6N: Ireland KO Scotland 28-8 to stay on Grand Slam track

Ireland forward CJ Stander carries the ball against Scotland in 2016

John Barclay admits Brian O'Driscoll was spot on by claiming Scotland's can not be considered genuine NatWest 6 Nations title contenders until they find a cure for their travel sickness.

In 2018, that moment came when Scotland beat England.

It was a nervy affair for Ireland, having lost a 12 point half-time lead in the second half.

With England losing in France in the later game on Saturday, it means Ireland can not be caught at the top of the table.

It was Joe Dunleavy's first 6 Nations start for his country, and the Letterkenny man put in a solid performance to help his team to victory.

"Until they do that, they'll be seen as a home team", said the former British and Irish Lion.

Victory moved Ireland 10 points clear of second-place England ahead of their clash with France, and Eddie Jones were uninspired as they fell to a 22-16 defeat in Paris to surrender their crown with a week to spare.

Speaking about what it means to the current crop of players to be crowned champions, Schmidt said: "From a wider squad perspective, it is particularly satisfying".

"There are lots of things we could improve on from the England game".

The Dark Blues contributed to their own downfall at the Aviva Stadium as their hopes of mounting a late bid for the Six Nations title crumbled.

"We have to look at that".

England's task to become Six Nations champions again has become very hard.

Ireland blamed the bus arriving at Murrayfield 15 minutes late on their 27-22 loss to Scotland previous year - and captain Best insisted his side have learned the hard way how to clear unforeseen hurdles.

But while the Townsend's rejuvenated outfit notched up impressive over France and the Auld Enemy at BT Murrayfield last month, O'Driscoll said the Scots will not get the respect given to real challengers until the fix their woeful record on the road.

France has traditionally capitalised following a British and Irish Lions tour, as the home nations' best players battle fatigue after a long season.

If the French forwards boss the breakdown than England could be in for a torrid afternoon at the Stade de France.

First, England were bullied off the ball in an attacking position, France awarded another penalty, and when France came down the other end, Watson was penalised for a high tackle on the try-line, with the result a penalty try and a yellow card.

Scotland took the lead thanks to Greig Laidlaw's penalty, but then that off-kilter finishing bit hard.

The Grand Slam is on for Ireland on St. Patrick's Day.

Wales face France in their final match at the Principality stadium and have the advantage of kicking off last.

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