Friday 26 December 2014

Despite a big English win today, an Irish victory will seal glory

Published 15/03/2014 | 14:17

Man-of-the-match Mike Brown was in among the scores today as they comfortably saw off the Italian challenge.

England’s big victory against the Italians today, the objective for Joe Schmidt’s men hasn’t changed. A win and we will be crowned champions.

Stuart Lancaster’s side kept up their end of the bargain in scoring seven tries as they ran out convincing 52-11 winners over a home side that struggled to threaten at the other end of the pitch.

The result puts a dent in the points difference (Ireland sit on +81 compared to England’s +73). It effectively rules out any feint hopes Philippe Saint-Andre’s men had of landing an unlikely championship. They will need to beat the boys in green by more than 70 points to claim silverware.

For Ireland, a win of any margin will seal a fitting send-off for Brian O’Driscoll in his final game in an Irish jersey, while a loss means that England will take the spoils.

The abacus was been brought into play while England were racking up the scores in Rome, but a 49 points difference at the start of the day was simply too big a mountain to climb should the sides finish level on points.

A French victory and the trophy cabinet at Twickenham will have a new visitor in the coming days.

The win was the core objective for  Lancaster’s men will we watching nervously on proceedings in Paris and cheering on the home side as they hope to edge was has been the most competitive Six Nations in years.

Declan Whooley

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