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Best of Social: Sexton milestone, Lawes tackle and Ashman score

Best of Social: Sexton milestone, Lawes tackle and Ashman score

Johnny Sexton celebrates after scoring a try on his 100th cap for Ireland with Andrew Conway

The second round of Autumn Nations Series action proved to be a thrilling advert for international rugby, with six enthralling games taking place over the weekend.

Week 2 saw Ireland and New Zealand comfortably best Japan and Italy 60-5 and 47-9 respectively in the early Saturday action while a rampant England side dismantled Tonga 69-3 later on in the day.

A late Malcolm Marx try saw reigning world champions South Africa complete a sublime second-half comeback against Wales to secure their first win in Cardiff since 2013 while 19 points from the boot of Melvyn Jaminet helped France past Argentina 29-20.

In Sunday’s game, a resurgent Australia ran into a Scottish buzzsaw, with Gregor Townsend’s men beating the Wallabies 15-13 at BT Murrayfield.

And where better to the start the round-up of the best social media reaction from the weekend than with Ireland’s impressive win over Japan at the Aviva Stadium, which saw fly-half Johnny Sexton win his 100th cap for his country.

Skipper Sexton put Japan to the sword figuratively speaking before being gifted a Samurai sword by Japanese captain Pieter Labuschagne to celebrate his impressive achievement.

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The centurion capped his 100th cap performance with a try too, celebrated of course with a trademark Sexton roar.

And the 36-year-old, who was moved to tears in the aftermath of the win, admitted that it was special occasion for both himself and his family.

The All Blacks set a new record for Test tries in a calendar year against Italy thanks to winger Sevu Reece, who crossed the whitewash for an astonishing 93rd New Zealand try this year.

With Ian Foster’s men in such sublime form, you wouldn’t bet against them reaching the 100 mark during the remainder of the Autumn Nations Series.

England were positively purring at Twickenham against Tonga, with Eddie Jones’ men running in a whopping 11 tries in front of a bumper crowd.

Owen Farrell’s absence amidst COVID uncertainty might have been the talk of the town in the build-up to the Test, but England allayed any fears by putting on a show for the Twickenham faithful.

However, one of the standout moments was a piece of England defence, that saw flanker Courtney Lawes race back in defence to prevent an almost certain score from Tonga flyer Telusa Veainu.

Courtney Lawes, lock, flanker…full-back?

Wales and South Africa played out a pulsating Test at Principality Stadium, that saw the latter come out on top thanks to a late try from Marx.

Having not played a Test match in three years after a gruesome spate of injuries, Welsh flanker Ellis Jenkins earned some rave reviews following an incredible eye catching performance.

The final Saturday action saw Melvyn Jaminet’s boot put Argentina to the sword, as France ran out 29-20 winners over Los Pumas.

The feel good story of the day came when former Loughborough University fifths lock Thibaud Flament crossed for France on his debut, picking a superb line off Mathieu Jalibert to dot down in front of a raucous Stade de France.

And in the final game of round two of the Autumn Nations Series, Scotland pulled off an impressive win over Australia 15-13.

Finn Russell slotted the decisive penalty on 68 minutes to give Gregor Townsend’s men their second win this Autumn, which saw 21-year-old debutant Ewan Ashman pull off an impressive finish for the Scots.

Not bad for a hooker…

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