England were crowned Six Nations champions Sunday with one round of matches remaining following France’s 29-18 defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield.
Eddie Jones’ side defeated Wales 25-21 in Twickenham Saturday to remain on course for a Grand Slam and can now no longer be overhauled even if they lose their final match against France at the Stade de France next weekend.
“It’s nice to win the Championship but as a team we feel like we haven’t achieved anything yet,” Jones told the BBC after Scotland’s victory.
“It’s a fantastic achievement. It’s pretty much the same squad as the one that went to the World Cup. I don’t know what wasn’t there before.
But we’ve made sure the players are responsible, we play in a style that suits our resources and the players enjoy themselves.”
France will be disappointed not to have taken something from their visit to Edinburgh especially after Guilhem Guirado opened the scoring but the home side responded through tries from Stuart Hogg and Duncan Taylor.
Gael Fickou scored France’s second try with the last move of the half to leave Guy Noves’ team trailing 18-12 at the break but a monster penalty from Hogg and a try from Tim Visser with 14 minutes remaining sealed victory for Scotland.
“This is the reason we pull on this jersey. We make so many sacrifices, and that was for the fans,” Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw told the BBC.
“I thought we scored some great tries. France put a lot of width on the game and we had to scramble for each other. You can see what it meant to us.” France got off to the perfect start at Murrayfield, with captain Guirado touching down after just five minutes following a slick move that involved Virimi Vakatawa and Wesley Fofana.
With Francois Trinh-Duc missing the resultant conversion and a later penalty, two Laidlaw penalties edged Scotland in front after 21 minutes.
Hogg moved Scotland further ahead with his side’s first try of the game on 32 minutes after good work by replacement outhalf Peter Horne and the French were left reeling four minutes later when Taylor took a quick penalty before running half the length of the pitch to score in the corner.
Laidlaw slotted over the conversion to move Scotland 18-5 in front but France struck back through a Fickou try with the last move of the half. Maxime Machenaud converted to leave the visitors trailing 18-12 at the break.
A Hogg penalty from inside his own half gave Scotland some breathing space and although Machenaud reduced the deficit with a penalty of his own on the hour mark, Visser’s try with 14 minutes remaining secured a deserved Scotland victory.