Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Science | By Hubert Green

Confirmed: Ireland crowned Six Nations champions as England lose

Confirmed: Ireland crowned Six Nations champions as England lose

England needed a bonus-point win against France to keep the Six Nations title from Ireland, but a drab performance in 22-16 defeat in Paris handed a third championship in five years to Joe Schmidt's side. All evidence now suggests Ireland have usurped England as the new Northern Hemisphere superpower.

Saturday's reverse in Paris came immediately after England's 25-13 defeat by Scotland and meant they had lost back-to-back matches under Jones for the first time since he took charge after the team's first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup.

"You've got to take these opportunities with both hands when they come", he said.

The former number 10 is pleased that Ireland are not resting on their laurels after an 11th successive win but are firmly focused on capturing just a third Grand Slam success in their history.

When Wales coach Warren Gatland last named an experimental side, it almost resulted in a shock defeat by second-tier Georgia before his new-look team hung on for a 13-6 home win in November. Joe van der Flier will be delighted. Power is force times mass, and it's how quickly you can accelerate it. 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. That was Jordi Murphy's first run-out and I thought he was outstanding coming off the bench. Scotland were very good on that day.

"(The players) do stay in that bubble. There are some pretty exhausted bodies there, I think Scotland made 190 tackles and we made 135 - that suggests that there was a fair bit of collision stuff out there, and it was very hard work post-tackle as well. "That tells me that one of two things are wrong", Dallaglio added. It's always good to win against England, it doesn't happen too often. "They'll be gunning for us". You have a go and you get penalised, so you don't want to go in again. I thought James Ryan was vast again, he made 13 tackles and had 13 ball carries. He neatly batted the ball down to May who ran in to score. It's similar to that now, I know Rory Best is desperate for a Grand Slam because he thinks he'll be a bigger part of it than he played back then. "We're finding out all the issues that we need to fix before the World Cup". He is the reason why Ireland beat the Springboks for the first time in July 2016 and why the Men in Green ended a 111-year wait to beat the All Blacks in November of the same year.

"It's very muted upstairs".

"It is a very unusual feeling to win the championship with a game to go", said Sexton.

"It is great we have built a bit of depth but we know the biggest challenge (England) lies ahead".

When the boot was on the other foot in the final game of last season, Ireland turned party poopers in Dublin but wing Jonny May says England's motivation will be on paying back their disappointed fans.

Like this: