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France have beaten England - Ireland are the 2018 Six Nations champions

11 March 2018

He says dreams of the Grand Slam had been shunted aside although the Irish could assure themselves of the Six Nations title - their third under Schmidt - with a week to spare if they secure a bonus-point win and England fail to match that against France in Paris.

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Joe Schmidt will now take his side to Twickenham on Satuirday, March 17, and attempt to take a clean sweep of trophies in this championship.

Scrumhalf Conor Murray wriggled over early in the second half to widen Ireland's advantage but it was replacement Sean Cronin's try in the 68th minute that drew the biggest cheers as it secured the bonus point.

In 2018, that moment came when Scotland beat England.

"If we win a championship and it's not a grand slam with a bonus point we're all going to be gutted".

"It's special because we won it at home", Schmidt said.

"There's a number of guys who won't be playing in Twickenham, but are certainly right behind the squad".

"This will be week number eight but for some players it's only week two".

"Then we just breathed a sigh of relief, and at this level if you breathe a sigh of relief and go "this feels comfortable, this feels good, we're in control", bang, just like that, you lose control again".

John Barclay admits Brian O'Driscoll was spot on by claiming Scotland's can not be considered genuine NatWest 6 Nations title contenders until they find a cure for their travel sickness. 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.

"I think it's a one-score game to be honest".

Scotland won the battle of the back rows at Murrayfield and England conceded nine turnovers at the breakdown. They made it really tough for England to get any fluidity. I thought James Ryan was vast again, he made 13 tackles and had 13 ball carries.

The excellent Ringrose's tap-pass sent Rob Kearney hurtling into the Scotland 22, Murray edged closer and Bundee Aki was held up over the line. Early in the game he did really well contesting the high ball, he nearly got away to create that score at one stage. "If we play with that intensity and that accuracy we should be in a good position".

Maxime Machenaud converted four penalties and Lionel Beauxis added another for the French, who were awarded a penalty try to break a 9-9 deadlock in the 49th minute.

Ulster winger Andrew Trimble also noted the expectation from the fans and players, something that hasn't always been there in recent seasons, and commended the players and fans for keeping calm ahead of the England test despite winning our third championship in five years.

France have beaten England - Ireland are the 2018 Six Nations champions