Ireland win the Six Nations as England go from champs to chumps

France players celebrate defeat of England

France players celebrate defeat of England

Rugby is evolving and according to coach Eddie Jones, England, who lost 16-22 to France in the Six Nations tournament last Saturday to hand the title to Ireland, are struggling to adapt to the way the game is being refereed.

Jones suggested England's breakdown woes were a deep-rooted problem within the English game, although refused to blame the Premiership, but conceded it may take until next year's World Cup at the earliest before there is tangible improvement.

Two tries by Jacob Stockdale set up Ireland's dominant 28-8 victory over Scotland on Saturday, which a few hours later proved to be enough for the Irish to clinch the Six Nations title.

The win against 2017 champions England was all the more pleasing because France were still without the players who were axed from the squad for going on a night out following the 32-26 defeat by Scotland at Murrayfield on February 11. Against the run of play, the Scots took the first points from a Greig Laidlaw penalty.

Les Bleus opened this year's campaign with two defeats, by Ireland and Scotland, that stretched their winless streak to eight games.

Back came Ireland right on halftime. "We defended well and we always went forward". "I thought we had improved but not as much as we needed to", the Australian told a news conference. There was rarely any danger of a repeat display when, having made 10 changes, in a bid to develop squad depth ahead of next year's World Cup, Gatland saw Wales overpower Italy 38-14 in Cardiff on Sunday following back-to-back defeats by England and Ireland. And in that position and several others, you look for English candidates - within the Premiership, of course, as anyone such as Steffon Armitage overseas is banned - and find them crashed out on treatment tables. "We controlled the ball and that upset them because they're not used to it".

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"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.

"Against Ireland, we had already shown that we were there but we didn't get lucky (as we lost 15-13) but this time (against England), luck was on our side".

"I think there were a couple of players who worked incredibly hard". "We came close against Ireland, (and) this time things turned out well for us".

"I know there's a lot of hype around it, and there will be more, there'll be a lot of distraction that you'll have to deal with and put to the side, and we're good at focusing on what we need to do, and what we need to get better at from last week".

"We probably gave away too many penalties in their 22. Any team that is developing as we are, you go through these tough periods, when the game doesn't love you", he said. "We'll have to look back at it and make sure we learn". The boot is on the other foot after previous year and I'm sure they'll be licking their lips.

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