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Guinness Six Nations Round 4 Review: France in pole position as title goes to the wire

Guinness Six Nations Round 4 Review: France in pole position as title goes to the wire

Guinness Six Nations Round 4 Review: France in pole position as title goes to the wire

France celebrate after beating Wales in round 4

Round 4 of the Guinness Six Nations saw one of the remaining title contenders fall leaving just two teams left in the running going into the final weekend.

England’s Championship hopes was dashed after they lost at home to Ireland following an early red card.

But France remain on course for a first Grand Slam in 12 years, while Scotland got back to winning ways following a successful trip to Rome.

Here’s what happened.

France one game away from glory after surviving Wales onslaught

Championship leaders France remained top of the table and are now just one game away from a clean sweep after battling to a 13-9 win over Wales.

Fabien Galthié’s men got their noses in front through an Anthony Jelonch try in the corner in the ninth minute.

Their remaining points all came the boot of the impeccable Melvyn Jaminet.

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Les Blues were pushed all the way in the second half by Wales, for who Dan Biggar kicked a trio of penalties.

But despite plenty of territory and being roared on by the Cardiff crowd, Wales couldn’t get the crucial score and France survived.

They are now just one win away from a first Grand Slam since 2010, with only England standing in their way, the two meet in Paris next week.

Ireland end English hopes of a Championship after early red card proves crucial

Only Ireland can still deny France sealing the title in Paris next week, after they ended England’s hopes at Twickenham in Round 4.

Andy Farrell’s team ran out 32-15 winners, despite a brave effort from the hosts who were forced to play close to the entire game with only 14 players.

Charlie Ewels was shown a red card with just 82 seconds on the clock after clashing heads during an attempted tackle on James Ryan.

But it wasn’t an easy afternoon for the visitors, with a spirited England putting in a resilient performance, led by a superb effort from Maro Itoje.

The visitors were being held just after the hour mark with the score at 15-15, but Ireland belatedly made their numerical advantage count when Jack Conan and Finlay Bealham crossed not far from the end.

A second defeat of the Championship for Eddie Jones’ team means they can no longer win the 2022 Guinness Six Nations title, but Ireland could still deny France if England win in Paris on Super Saturday.

Scotland get back to winning ways after holding off Italy

After back-to-back defeats against both Wales and France, Scotland returned to winning ways in Rome on Saturday.

They saw off Italy in an entertaining clash in the eternal city, holding on for a 33-22 victory.

Scotland scored five tries en route to a bonus-point success which lifted them up to fourth in the table, with Sam Johnson, Darcy Graham and Stuart Hogg all dotting down in addition to a double from centre Chris Harris.

Ali Price was particularly impressive, playing a key role in Johnson’s opener, while it was his interception that set up Harris for the second in what might have been a 14-point swing with the hosts just five metres out at the time.

Italy were at times excellent going forward themselves and scored a trio of classy tries through Callum Braley and two from debutant Ange Capuozzo.

The win for Gregor Townsend’s team ensures they can still finish third in the Championship if they beat Ireland next week and England lose in Paris.

Should Scotland pull it off, it would be their highest finish in the table since 2018.

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