Six Nations: Ireland win 2018 title after England's defeat to France

Mae Harvey
March 11, 2018

Unless England could claim a bonus-point win over France in Paris, Ireland would be crowned champions on Saturday night.

"We all make errors but we certainly played some outstanding rugby today and caused a very good side problems", said Townsend. "Any team that is developing, as we are, gets through these tough periods when the game does not love you", England coach Eddie Jones said.

"It was a great performance for France.

We'll have a look at England now and try to strike out again next week".

The last time England engineered four touch downs on French soil was in 1992 and, with the breakdown nightmare that surfaced at Murrayfield a fortnight ago evident once again, they came apart in a tense encounter of low quality.

Ulster flyer Stockdale went over twice, however, the second on the stroke of halftime as Ireland went in 14-3 ahead.

The 21-year-old try-machine's first-half double - making him the only Irishman to score six tries in a tournament - was added to by Conor Murray and Sean Cronin in the second half as the Irish secured a third successive bonus-point win.

But the bigger prize would be beating England next Saturday for Ireland to earn only a third Grand Slam, beside those in 1948 and 2009.

Sexton's displeasure didn't distract Greig Laidlaw who slotted over the penalty to give them a 3-0 lead.

Scotland wasted a glorious chance to score when Huw Jones chipped over Keith Earls, picked up and burst clear with Stuart Hogg inside.

Turned up, played well and put themselves in a position to win the game was the positive side of an otherwise bad day for Scotland.

Ireland made its bonus-point intentions known after only four minutes, when flyhalf maestro Jonathan Sexton waived off a penalty goalkick to set up a lineout.

Blair Kinghorn's try did narrow the lead to 21-8 in the 51st minute, but Ireland were simply more clinical, and there was a sense of elation when a lineout move in the corner resulted in Cronin, nearly on his knees, going over.

He's determined he doesn't squander this rare shot at a Grand Slam. Yet if I could I'd suggest that they need to be treat that ticket as a privilege; a chance to influence the outcome, because they...

"We created a lot of opportunities and one more pass needed to go to hand", Scotland skipper John Barclay said. They have fought out incredibly tough finishes. France got the better of England in this respect, with openside flanker Camara winning some key penalties while also showing his athleticism and strong ball-carrying ability in open play.

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