Rugby is evolving and according to coach Eddie Jones, England, who lost 16-22 to France in the Six Nations tournament last Saturday to hand the title to Ireland, are struggling to adapt to the way the game is being refereed.
- Ireland are unbeaten in their last 14 home games in the Six Nations (W12, D2), before that run they had never gone more than seven such matches in the Five or Six Nations without defeat.
The roles are reversed from twelve months ago when Ireland denied champions-elect England a Grand Slam at the Aviva Stadium, but it will be Rory Best and his team-mates gunning for a Championship clean sweep at Twickenham on St. Patrick's Day (kick-off 2.45pm).
Scotland showed glimpses of the form that saw them beat England in the previous round of matches, with Blair Kinghorn's try keeping them just about in the hunt, but a lack of accuracy at crucial moments proved costly.
Jones, meanwhile, has called up Zimbabwe-born Exeter flanker Don Armand for England's final game of the championship against Ireland on Saturday following injuries to Courtney Lawes and Nathan Hughes. "So you've got to take that in equal doses".
More worrying for England, they have scored only two tries over their last two matches.
Armand and Haskell, as well as Kyle Sinckler, likewise fit the mould and may come into the side against Ireland after catching the eye off the bench in Paris. "We knew that the physical challenge would be key". Garry Ringrose has just joined us and did a super job today so you're always trying to blend in new players.
England spent the fortnight after the Calcutta Cup rout at Murrayfield working on their breakdown, only for the same issue to surface in Paris, a effect of which was their attack never left first gear. "When you think of an Irish team doing that in South Africa, they've developed great depth".
"We needed to be good at the breakdown, and maybe they were not used to be bothered in that area", Brunel said.
Asked if Irish provinces' approach at the breakdown gives their national side an advantage, Jones said: "It's pretty obvious".
"It's very muted upstairs - it's a odd feeling to win the Championship with a game to go", Sexton said. We've got to pick them up to play well against Ireland. "It comes from pressure but unfortunately we weren't able to build that consistently". "I don't think we should get too carried away or too melodramatic about where we are".
Jones, reportedly earning £750,000-a-year, reined back from criticising the Premiership, where tries are often easy to come by.
"I know a lot of the [English players] from Lions trips and they are very proud people". But on the back of that, we created the score with a little set play which worked out really well.
"We are three or four years behind Ireland in terms of what they've done and achieved over the last few years", Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said.