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Les Bleus! England's Six Nations dreams shattered in Paris

12 March 2018

Followed by - sacre bleu! - another loss in Paris on Saturday evening, by 22-16, with another 10 turnovers forced by Mathieu Bastareaud and friends and 16 penalties conceded by England as they kissed adieu to their Six Nations title.

- Ireland are unbeaten in their last 14 home games in the Six Nations (W12, D2), before that run they had never gone more than seven such matches in the Five or Six Nations without defeat.

Ireland top the table with 19 points from four games after securing a 28-8 bonus-point victory over Scotland earlier on Saturday, meaning they can not be caught by England when the two teams meet at Twickenham next weekend.

Adding what would be just a third ever Grand Slam to that list against England in Twickenham on Saturday would likely render any debate moot, even if the Kiwi's ultimate goal will be to take the side to a first World Cup semi-final before departing in 2019.

Scotland showed glimpses of the form that saw them beat England in the previous round of matches, with Blair Kinghorn's try keeping them just about in the hunt, but a lack of accuracy at crucial moments proved costly.

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Joe Schmidt's men had beaten Scotland 28-8 in Dublin earlier in the day, crucially running in four tries to pile the pressure on England ahead of their clash in Paris.

"I have a sense it was a bit of a one-score game". Any team that is developing, as we are, you go through these tough periods where the game does not love you.

"Credit to the management team to have prepared us so well for each match with so many players missing", said Sexton.

Les Bleus missed only eight from 176 tackles - only two in the first half - and dominated England at the breakdown, holding firm in the opening 15 minutes when their opponent enjoyed 75 percent of possession.

"You could tell by their speeches and by their actions that season how much it meant to them and they had to drag along guys like Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe, Rob Kearney, these young guys coming through. I'm sure they will be gunning for us". "At times we did hit some good holes and we got some good momentum and I thought we looked good, particularly at the end of the game". We know how hard it's going to be with England. He said: "I'd be lying if I said otherwise".

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"I don't think this spell was inevitable, but I think it's normal. It's going to take us some time, it's not going to come quickly".

England coach Jones will be without back rows Nathan Hughes and Courtney Laws who both sustained knee injuries against France - Exeter's Don Armand was called up on Sunday night - and could make other changes too.

"We're on the losing chair but you shouldn't get carried away or be too melodramatic about the way we are".

Jones, reportedly earning £750,000-a-year, reined back from criticising the Premiership, where tries are often easy to come by. The boot is on the other foot after a year ago and I'm sure they'll be licking their lips.

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