Stockdale double sets up Irish for Grand Slam showdown

Ireland v Scotland Six Nations

The Grand Slam is on for Ireland on St. Patrick's Day.

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

Which means that the Grand Slam is within grasp, as Ireland take on England at Twickenham Stadium in London on Saturday 17 March, kicking off 2.45pm.

"Regardless of what happens this evening, it will be about us going there to win a Triple crown and whatever else goes with it".

Jacob Stockdale bagged a brace to become the first Irishman to score six tries in a single campaign in Five and Six Nations history, as Ireland moved within one win of just a third-ever clean sweep.

At that stage it was clear that the title was already beyond England's grasp, but they did push forward in search of a try which would help them to victory in Paris, only for a knock-on virtually on the French line to bring an end to the match.

Jones revealed that number eight Nathan Hughes is "unlikely" to be available for the climax to the Six Nations against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

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Ireland looked nervous, but Scotland failed to capitalise on several promising positions and Stockdale punished them when Garry Ringrose put him in for his sixth try of the tournament. Against the run of play, the Scots took the first points from a Greig Laidlaw penalty.

Murray, though, was to get his moment of glory as he ducked inside Finn Russell and went over six minutes into the second half - Sexton converting as the Irish eased away to 21-3.

Scotland managed to get hands on the ball and looked threatening until Peter Horne threw a wayward pass between center partner Huw Jones and Stuart Hogg straight to Stockdale.

Scotland got some reward for their efforts when Blair Kinghorn scored his first global try in the corner after a good spell for his side.

But when replacement hooker Cronin barged home from a driven lineout, Ireland had that all-important bonus-point, and the title tantalisingly within their grasp. "We came close against Ireland, (and) this time things turned out well for us".

Ireland went all out for the fourth try.

"We all make errors but we certainly played some outstanding rugby today and caused a very good side problems", said Townsend. "We play Ireland next year in the Six Nations and we will play them in 18 months at the World Cup and we need to make sure we are a better team when we play them". Murray shaped to go one way, went the other and, although Scotland got bodies back, he still found a way through.

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