Ireland pile pressure on England with bonus-point win


A brace of tries from Jacob Stockdale in the first half, in addition to a try a piece from Limerick duo Conor Murray and Sean Cronin in the second half, gave Ireland a 28-8 victory and one hand on the Six Nations trophy.

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

Jonathan Sexton concedes that England will be "licking their lips" at the prospect of denying Ireland a Grand Slam when the two sides meet next weekend.

A day that ended so joyously for the Irish had begun nervously as Scotland, buoyed by a victory over England last time out, matched their hosts for much of a high-tempo first half.

"We're just going to be reasonably calm about it and go again next week".

Just as they had against both Italy and Wales, Ireland collected the bonus point to leave them on the verge of claiming a third title in five years.

France were awarded a penalty try early in the second-half, a converted Jonny May try for England making for a frenetic finish before Lionel Beauxis landed a late penalty to wrap the game up.

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Jones revealed that number eight Nathan Hughes is "unlikely" to be available for the climax to the Six Nations against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

In a scrappy game which lacked any real fluency, England struggled to get over the gain line.

Ireland looked nervous, but Scotland failed to capitalise on several promising positions and Stockdale punished them when Garry Ringrose put him in for his sixth try of the tournament. "We came close against Ireland, (and) this time things turned out well for us". Against the run of play, the Scots took the first points from a Greig Laidlaw penalty. France got the better of England in this respect, with openside flanker Camara winning some key penalties while also showing his athleticism and strong ball-carrying ability in open play. It was a team performance right from the start.

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

The breakdown, exposed at Murrayfield, was a fault line once more but even more alarming were the 16 penalties that saw them whistled out of contention by referee Jaco Peyper.

"Because of this team and how competitive we are, we always want a bit more", Best told RTÉ Sport.

"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.