Chris Ashton may have defied his manager with his swan dive celebration, but even the morose Martin Johnson afforded a wry smile when Ashton dove under the posts for his second try.
England’s demolition of Italy was their finest performance under Johnson yet, and following their eight-try haul at Twickenham, England has been cut into 4/5 to win the Six Nations with the visit of France in a fortnight set to be the defining game.
Their three-point win in Dublin on Saturday has seen France trimmed in to 11/10 to win the Six Nations, but as they have to travel to Twickenham to play England, Johnson’s side are in the ascendency.
France have won just twice at Twickenham since the inception of the Six Nations and the 15/8 for England to win the Grand Slam looks great value.
Should England beat France then they would have to negotiate a home tie with Scotland and a visit to Dublin in order to achieve the Grand Slam, and considering the current form of Scotland and Ireland, England fans are right to be optimistic.
But a win for France would leave them needing just a win in Rome and a win in Paris against Wales to secure a Grand Slam they are priced at 2/1 to win.
Wales and Ireland are now the outsiders in the title race at 28/1 and 25/1 respectively, but Wales would need the French to beat England, and would have to beat Ireland in Cardiff to set-up a title match with France in the final game.
Ireland will be hoping England will win but know they need a big win in Scotland or Wales to set-up a potential title clash with England in Dublin on the final weekend of the Six Nations.
A £25 stake on England winning the Grand Slam would return £71.87. New customers can sign up here for a free Six Nations bet worth £25.