Sloppy, uninspired England lose in France to relinquish title

Finn Russell

Jessy Tremouliere's last minute try ended England Women's Six Nations Grand Slam bid as France Women claimed a dramatic 18-17 victory in Grenoble.

The nature of a physical sport like rugby is seismic injuries will affect the team - even though every coach wants a full deck to select from - but Schmidt has shown faith in young players and given them the confidence to step up and perform when opportunity knocks.

It's the flip of what happened previous year (when Ireland denied England a Grand Slam) and we know what England's motivation is going to be.

"If the game loves us then we might have won against France, but we didn't get bounce of ball, we didn't get the 50/50 decisions and we are in the losers' chair and it is not a very happy place". "We are always going to go through this at some stage", England boss Jones said. "It's weird [also], because we won it watching a game over which we didn't have any control over".

Maxime Machenaud duly added his fourth penalty and Jonny May's try came too late in the piece for England, with Ireland now holding an unassailable lead in the table.

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.

"It's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point".

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

"I don't think this spell was inevitable, but I think it's normal. When you think of an Irish team doing that in South Africa, they've developed great depth". "We were beaten at the breakdown, we gave away too many penalties, and when we had the momentum we didn't score, whereas they did".

"Everyone knows the size of the challenge, they haven't lost there under Eddie Jones", said Best. "They will run little three-phase plays off scrums and line-outs having seen little things that England do, and when they get into the opposition 22, they will keep it really simple, they'll be very direct and their ruck will be really good". It was a bit of a weird feeling on Saturday, watching the England game and knowing we had effectively won it, and just by people's reactions... obviously we said "well done" to each other!

"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.

SCOTLAND: S Hogg; B Kinghorn, H Jones, P Horne, S Maitland; F Russell, G Laidlaw; G Reid, S McInally, S Berghan, G Gilchrist, J Gray, J Barclay, H Watson, R Wilson.

Ireland: Kearney 8 (Larmour 74min, 6); Earls 7, Ringrose 8, Aki 7, Stockdale 8; Sexton 8 (Carbery 72, 6), Murray 8 (Marmion 70, 6), 6; Healy 7 (McGrath 50, 7), Best (Cronin 65, 8), Furlong 8 (Porter 61, 7); Ryan 9, Toner 7 (Henderson 54, 7); O'Mahony 8 (Murphy 54, 8), Leavy 8, Stander 8.

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