With Ireland snatching the Six Nations championship away from England and leapfrogging Eddie Jones' men in the rankings, all that's left to do is finish the job by beating them in Twickenham on St Patrick's Day to crown a fantastic few months for Irish rugby.
England head coach Eddie Jones has warned that a long road lies ahead before his side cure their breakdown ills after they struggled to impose themselves for the second game running against France on Saturday.
"It was a bit of a weird feeling on Saturday, watching the England game and knowing we had effectively won it", said the Limerick man. Jacob Stockdale continued his remarkable strike rate with a first-half brace that took the young Ulster wing's tally to 10 tries in eight Tests.
"We can't expect club teams to play global rugby, just as we can't expect to play club rugby".
JOHNNY SEXTON has urged his Ireland team-mates to upgrade their Six Nations title to a Grand Slam.
Maxime Machenaud (4) and Lionel Beauxis landed penalties for France, who were also awarded a penalty try. England have also called up Exeter's Henry Slade for the first time in this year's competition after recovering from a shoulder injury. "We're coming from the Premiership, where no one competes at the breakdown, into the Six Nations where every team is throwing lots of people into it", he said. "I think the scrum was really solid, we had some good lineout defence too". "On both occasions, we were there".
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"They dragged England down to their own level of drudgery".
France came back with a move ignited by captain Guilhem Guirado, who took them into the English 22.
The breakdown, exposed at Murrayfield, was a fault line once more but even more alarming were the 16 penalties that saw them whistled out of contention by referee Jaco Peyper.
France had another excellent chance soon after but Gael Fickou was stopped before the line after Remy Grosso broke the defense.
Penalties, 16; turnovers conceded, 11; runovers won, three; and that, by and large, is the explanation for the loss.
Then England reduced the gap to 19-16 with a superb try.
Jones' side scored two penalties and a conversion by Owen Farrell, a penalty by Elliot Daly and a try by Jonny May. Almost half of England's penalties were given away while in possession - an incredible statistic, but explicable. Jones, who has now led England to 24 victories in 27 matches since taking over after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, added: "Any team that's developing goes through a period where the game doesn't like you. I thought we had improved but not as much as we needed to", the Australian told a news conference.