England head coach Eddie Jones has warned that a long road lies ahead before his side cure their breakdown ills after they struggled to impose themselves for the second game running against France on Saturday.
Having lost to Scotland and France, defeat to Ireland would mark England's worst Six Nations performance since 2006 - the last time they lost three matches - but Jones is determined to retain perspective.
Eddie Jones says the breakdown deficiencies exposed during England's Six Nations title defence could persist until the World Cup. "I'm sure they will be gunning for us".
Maxime Machenaud converted four penalties and replacement flyhalf Lionel Beauxis added another for the French, who were awarded a penalty try to break a 9-9 deadlock in the 49th minute.
England's hopes of keeping the battle for the championship alive were effectively ended when it failed to score a try in a stop-start first half.
"On Saturday, though, by lowering their ambition and aiming just for the simple win by any score, they nearly seemed to seal their fate".
"The game is changing at the moment which will enforce some selection changes", Jones said.
"We're all aware of what it is, and what could potentially come at the end of it, but I think what this group is really good at is focusing on what we need to do, and it's effectively just another game-week. On both occasions, we were there".
Machenaud slotted it home and levelled with a 45-metre kick after England were penalised for offside shortly before halftime.
France came back with a move ignited by captain Guilhem Guirado, who took them into the English 22.
Although the infraction appeared accidental, with Fall diving low for the line, referee Jaco Peyper appeared to have little option but to sin-bin the England full-back.
"Discipline was very bad. England conceded 16 penalties, an absurd number".
Then England reduced the gap to 19-16 with a superb try. Maro Itoje and other England forwards enjoyed last season's laws permitting a degree of mucking around on the wrong side of rucks but even before this season's altered interpretations, Jones admitted he would love a foraging No 7.
Until, that was, the last two weeks. And if we're not very much in the game, they could get away from us very quickly with the athletes that they have in their team.
Now, they are eyeing up just the third Grand Slam in their history and Sexton - a fringe player yet to make his debut during the last clean sweep in 2009 under Declan Kidney - has told them not to let the chance pass them by.
France travel to Wales for the final round.