Best of social media from Round 3

Best of social media from Round 3

Best of social media from Round 3

England and France booked their places in the final of the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup on a thrilling Round 3 weekend.

Meanwhile, Ireland dug deep to see off a determined Georgia as a feast of international rugby treated fans across Saturday and Sunday.

England were made to work hard by Wales but eventually prevailed 24-13 at Parc y Scarlets.

Henry Slade and Mako Vunipola scored a try each as Eddie Jones’ men topped Group A but it was Sam Underhill who was the star of the show.

The flanker put in an energetic display in both attack and defence and showcased his skill at the breakdown by producing a superb turnover of James Botham.

Ugo Monye, former England international turned TV pundit, was one of the many to heap praise on Underhill’s performance.

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From one former England man to another now, as Will Carling also took to Twitter to laud the Bath player.

Johnny Williams had given Wales an early lead with his tenth-minute try but, while Wales did succumb to another defeat, Wayne Pivac must have been impressed with the increased solidity of his team.

Indeed, Wales reflected on the contest by declaring their showing ‘spirited’ as they now look ahead to a meeting with Italy on Finals Weekend.

Elsewhere, a much-changed France ran in three tries in eight second half minutes to beat Italy 36-5 and top Group B.

Italy made the early running though and dotted down through Carlo Canna but this was cancelled out by Jonathan Danty’s score.

Then, Gabin Villiere, Baptiste Serin and Teddy Thomas delivered a quickfire blitz of tries before Sekou Macalou added the cherry on top with a fifth score.

Coming as it did at the end of a hugely difficult week, in which French rugby legend Christophe Dominici died aged just 48, France dedicated the win to the former wing.

 

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Several stars shone for France though on a day where quotas on the number of autumn international appearances Les Bleus players are permitted meant Fabien Galthie was forced into 13 changes.

The likes of Villiere, Danty and Macalou all impressed with France keen to highlight the work of their lesser-heralded men.

A second defeat of the competition for Italy means they will now face Wales on Finals Weekend but for the first 40 minutes they more than held their own against Galthie’s side.

Head coach Franco Smith was disappointed with the second half showing though and believes his side was outperformed when it really mattered.

Smith said: “France took to the field with a game plan almost identical to ours, they performed better than us.”

Sunday saw Ireland finish their Group A campaign with a 23-10 victory over Georgia as Billy Burns and Hugo Keenan crossed for Andy Farrell’s side.

Burns’ effort was his first international try and the fly-half showed that he can be a long-term contender for the number ten position after an encouraging display.

Munster’s Shane Daly made his first international appearance off the bench with the 23-year-old congratulated by his team.

Despite falling to another defeat Georgia produced their best performance of the competition so far as they scored ten points.

And Giorgi Kveseladze certainly delivered with a stunning individual try that had many people purring on social media.

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