• England beat Ireland 33-11 but France win Grand Slam
• Danielle Waterman scores record 47th try for England
England’s women, with their fly-half Katy Daley-McLean controlling the game impressively behind a powerful pack, secured a triple crown with victory over Ireland in Coventry on Friday night. But it was only a consolation.
Half an hour after they had left the Ricoh Arena pitch they learned in the dressing room that France had won the Grand Slam and taken England’s Six Nations title with a convincing 38-3 win over Wales in Colwyn Bay. As England had feared, their last-minute defeat in Grenoble had taken their fate out of their own hands.
Scotland’s next task is to improve on the road, Wales show their worth with the ball and France still off the pace
It seems cruel that anyone in Scotland should have to talk about anything other than their victory, but in the hours after the match Gregor Townsend was already thinking about their next Test, away to Ireland. “We’ve got our own issues to deal with,” he said, “we have to show a truer picture of what we’re about when we’re away from home”. Scotland have been a poor side when they’re playing away for a long while now, but those two recent defeats, to England at Twickenham and Wales in Cardiff, were particularly bitter given how much better they’ve become at home. Townsend said he doesn’t necessarily expect to win in Dublin, he just wants his team to reproduce the kind of rugby they play at Murrayfield. They have the makings of a great side. But they need to take that next big step. Andy Bull