Sexton savours Irish Six Nations title win

Adjust Comment Print

Such an impressive victory has put Joe Schmidt's side in pole position to end their three-year barren run, something that could well happen as soon as this weekend and with a round to spare depending on the outcome of their home meeting with Scotland - who still have a slim chance of success themselves after those memorable Murrayfield heroics - and England's subsequent "Le Crunch" clash with France in Paris.

But at the same time, the scrum-half believes that a big away result is the obvious next phase in the evolution of this group of players.

The Irish began their campaign with a nerve-wracking last second win over France and have secured three successive bonus point wins - for scoring at least four tries - since, all at Lansdowne Road over Italy, Wales and then the Scots.

"We must make sure we don't let any distractions catch us", said Best, ahead of Ireland hosting Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. It's a very odd feeling to win the Championship with a game to go, and so much still to play for.

"They gave us plenty to work on for next week and challenges don't come much bigger than England away so we'll certainly be staying grounded".

"We're in the loser's chair and it's not a happy place, but I don't think we should get too melodramatic about it".

"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.

"We are a rugby team and no rugby team has an aura of invincibility about them".

More news: Protests spread in south Kashmir over killing of militant, 4 civilians
More news: Philippine president needs 'psychiatric evaluation', UN rights chief says
More news: Valve's Gabe Newell Says They're Back To Making Games

"Mentally we've got to be there as well".

England surrendered the crown they have held for the last two years with a second successive defeat, a fortnight after falling to Scotland.

"It would be nice to prove him wrong but it won't be motivation for us doing it just because somebody called us homers". "At times when we were under pressure today and they were trying to play chaotic rugby, we were able to get a breath back and get control through the spine of our team".

One very obvious but very sizeable lesson to be learned when you are playing against Ireland is the urgent need to disrupt the smooth operation of their half-backs.

Ireland have been impressive so far in the Six Nations, and would have secured a far more comfortable set of results had they been more clinical.

"Murray and Sexton are probably Ireland's best two players". Even though Scotland flew out to 21-5 after 30 minutes, Ireland rallied to lead 22-21 until less than 10 minutes to go. Jonny likes to attack on any front foot ball, those little wraparound plays.

With forwards like Wenceslas Lauret and Yacouba Camara, who are experts in the back row, Les Bleus will bring a lot of dynamism to open play. Both of them are.