Ireland’s defeat in Italy means they have lost their first three Women’s Six Nations matches for the first time since 2007.
It was a defeat that was perhaps coming as there was a stark contrast in the trajectories of the two sides before the game in Parma.
Italy came into the tournament riding high after reaching a first World Cup quarter-final and have converted that momentum into a Six Nations win.
Ireland’s preparations were mired by sexism allegations towards the Irish Rugby Football Union, which the governing body disputes.
Greg McWilliams’ side are fifth in the table on points difference, but that could change after their meeting with England.
However England head coach Simon Middleton was positive about Ireland’s future, saying they “will keep getting better”.
“They’ve had some tough lessons so far,” he said. “Sometimes you have to go through the pain to get to where you want to be.”
Scotland were heavily beaten on Sunday, conceding nine tries in France to remain without a win in 12 competitive fixtures.
Much like Wales, Scotland failed to capitalise on first-half opportunities.
“There were some incredible defensive efforts in the first half, and some resilience in there,” former Scotland prop Megan Kennedy told BBC Scotland.
“That’s something that’s been lacking in the past.”
France, on the other hand, looked like a side ready to take on England in front of what will be a record-breaking Twickenham crowd.
The final-round encounter – which will likely be a Grand Slam decider – is set to be the best-attended women’s game in history, with ticket sales having already surpassed the record of 42,579 set at last year’s World Cup final in New Zealand.
England, who are seeking a fifth successive Six Nations title, have beaten France in their last 11 meetings, but Les Bleues look determined to turn that statistic around.
“France came out all guns blazing and didn’t give Scotland a chance to think,” Kennedy said.
“Their offload game is strong and in that [second] half, we saw a France team that could beat England.”