Sexton savours Irish Six Nations title win

Although it was a light session some players charged into the team-mates with tackle bags

Granted, we lived dangerously at times and we certainly rode our luck at times defensively. It is going to take us some time.

Scotland captain John Barclay conceded a penalty in his half but Sexton, again, kicked for touch rather than the posts.

Scotland missed 13 tackles in the first half, and looked outclassed after the new half began and an Irish lineout drive to the try-line finished with scrumhalf Conor Murray barging over with a push from Aki.

"Something always goes wrong, and that's the beauty of sport: you've got to be bigger and stronger than that".

Dominated early when they were made to pay for their mistakes, the French turned things around in the second half thanks to ill-discipline by England.

Ireland, against tradition, are the bludgeoning Goliath against Scotland's adventurous David in today's opener of the fourth round of games in the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations.

Ulster flyer Stockdale went over twice, however, the second on the stroke of halftime as Ireland went in 14-3 ahead.

Stockdale has only played in eight tests for Ireland but has now firmly established himself as our key scoring threat.

Scotland continued to compete, the lineout descended into a bit of a lottery but the developing stats were telling the story that Ireland had slowly established a stranglehold. It took only six minutes for try number three to arrive.

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RTE have awarded man of the match to Rob Kearney - although there was A LOT of love for Jacob Stockdale - and above all else, it was two teams enjoying the game, and playing with nothing but respect for each other. "It's always hard to pick up a side when you've lost but that's the challenge for us, and it's full steam ahead".

"Credit to the management team for being able to prepare us with so many changes". Some going. No-one else came close, each of them losing two matches out of four.

The Irish won their first Grand Slam in 1948 and also achieved the feat in 2009.

France won the battle of the breakdown with indiscipline also hampering England as they fell to a 22-16 defeat at the Stade de France.

"It's very muted upstairs, it's a very odd feeling to win the championship with a game to go and so much still to play for", Sexton said. I think, with the Championship already in the bag, the pressure is off to some extent. "It's just important that we go to Twickenham and play how we want to play and show an improvement - that's all that matters".

"I think Rory [Best] is desperate for Grand Slam because he feels he would be a bigger part of it now than he played back then [when Best understudied for Jerry Flannery in four of the five matches]".

"We will look back on it when we lift the trophy next weekend and say that was a huge moment", added the 32-year-old.

Schmidt became Ireland's national coach in 2013 and has coached them to victories over all the top teams in the world, including the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016.

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