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Six Nations: Ireland secure bonus-point win over Scotland

13 March 2018

And, while those handling errors were extremely costly, he believes that just about every other aspect of his team's play in the Aviva Stadium was exactly as required for a big away win. "They're wounded but they're far from dead and buried", he said.

"We had a couple of chances".

"You have to build a score to be able to break a team down and run in four tries. I thought we had improved but not as much as we needed to", the Australian told a news conference.

"Our players tend to sit back and not go with the ball-carrier, because of habits they have, and we're working hard to change that habit, but when we're under pressure it comes back, therefore we get a gap between the ball-carrier and the second man".

Itoje reacted immediately by sticking his head out of the maul and he appeared to say to Jaco Peyper, the referee: "Sir, he is biting me". "If he is fit he will come straight back into the team".

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"James Ryan is in his first season with us and he doesn't know what it's like to lose a Six Nations".

"To give us that clear air to go to Twickenham with the championship, for me personally is an incredible relief", said Schmidt.

"With every team, you never play the flawless game", he explained. They were important scores, too, at a time when Scotland were well in the game. It's just a few little tweaks we need to fix.

"Against Ireland, we had already shown that we were there but we didn't get lucky (as we lost 15-13) but this time (against England), luck was on our side".

"Totally different", he said when asked if he saw similarities between the two games.

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Scoring one try alone took 73 minutes - Jonny May eventually went over - and the closing moments hinted at a Red Rose victory, but even with a malfunctioning set-piece wasteful France should have been out of sight. "The breakdown has definitely become more contestable".

Having rued an inspired Scottish display at Murrayfield last weekend, English fans will have been praying for a second-half recovery but had to watch through their fingers as Murray was dragged over the line to edge Ireland closer to the all-important bonus point.

Gregor Townsend was phlegmatic, encouraged by a performance he described as "miles ahead" of their capitulation in Cardiff in round one. This group haven't had the opportunity, so we can surely look back on what they did and what it meant for them afterwards.

"And Blair Kinghorn on his debut was fantastic".

"It never gets any easier - especially playing three away games against quality teams".

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Ireland have been head and shoulders above the other five nations in this campaign. "On both occasions, we were there". Early in the game he did really well contesting the high ball, he nearly got away to create that score at one stage.

"It's great to see young players coming through like him - it's what you need".