Medicine

Refereeing is evolving and England need to adapt - Jones

Refereeing is evolving and England need to adapt - Jones

England must match Ireland's result against Scotland in their clash with France in Paris to keep the championship alive until the final weekend, when Eddie Jones' men will host Schmidt's outfit at Twickenham.

Scotland captain John Barclay has said that Ireland play a "brutally effective" brand of rugby ahead of his side's Six Nations trip to Dublin on Saturday. Against Ireland (lost 15-13 in the last minute), we were there, we lacked just a little bit at the end.

"We got ourselves back into it and we breathed a sigh of relief", said Best - who will win his 110th cap this weekend - at his eve of match press conference on Friday.

"Finishing in the top three is important for us and there's a chance to give some time to players in the squad to see where they are at this level and develop more depth in the squad".

Maxime Machenaud (4) and Lionel Beauxis landed penalties for France, who were also awarded a penalty try. Now it comes down to whether the Irish can overcome England in London for the first time in eight years to decide their bid for the clean sweep.

Having experienced more disappointments on the road with Scotland than he would care to recall, Greig Laidlaw knows how tough it is to win away from home in the Championship, and is under no illusions about the scale of the task that awaits his team in the Aviva Stadium. "It's going to take us some time (to adapt), it's not going to come quickly". "On both occasions, we were there".

Jones acknowledged that even if England are ranked second in the world, they are still a team in development.

Back from the dressing room, England launched a gritty attack but it was stymied by a brilliant tackle from center Mathieu Bastareaud on prop Mako Vunipola.

France had another excellent chance soon after but Gael Fickou was stopped before the line after Remy Grosso broke the defense.

England's Owen Farrell (2) and Elliot Daly responded with their own penalties before Jonny May crossed for a try Farrell converted to set up a frantic finish to what had been a dour, defense-driven and often mistake-riddled encounter at the Stade de France.

Trailing 14-3 at half-time, Scotland stayed in the hunt with a Blair Kinghorn try cancelling out a Conor Murray touchdown off a maul.

While many supporters will not appreciate the comments given the somewhat fractured relationship that Gatland has endured with Irish rugby as of late - should, as Francis coins it, "Joeball" bear similar successes, then fans will surely have no problem with it.

Jones has only a week before Grand Slam-chasing Ireland visit Twickenham, bringing with them two of the best flankers in the competition, Dan Leavy and Peter O'Mahony.


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