PICTURES: Ireland defeat Scotland in Six Nations clash

Ireland kept their dreams of a second successive RBS 6 Nations title alive by seeing off Scotland 40-10 in an open Test encounter at Murrayfield and later were crowned champions when England failed to defeat France by the required 26 points needed to steal the title.

Joe Schmidt’s men ended Wales’ title bid to seize the silverware.

Ireland's Paul O'Connell is tackled by Scotland's Greig Laidlaw and Matt Scott (right)

Ireland's Paul O'Connell is tackled by Scotland's Greig Laidlaw and Matt Scott (right)

Captain Paul O’Connell set Ireland on their way with his first Test try in nine years, before Sean O’Brien’s brace and a further score from Jared Payne wrapped up a fourth victory in the campaign.

Wales had kept their title claims alive earlier on Saturday by thrashing Italy 61-20 in Rome, as the Six Nations went down to a points-difference scrap for another year.

Ireland secured victory by greater than 20 points however, to overshadow Wales’ cushion and set England that 26-point target in the final game of Saturday’s triple-header.