England’s loss to France seals Ireland’s title but there is more to play for next Saturday. The Irish will want only their third Grand Slam and the English have a lot of pride to restore to the jersey back home in Twickenham.

Round Four Results

  • Ireland 28 - 8 Scotland
  • Wales 38 - 14 Italy
  • France 22 - 16 England

England struggled to score tries on Saturday afternoon and that ultimately cost them a shot at the championship next week. They began the second half chasing an impossible dream and were punished by a French team that seems to be gaining confidence with each round.

With Wales passing them into clear second place, albeit too far behind Ireland to impact the title, this is looking like it could be a disastrous championship for the men in white.

Worse then having to hand over the trophy after the game on Saint Patrick’s day is the fear that they will be steam rolled by a grand slam winning team into a dreary mid-table finish to their title defense.

Should they lose and other results go against them - Scotland beating Italy and France beating Wales, but allowing them a bonus point - then they end up in fifth place overall.

So expect a tremendously tough battle next week. The Irish will be there in numbers, especially with Cheltenham building up to the event. England are a cornered animal, but an extremely dangerous beast, especially in their hallowed ground.

Italy scored two more tries, but have not learned how to tackle. There is no leadership on the field and Wales took them to the cleaners in an entertaining game. It was disappointing to see two yellow cards against the Welsh, perfectly justified, but showing their poor discipline continues.

Apart from Ireland who’s steady progress is clear, none of the other six nations have had a lot to remember about this year’s competition. Let’s hope the Irish are still smiling on our national holiday.