Eddie Jones says England going through 'tough period' after French loss

This narrative has annoyed Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who seems to be a lot more easily riled these days than the cool, level-headed nearly schoolmasterly demeanour he projected in his early years in charge of the Boys in Green.

Jones has only a week before Grand Slam-chasing Ireland visit Twickenham, bringing with them two of the best flankers in the competition, Dan Leavy and Peter O'Mahony. "We came close against Ireland, (and) this time things turned out well for us".

It was nowhere near the depths of Cardiff but Scotland's sorry away record in the Six Nations continued in Dublin yesterday as they were eventually beaten comfortably by superior Ireland side.

"I was pleased with the effort today, we were in a position to win the game", he said, adding that any team was "fallible and has weakness".

England's Owen Farrell (2) and Elliot Daly responded with their own penalties before Jonny May crossed for a try Farrell converted to set up a frantic finish to what had been a dour, defence-driven and often mistake-riddled encounter at the Stade de France. Jones did not attribute any blame to the Premiership sides but the contrast is vast between England, whose interests often collide with that of the clubs, and Ireland, where the relationship is far more symbiotic.

"Lose that, which is very possible, and, as defending champions, England will have finished with only two victories".

Ireland adopted a positive approach from kick-off and, after putting Scotland under early pressure, opted to kick a penalty for touch rather than settle for three points from the boot of Jonathan Sexton.

- Scotland have won away to Ireland just once in the Six Nations (L9), a 23-20 victory at Croke Park in 2010; since that win Scotland have lost 17 of their 19 away games in the Championship, with their only victories coming against Italy (2014 and 2016).

They will win the Grand Slam if they beat England next Saturday.

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"We didn't learn quick enough, I'm not 100 per cent sure why".

"Although he (Ford) has had his moments in friendlies and games when England get on top, he is struggling in games that really matter".

"We have to find ways to cope with it, simple as that".

But the visitors dug in and got the first points on the board when Laidlaw stroked over a routine penalty in the 13th minute.

"It's going to be very tough, we need to flick that switch and get stuck in for last week of championship".

A day that ended so joyously for the Irish had begun nervously as the Scots, buoyed by a victory over England last time out, matched their hosts for much of a high-tempo first half.

They will bid for Grand Slam glory when they face Wales Women in Colwyn Bay on March 16.

"I think there were a couple of players who worked incredibly hard".

Woodward, a free-running and try-scoring England centre in his playing days, was among those concerned by the lack of attacking threat - an issue for a team with ambitions of winning next year's World Cup in Japan - and, in particular, the form of fly-half George Ford.

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