England hang on in Paris – France 22-24 England

England re-wrote the history books and the script in Paris today as for the first time they won three away games in Six Nations rugby. Most pundits felt they would do well to run France close in Paris, but we dares to predict the England win! What we did not predict was that they would do it with such style.

Every game in this Six Nations England have improved and most certainly they came out of the blocks with pace and flair as opposed to the French who offered nothing but the boot. With this it was England who took the lead at 3-14 on twenty minutes through tries by Manu Tuliagi and Ben Foden, both converted by Owen Farrell. However England got penalised in kicking range and both were made giving us the half-time score of 9-14, though it could have been 9-17 but for an uncharacteristic miss by Farrell.

The second period and Farrell stretched the English lead out to 9-17, very much against the run of play. Sharples then had 10 minutes in the bin for a deliberate knock on and Parra brought the score to 12-17. England had not done and a brilliant run by Tom Croft saw him split the French backs defence and run in to score. Farrell added the conversion and all of England could live in hope as the score moved to 15- 24.

However this game had a couple of twists and turns left to come as the French exploited an injury to Dowson which put Webber on the flank from a five metre scrum Fofana was put in to keep his record of scoring in every game of this years competition. Parra slotted the conversion and with five minutes to go it was 22-24. Now if ever England needed to keep their discipline and not give chances. So it was Trinhduc who attempted a long range drop goal which fell short. Engalnd dropped out and France launched another attck, but with the clock running down they knocked on and England heeled the ball from the last scrum and Farrell kicked into the crowd to give us the final score of:

France 22-24 England

Scorers

FRANCE
Try: Fofana
Con: Parra
Pens: Beauxis 3, Dupuy, Parra

ENGLAND
Tries: Tuilagi, Foden, Croft
Cons: Farrell 2
Pens: Farrell

Teams

France: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Julien Malzieu, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Julien Dupuy, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 3 Nicolas Mas, 4 Pascal Pape, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (C), 7 Julien Bonnaire, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy.
Replacements: 16 William Servat, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Lionel Nallet, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Francois Trinh-Duc, 22 Maxime Mermoz

England: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Charlie Sharples, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Lee Dickson, 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Mouritz Botha, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Tom Croft, 7 Chris Robshaw (C), 8 Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Ben Youngs, 21 Charlie Hodgson, 22 Mike Brown

Officials:
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Touch judges: Nigel Owens (Wales), John Lacey (Ireland)
TV: Jim Yuille (Scotland)