France gift Six Nations title to Ireland in defeat of England

Scotland captain Lisa Martin. Image

Scotland captain Lisa Martin. Image

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Ireland blamed the bus arriving at Murrayfield 15 minutes late on their 27-22 loss to Scotland previous year - and captain Best insisted his side have learned the hard way how to clear unforeseen hurdles.

Two years ago, England secured the Grand Slam with a 31-21 victory in Paris, a memory their hosts would dearly like to banish from their minds.

Questions had been asked of Scotland's away form having only won twice away from home in Six Nations history against opposition other than Italy but the former Glasgow Warriors boss believes progress has been made. "They've done everything that you can possibly do", he said of his team.

That provided France with some much-needed respite and within minutes Jaco Peyper was standing in front of the England posts.

"I thought the leadership was outstanding". The record speaks for itself.

All of which means that Ireland are now, officially, YOUR Six Nations champions. Editable versions of this graphic are available via PA Graphics or your account manager.

Scotland's shock win at Murrayfield last weekend put England's title defence in a precarious state, but its away struggles continued in Dublin. "We'll have a look at England now and try to strike out again next week".

"So, whilst we're all disappointed, we're all gutted, you know, we've got to make sure we learn from it and make sure we're stronger next time we play". But what about the man who replaced him as captain, the man so many critics would like to see leading England into 2019?

"If we play with that intensity and that accuracy we should be in a good position".

BC-RGU-Ireland-Scotland, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 768 6N: Ireland KO Scotland 28-8 to stay on Grand Slam trackAP Photo LON838, LON834, LON833, LON839, LON842Eds: Updates with championship won, quotes by Best, Townsend.

Beauxis failed to find touch in injury time to extend some suspense. In the past we have let ourselves down, we have probably underperformed in certain games and we understand we need an excellent performance at the weekend to be able to win the game. If we execute then those outcomes will happen.

Ireland adopted a positive approach from kick-off and, after putting Scotland under early pressure, opted to kick a penalty for touch rather than settle for three points from the boot of Jonathan Sexton. In fact, they haven't played well since the first 20 minutes of the Wales match.

"It's very muted upstairs, it's a very odd feeling to win the championship with a game to go and so much still to play for", Sexton said.

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