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Team spirit the key as Ireland take title in their suits

12 March 2018

Eddie Jones insists England are negotiating an inevitable slump where the "game does not love you" after France handed Ireland the Six Nations rugby title by prevailing 22-16 over his team in Paris.

Elliot Daly collected the ball out wide and found May inside for the try, which was converted by Owen Farrell.

If they beat Wales next weekend, France, who are third in the championship on points difference, could finish second depending second-placed England's result against 2018 champions Ireland at Twickenham.

And the hosts ran in four tries in Dublin to put themselves firmly in the box seat for Six Nations glory.

Now the shoe will be on the other foot, with England at home on the final day endeavouring to atone for two away defeats and in the process deny their visitors a Grand Slam on their home patch, as Ireland did to England in 2001, 2011 and previous year.

"Although he (Ford) has had his moments in friendlies and games when England get on top, he is struggling in games that really matter". We've never won it, certainly not in my five years with the team. the other two times we've won it away from home so it's nice to have won it at home today. Scotland had its chances but wasn't as accurate, and butchered two tries, probably three.

It was hardly surprising that at times during Ireland's 28-8 win over Scotland in Dublin, the centre pairing of Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose failed to get their moves right.

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This narrative has annoyed Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who seems to be a lot more easily riled these days than the cool, level-headed nearly schoolmasterly demeanour he projected in his early years in charge of the Boys in Green.

"We are three or four years behind Ireland in terms of what they've done and achieved over the last few years", Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said.

Having the title wrapped up is great reward for our consistency and means we can go to Twickenham without all the pressure and risk of having nothing tangible to show for our hard work.

Luke, Will, Ethan, Christopher, Benjamin and Todd, sent us their messages for the Ireland team.

England won the subsequent two - the Irish denying them successive Grand Slams by beating them in Dublin past year.

England boss Eddie Jones admits he may have to make changes to his selection policy, as he looks to address his side's power deficit and lack of discipline at the breakdown.

France coach Jacques Brunel praised his team's defensive performance.

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"I told them that if we won it would open up new and positive things".

"We knew the physical challenge would be key and we controlled the ball and that upset England, they're not used to that".

The 27-year-old has always spoken candidly about his decision not to accept the Springboks' attempts to convert him into a hooker, believing him too small to cope as a Test back-row forward.

"If they are free in that zone, it becomes complicated for their opponents".

"Lose that, which is very possible, and, as defending champions, England will have finished with only two victories".

France, who had lost nine of their last 11 Six Nations games against England, are third in the standings behind England on points difference.

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Team spirit the key as Ireland take title in their suits