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Sexton: 'We have it all to do in Paris - but we're a special group. We can win there'

Ireland can still win this year’s Six Nations title but it is advantage England as we head into next week’s final round of fixtures.

Sexton celebrates his try, one of seven Ireland scored today.
Sexton celebrates his try, one of seven Ireland scored today.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON is backing Ireland to cause an upset in Paris next week and land an improbable title.

Top of the table after four rounds of this championship, Ireland can secure the title by one of two ways, either by beating France with a four-try bonus point or else by securing a better points difference than England.

As things stand, Ireland’s points difference is plus 38; England’s is plus 15 and it is hard to see how they will not put up a big score on Italy in Rome next Saturday.

Afterwards Sexton told Virgin Sport: “Points difference might not be enough now. We might have to go over and score four (tries). How many times have we gone over to Paris and won? Not too many times.

“There was a lot of good things about tonight’s performance but a lot of things we are going to have to fix up. France are an outstanding team; we will have our work cut out.

“But had I been offered a 50-17 win beforehand here, then I would have snapped your hand off.

“We have it all to do but we have got a special group and if anyone can do it, we can.”

Man of the match, Will Connors, said: “That was a special game for me considering it was my first day in a green shirt.

“As a group, we are fairly proud as it means a lot to be part of this country’s team.

“We just wanted to give the country something to be proud about, to cheer people up. We are delighted with the win.

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“We stuck together as a team and we kick on from here.”

Next step is Paris, Ireland needing a big win to secure their fourth championship in seven years.

Connors said: “We are going to France with our heads held high. We are ready to go. We are an unbelievably excited group.”

Sexton too is excited by the quality of player Ireland have coming through.

He said: “It was a pretty good performance, scrappy at times as it always is when you have not played together for six or seven months.

“We knew it was going to be like that but even so, I am proud of the lads, the effort that was put in. That was outstanding. For lads on debut like Hugo (Keenan), Will (Connors) and Ed (Byrne) and Jamison Gibson-Park who came off the bench, it is a brilliant moment. I’m delighted for them.

“We wanted to give them a special day and any day you put 50 points on an opposing team you know you have done a lot of things well.

“That said, there are a few things we’d like to take back such as the intercept try that I gave away. But these things happen and I am proud of how we bounced back from the mistakes we made.”

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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