Ireland crowned Six Nations champions after England lose in France

Head coach Jacques Brunel watches his squad during the session in Marcoussis

Head coach Jacques Brunel watches his squad during the session in Marcoussis

This is Ireland's third title in five years and it could be one of Schmidt's side's greatest achievements yet - regardless of whether England have been under-par.

England went into the game knowing that only a bonus-point victory would prevent the Irish, with four wins from four after an earlier 28-8 triumph over Scotland, winning the championship.

But the English were sloppy, uninspired in attack, and dominated at the breakdown.

A lot has been made about England's breakdown issues in the last two matches and a penalty count that reached 16 against France gave a strong indication of where Eddie Jones's team had struggled most.

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

"We'll have to look back at it and make sure we learn".

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"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. "I don't think we should get too carried away or too melodramatic about where we are".

A tally of 13 penalties prior to the interval summed up a largely turgid opening period, as Machenaud cancelled out two three-pointers from Owen Farrell and Elliot Daly's long-distance effort. Just last month they had gone eight matches without a win.

"Why downplay it? The Six Nations is the biggest annual tournament in the world, and England needed to produce a special performance to stay in it".

"I don't know what the answer is other than to just go away and be very critical of ourselves, be very harsh on ourselves", said back-rower Haskell. "It comes from pressure but unfortunately we weren't able to build that consistently". "On both occasions, we were there".

"So they were on the back foot from the start and, of course, France gained more hope and confidence as they stayed close and then overtook England".

Benjamin Fall came up with the ball but was tackled around the neck by Watson as he dived for the line, resulting in a yellow card and a penalty try being given by Peyper.

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France had another excellent chance soon after but Gael Fickou was stopped before the line after Remy Grosso broke the defense.

Jacob Stockdale became the first Irishman to claim six tries in a single Five or Six Nations competition with a brace against the Scots.

"The breakdown is different and more contestable and there are different interpretations of the ruck being refereed", he said.

But the bigger prize would be beating England next Saturday for Ireland to earn only a third Grand Slam, beside those in 1948 and 2009.

Machenaud booted his fourth penalty going into the final quarter, a raft of replacements boosting France's momentum.

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