Sunday, March 12, 2017
England are officially Six Nations champions with one round to spare thanks to a convincing display against a disappointing Scotland side on Saturday. The 61-21 rout confirms their standing as the best team in the tournament, as they now look towards a Grand Slam.
Jonathan Joseph scored a hat-trick of tries as England retained their title, also equalling New Zealand's record of 18 successive wins by a tier one nation.
Their seven tries blew away a Scotland side who had arrived in London bidding for the Triple Crown and with hopes of a first Twickenham victory since 1983.
England's points tally was also the most either side had managed in the 135-match history of rugby union's oldest fixture and saw them equal their record 40-point margin of victory against the Scots set in a 43-3 success in 2001.
England had not led at half-time in any of their previous matches this Six Nations but were all but out of sight at 30-7 ahead at the break
"We're not beating our chest saying we're the No.1 team in the world, but we aspire to be the No.1 team in the world," said Australian coach Eddie Jones, who has not lost a match in charge of England since taking over in November 2015.
England must now beat Ireland to not only get the Grand Slam, but break that world record of successive wins, a feat that the All Blacks will be none too pleased with. Ireland though, will have other ideas.
"Ireland, psychologically, are in a strong position. They're beaten, they're out of the tournament and they love spoiling parties and the party they most like to spoil is the England party. That's an enormous amount of psychological advantage," said Jones.
*Video below now updated with official extended highlights