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England will be gunning for Grand Slam revenge - Sexton

11 March, 2018, 01:52 | Author: John Swanson
  • Britain will be hit by rain and snow today

England must win with a bonus point if they want to take the championship to the final day in Twickenham and now, England are leading 6-9 with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Ireland led 14-3 at the break against Scotland thanks to Ulster winger Jacob Stockdale's ninth and tenth global tries in what was just his eighth Test.

England surrendered their NatWest 6 Nations title to Ireland with a round to spare after a 22-16 defeat by France completed their worst Championship performance since 2010.

"Our basic skills were pretty good in a number of areas, our tackling was outstanding and our contact work when we had the ball was outstanding".

Which means that the Grand Slam is within grasp, as Ireland take on England at Twickenham Stadium in London on Saturday 17 March, kicking off 2.45pm.

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The former Scotland worldwide has made eight appearances in all competitions since making the move to the Ibrox Stadium, keeping three clean sheets and his experience and know-how will come in handy as they look to close the gap between themselves and the reigning Scottish champions.

The Irish stayed undefeated by dispatching Scotland 28-8 with a four-tries bonus point at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Scotland showed glimpses of the form that saw them beat England in the previous round of matches, with Blair Kinghorn's try keeping them just about in the hunt, but a lack of accuracy at crucial moments proved costly.

They were deep into Ireland territory and leading 3-0 through Greig Laidlaw's penalty when they offered the hosts the first of several gifts during the afternoon.

However, it was an ambitious attempted pass from Peter Horne that led to the opening try, with Stockdale making the interception to give himself a clear run for the line.

Their finishing let them down horribly in a fizzing first-half however, with a woeful final pass from Huw Jones denying Stuart Hogg a cakewalk home. A simple pass would have resulted in a Hogg try but Jones made a mess of it and the chance went begging.

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With an very bad record away from home, the Scots' own championship bid was nearly inevitably squashed by an Irish side which owns the visitors in Dublin, where Scotland has won only once in 20 years.

When Murray scored and Sexton converted to put Ireland 21-3 ahead in the 46th minute, victory looked assured and it was all about taking the bonus point.

"Have they earned it?"

"They had three chances on top of the intercept, and took all of them. They've done everything that you can possibly do", he said of his team. No one can catch us which is great. They have fought out incredibly tough finishes.

Shortly before half-time, he capitalised on good handling from Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose for his second of the day - but it was his first that had everyone talking.

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