By Ros Satar
- France 21-31 England
- England win their first Grand Slam in 13 years after holding off hosts, France
PARIS, FRANCE – England completed their RBS 6 Nations and Triple Crown triumphs with the Grand Slam.
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With tries in the first half from Danny Care and Dan Cole, England were kept on their toes as Maxime Machenaud hit four penalties for the hosts to keep them in touching distance.
The second half started with more nip and tuck penalties, until Anthony Watson helped keep England a nudge ahead. Two late penalties by Owen Farrell proved to be crucial for England to finally erase the horror that had been their Rugby World Cup campaign.
Head coach Eddie Jones has not been timid about laying down the more controversial sound-bites, but were it is has counted he has made his mark already.
England were of course already crowned RBS 6 Nations champions after their defeat over Wales, and aided and abetted by a great Scottish Victory over the French, and make no mistake, there is still a lot of work to be done in England.
Discipline has been an issue for England, but now there is time for the team to grow, and some of the tough changes Jones brought in including shifting former Captain Chris Robshaw aside for Dylan Hartley, paid off in the last round.
There were worrying moments after Hartley took a crunching hit to his head, and was out cold and stretchered off, but returned to the field to lift the trophy.
Talking to BBC Sport, Jones said: “I’m very proud of the boys. It’s a great achievement by the team. I always had confidence in them.
Dylan Hartley has been fantastic and he has done a very good job. Billy Vunipola, Mike Brown and Owen Farrell have done very well assisting him along with James Haskell and Chris Robshaw. That nucleus has been very strong.
“The great thing is the best is ahead of us. We’re looking forward to [the summer tour to] Australia and we’re only going to get better.”