England's direction under Eddie Jones less clear than ever

Chelsea West
March 12, 2018

Ireland claimed their 14th championship tonight as France's victory over England in Paris handed Joe Schmidt's side the championship following their 28-8 win over Scotland in Dublin.

He's determined he doesn't squander this rare shot at a Grand Slam.

"I think Rory [Best] is desperate for Grand Slam because he feels he would be a bigger part of it now than he played back then [when Best understudied for Jerry Flannery in four of the five matches]".

I was a bit alarmed how everybody was trying to play down the need to win with four tries to stay in contention for the tournament after Ireland's excellent win over Scotland earlier.

Ever since the 2018 Six Nations fixtures were announced, there was talk of Grand Slam decider at Twickenham on St Patrick's Day in the final round.

This was perhaps the weekend at which Ireland really started to believe the title was firmly on as they beat a confident Wales side in Dublin, scoring five tries in the process in a real topsy-turvy encounter.

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The bonus-point fourth try came with 11 minutes to go, when hooker Sean Cronin, only three minutes after replacing Best, dived over from the back of a rolling maul.

Jones had completed the most radical team selection of his reign but the incoming Ben Te'o, Anthony Watson and Jamie George made little impact, while Owen Farrell was powerless as captain to reverse the mediocrity around him. Armand won his solitary cap against Argentina last summer but Jones has since resisted calls to select the Zimbabwe-born back-row and previously questioned his work rate.

"We knew the physical challenge would be key and we controlled the ball and that upset England, they're not used to that". Scotland had its chances but wasn't as accurate, and butchered two tries, probably three. That's a stretch too far, ruin too strong a word. From the resulting scrum, Ringrose doubled round Bundee Aki, and Stockdale stepped opposite Kinghorn to score his second try of the match, and a leading sixth in the championship. "We'll go away and dissect the performance and take positives, because we played some brilliant rugby at times and caused Ireland a lot of problems at times". "We need to learn".

And one thing we will most likely never see again should bonus points become permanent in the Six Nations - as chief executive John Feehan intimated they would earlier this year - is a three-way title decider on the final day, as we witnessed in 2015.

"If we're not very much in the game, they could get away from us very quickly with the athletes that they have in their team", he said.

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

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