Mike Brown slams lacklustre Italy and Scotland

MIke Brown says the trust in the England squad has gone

England fullback Mike Brown has criticized the lacklustre efforts put in by Scotland and Italy in the final Six Nations Championship round.

England romped to a 55-35 victory over France at Twickenham but their 20 point victory was six points short of overtaking Ireland who retained the title.

The result means that for the fourth year England have finished as Six Nations runners up even though they scored the most tries in the tournament.

The real damage to England’s title bid was done before England had kicked off as earlier in the day in Rome Wales thumped Italy 61-20.

That result set Ireland a big target to set and they went on to beat Scotland 40-10.

The Ireland result meant that England had been set a target of beating France by 26 points but Brown feels that if Italy and Scotland did not front up for their matches.

France’s hopes of winning the title were remote at best but that did not stop them exploding into life at Twickenham, earning the respect of Brown whose view of Italy and Scotland was less complimentary.

“Massive credit to the French for the way they fronted up for this game and for the way they played – compared to a few other countries,” Brown said.

“Fair play to France – they played a game. I don’t need to saying anything else. Everyone knows it.”

“It was fast paced, end to end. We played good rugby, they played good rugby. France turned up and made a game of it.

“They could have easily folded, so it was great to see that from them from a spectator point of view.”

Brown has been present for each of the four Six Nations near misses under head coach Stuart Lancaster and while frustrated to have fallen short once again, he insists England enter the World Cup on home soil later this year in a position of strength with their increasingly effective attack a source of pride.

“I’m gutted. It’s tough to take at the moment obviously, but we have massive belief in the squad,” Brown said.

“We’re in great shape for the World Cup. Not many teams put that amount of points on a French side that hasn’t conceded more than two tries previously in the tournament.

“We showed how dangerous we can be and hopefully we can take that into future games.”

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