Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

France beat England 22-16 in Six Nations

France beat England 22-16 in Six Nations

Two years ago, England secured the Grand Slam with a 31-21 victory in Paris, a memory their hosts would dearly like to banish from their minds.

There's always a pivot in every Six Nations championship. But he was able to take something from the game and suggested that when the teams meet next year and during the World Cup in 18 months, Scotland will be a stronger team.

Jacob Stockdale bagged a brace to become the first Irishman to score six tries in a single campaign in Five and Six Nations history, as Ireland moved within one win of just a third-ever clean sweep.

SAINT-DENIS, France - Defending champion England conceded the Six Nations title to Ireland after losing to France 22-16 on Saturday. However, the throw-in wasn't caught.

"Today the passes didn't quite go to hand".

Scotland was bearing more gifts for the hosts. 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.

Ulster flyer Stockdale went over twice, however, the second on the stroke of halftime as Ireland went in 14-3 ahead.

Scrumhalf Conor Murray wriggled over early in the second half to widen Ireland's advantage, but it was replacement Sean Cronin's try in the 68th minute that could prove a title victor.

Showing early confidence Johnny Sexton opted to kick to touch close to the Scotland try-line rather than at goal but it failed to come off as the Scots stole the line-out. Jones was beside him and Kinghorn further out but Horne threw to the wrong man - Kinghorn - and over the sideline. Devin Toner, Peter O'Mahony, and the front row were replaced.

"We got ourselves back into it and we breathed a sigh of relief", said Best - who will win his 110th cap this weekend - at his eve of match press conference on Friday.

Captain John Barclay, downbeat and frustrated, chimed in with Townsend's long-term view that Scotland are a building side.

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.

"Ireland are an excellent side", said the Scottish coach.

"The young guys probably think they are going to get a lot of opportunities but it doesn't work like that", he said.

The game at the Stade de France was 9-9 at half-time as penalties from Owen Farrell (2) and Elliot Daly were cancelled out by Machenaud.

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