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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 22 May, 2019
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England take top spot in Six Nations despite lacklustre display against Scotland

It could have been much worse for Ireland’s Championship hopes.

Image: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

STUART LANCASTER’S ENGLAND will lead the Six Nations Championship going in to the final week of the tournament after a 25 – 13 win over Scotland in Twickenham.

Tries from Jonathan Joseph, George Ford and Jack Nowell ensured the scoreline would have a convincing feel to it in the end, but the Championship’s only pointless team managed to lead the World Cup hosts at half-time.

With Ireland losing to Wales in the day’s early fixture, Joseph’s fourth minute try looked like opening the floodgates for an England side knowing points difference could bring them a title after another home fixture next week.

Source: RBS 6 Nations/YouTube

Instead, however, the hosts contrived to pass up scoring opportunities and allowed their neighbours to the north back into the game before half time.

Source: RBS 6 Nations/YouTube

Greig Laidlaw converted that excellent Mark Bennett try and added two more penalties to send the Scots into the changing rooms 10 – 13 ahead at the break.

After the turnaround, Ford would slip through the Scottish defence to restore England’s lead, but despite the incentive of moving top of the table, they never really looked capable of tearing Scotland apart.

Source: RBS 6 Nations/YouTube

The young out-half would add another penalty on 50 minutes to swing the Chariot further ahead, but it was a missed kick which put a gloss on the display late on.

Leading by seven with five minutes to play, Ford blasted a penalty against the post. Rather than leaving the Scottish 22 disappointed, however, a knock-on kept England on the attack and the white shirts flooded forward effectively and created space enough for Nowell to raid down the left wing and score in the corner.

Source: RBS 6 Nations/YouTube

Ford would miss the conversion to leave England’s advantage at 12, but post-match attentions quickly turned to the accumulated numbers on the Six Nations table.

Lancaster’s men move level with Ireland and Wales in the Championship standings, but lead by a points difference of three and will know exactly what they need to do when they kick off their closing fixture at home to France next Saturday.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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