Ireland earn vital bonus point in 28-8 defeat of Scots

13 Marcha, 2018, 02:29 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Dylan Hartley

"If England don't sort themselves out this week they will be on the end of a hiding from Ireland on Saturday".

Kiwi wing Sean Maitland (L) says Scotland will still throw the ball around despite conceding intercept tries in Six Nations losses to Wales and Ireland. But this weekend, nine years on from the last day of glory, the current squad have two men (Rob Kearney and Rory Best) bidding to earn the distinction of being the onlyIrish internationals in history with two Grand Slams. It's been relatively recent that we've won three games in the championship, beating England for the first time in ten years.

"We're being exposed in certain areas at the moment". Maro Itoje and other England forwards enjoyed last season's laws permitting a degree of mucking around on the wrong side of rucks but even before this season's altered interpretations, Jones admitted he would love a foraging No 7.

"The learnings we'll get from this, albeit very painful, are absolutely crucial going forward because it's about how we respond".

There would have been no screaming at the screen this time.

Ireland's 11th successive win, crucially with a four-try bonus point, turned the screws on England which knew it would have to beat France with a bonus point to keep the title race alive for the final weekend.

"England are going to be no different". No wonder if the experience was curiously flat.

"I think we've got the best players here".

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.

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"On Saturday, though, by lowering their ambition and aiming just for the simple win by any score, they nearly seemed to seal their fate".

"We've tried to improve our performances week on week and its going to have to be the same again". But increasingly it is looking as much a reflection on the benefits of home advantage in this competition as it is any fundamental failings on Scotland's part.

Ireland, who also prevented English Grand Slams in 2001 and 2011, are braced for a backlash.

England, Schmidt has noted, are at their most unsafe when they have something to prove.

The 45-year-old also pointed to Ireland's last-gasp win over France last month to reiterate that England's attackers failed to make the most of their chances unlike their Irish counterparts.

'They will be incredibly keen to make sure that they deny us what we denied them a year ago'.

A fair bit remains to do till then, though.

Ireland's Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt said he was "surprised [Horne] threw it after our last game against Wales, when Jacob picked up a very similar sort of try".

Everyone who participated in Ireland's game against Scotland on Saturday has been given a clean bill of health facing into a possible Grand Slam winning match against England.

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