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Sunday, 19 March 2017

No back to back Grand Slam, but England remain 6 Nations Champions.

‘We were just not good enough – we still have a lot to do’

Image result for ‘We were just not good enough – we still have a lot to do’

Swing low, Sweet Chariot.
Ireland 13pts England 9 pts.
So ends the dream of back to back Grand Slams and the record of 19 straight test match wins to overtake the All Blacks record of 18 in a row. Ironically it was also the Irish who ended New Zealand's run of wins leaving England and the All Blacks level on 18 straight wins and England in second place in the World rankings table.
At any other time, taking the 6 Nations Championship and the Calcutta Cup would be and is an achievement, but this year to miss the Triple Crown and the Grand Slam somehow makes England's success in the competition seem a little hollow.

Image result for ireland 13 england 9

Image result for ireland 13 england 9

It was a poor game, as were the other two matches, and England never managed to overcome the Irish "in your face" tactics which prevented any real exhibition of open play as shown in previous games, particularly against Scotland. However, that is not intended to take anything away from Ireland who arrived at the Aviva Stadium with a game plan to disrupt and harass England and the Irish and carried out the plan perfectly. 
England did not perform and paid the price. Eddie Jones still has much work to do with his pool of players before the World Cup.