Poor England hammered by France in Paris

23 August 2015

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England’s forwards were thoroughly dominated as France ran out 25-20 winners in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up in Paris.

The scoreline may suggest it was close, but England were thoroughly outplayed for the majority of the encounter in the French capital.

With 10 minutes remaining France were leading 25-6 before tries from Danny Cipriani and Jonathan Joseph gave the scoreline an element of respectability.

For 10 minutes England played the kind of rugby that could see them challenge for the World Cup, but for 70 minutes prior to that they played in a manner that would see them fail to get out of the group.

There was only one French try from Yoann Huget as well as 17 points from the boot of an in-form Freddie Michalak as the French pack bullied their counterparts throughout the first half and for most of the second. The England forwards appeared to bring their side back into the encounter, but it was certainly too late, even if Joseph’s try led to a lengthy passage of English possession in the French half as the clock ran out.

George Ford kicked well but made some errors, as did his colleagues, though it will be the set piece – particularly the lineout – that will be the focal point of the video analysis throughout the week.

Jamie George played more assuredly from the bench than the starting Tom Youngs, while Cipriani impressed with his chance when he came on with 17 minutes remaining.

To say it was a tough start for England would be a complete understatement. Dropped passes, failed lineouts and penalties conceded in their own half amounted to a big points difference in no time at all, as first Scott Spedding stepped up to give his side the lead with three minutes on the clock, before Freddie Michalak then became France’s highest points scorer in history as he slotted three penalties, giving his side a 12-0 lead with 25 minutes played.

In that time England gave away silly penalties which would have worried Lancaster as his forwards were battered around every inch of the Stade de France pitch.

England were able to get on the scoreboard through George Ford who sent two kicks over, but they were sandwiched between another Michalak effort that made it 15-6 at half-time

jack-nowell-france-v-england-rugby-sports-people re-el magazine

England’s Jack Nowell breaks with the ball

England started the second half with far more enterprise than the first, but their momentum was halted by some superb interplay from Michalak and Huget.

Michalak received the ball at first receiver and drew the England defence before throwing a pass inside to Huget who stepped Brown and ran in the first try of the game. Michalak made it 22-6 with the conversion.

England did not improve after the try but the scoreboard remained largely unaltered, with another Michalak penalty the only damage done despite a steady stream of penalties from the visitors.

With 10 minutes remaining England then found their form, shoving the French forwards around in the scrum as well as the loose. Finally able to suck in French defenders with an effective driving maul, England sent the ball wide where Cipriani was waiting, and the replacement trotted over for the opening try for his side after 71 minutes.

Basic yet effective draw-and-pass rugby led to the second try, as Jonathan Joseph was released down the left hand touchline, and the centre had enough pace to score in the corner.

A superb conversion from Ford made it a five-point game with two minutes remaining, and England were threatening as they worked the ball up the field from deep inside their own half all the way to the French line, but they eventually lost the ball as France saw out the game for a slender win in the end.

England will have plenty to work on with only one warm-up remaining as they host Ireland at Twickenham on September 5 before they kick off their World Cup campaign.

Tags:sports, sports news, fox sports, sports watch,

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