Six Nations - Twickenham, 15 March 2009, 15:00 local, 15:00 GMT
England (29) 34 - 10 (0) France (FT)

Match coverage:  Teams | Preview | Head to Head | Report | Reaction | Verdict | Gallery

Summary

Time Score  
 

2.50pm Good afternoon, I'm Jamie Allaway, and welcome to Scrum.com's coverage of the England vs France match from Twickenham. And what an afternoon it is; the sun is out, it's warm and dry and perfect conditions for rugby so I am looking forward to a running element to the always competitive rugby between these two sides.

France look the most likely to provide that running and it is often overlooked that they are still in contention for the championship if Wales beat Ireland and they win well here and against Italy next week. Lievrement has picked a bulky side to counter England, most notably Chabal starts in the back row.

As for England the only topic is still the disciplinary issues that have plagued them recently. I heard the astonished stat this morning that England are yet to concede a try this tournament while they have 15 men on the field. Sackey is out, as are Kennedy and Haskell, for Monye, Shaw and Croft respectively. The teams are picked for a physical confrontation; maybe it is just the spring like weather that is making me feel optimistic for a flowing game- we live in hope!

1 5 - 0

Flood kicks off for England and we are underway. Cracking try! What a start for England. Harinordiquay knocks on Monye's up-and-under and England regain the ball and run at the French better than they have all tournament. In the second phase Flutey finds himself up against Chabal and skins him. He commits the fullback and passes for Cueto to run in the try. Simple, effective, and a real confidence builder for England.

2 7 - 0

Flood - conversion

3

England are right up in the French faces and have caused another knock-on. They give away the penalty but still look very on top for the first few minutes.

4

England steal the French lineout- all going for them at the moment.

5

Bastereaud shows that a good start won't be enough on its own as he first batters through the English first-line before side-stepping Armitage. He knocks-on the tackle but that's enough to show his threat already.

7

France show their willingness to run today, taking a quick lineout and running from deep. England turn the ball over though and run it back, Monye going outside and making considerable ground. This start is the entertaining rugby we were looking for!

9

A couple of mistakes now from both sides, penalty conceded by the French hooker in the ruck, but Flood misses touch. France have made more errors so far and England's discipline looks good- so far. Most importantly, though, they've managed to get their running players in positions to attack French forwards and gaps.

10

Blame me for that one. Simon Shaw goes flying into a ruck from the side and the French have a kickable penalty.

11

The kick is on the 10 metre line, right of centre and Morgan Parra has the responsibility. He pulls it wide, not a good connection at all.

12

Shaw gives away another penalty at the ruck, that's his second and the ref gave him plenty of warning on this one. He's new into the side today but seems to have the same problems that England have had all tournament.

13

France looking more dangerous now as half-breaks fro Harinordiquay and Trinh-Duc take them into the English 22. The ball is turned over in the end though.

15

The French side seem to be getting into their stride and have worked several phases and their running is direct and making the game line. However, another knock-on prevents them building on another platform in the English half.

16

The French scrum collapses under pressure from Sheridan. Flood makes touch this time on the French 22 and Harinordiquay is caught offside. England seem to be making more of their attacking positions and, whisper it, making less crucial mistakes.

18 10 - 0

Flood puts a relatively straightforward penalty between the posts.

19

Chabal shoves Borthwick in the air from the restart and ENgland get to build in French territory again, however an exceptional clearance from Trinh-Duc finds touch deep in the English half.

20

Brilliant take by Armitage under a massively high ball. Just have to mention it for its sheer skill and bravery.

21

More French indiscipline as an offside allows Flood to set up a lineout in the French 22.

22 15 - 0

TRY Direct from the lineout a lovely move involving an inside pass to Cueto coming in from his wing cuts the French defence in half. Cueto returns the earlier favour by giving Flutey a pass to run in under the posts. Neat, effective running by the English backs and a 17 point lead for England is looking very healthy.

23 17 - 0

Flood - conversion

24

France infringe again, and again Flood puts the ball into touch deep in the French half. The French really putting themselves under pressure here and they will have to change this soon, otherwise England will be out of sight come half time.

25

Denied by a forward pass! Coming back on the blindside England find numbers, Armitage passes to Mears, who releases Croft who goes over the line, but the whistle has gone.

26

The scrum leads to a French penalty, we're yet to have a scrum that hasn't resulted in a free kick or penalty.

28

Still no scrum as after three resets an English scrum becomes a French free kick.

29

France work a couple of phases but without significant threat. The English defence prevents them ever making any real ground and eventually a pass goes astray. The pass was from Trinh-Duc who had to shift his body in order not to pass off his right, you'd expect most players at this level to be able to pass off either hand.

30

Hooray! A legitimate scrum. Possesion is kicked away by Tindall thought and we engage in our first sustained period of aerial ping pong.

32

Oooooh, England had numbers on the left and backs against forwards but unfortunately Tindall can't make the pass to release them, almost giving away a breakaway interception. Fortunately for him England scrag the man and win the ball back as he is forced to hold on.

34

Several good phases for England as they probe the French defence. They are trying to run from deep to hit the ball with some pace and the French defence is up quickly. Sometimes this means they don't make ground but it is looking threatening. Flood's grubber through is too long though and there is a 22.

36

Chabal is stripped of the ball by Flutey Remarkable. England break running the ball back and are stopped fractionally short of the French line. The ball is very slow and the forwards are forced to work some short drives.

37 22 - 0

TRY Shaw has a dip for the line and is held up, however the ball is back quickly, Flood puts in Armitage who scores the try.

38 24 - 0

Flood - conversion

39 29 - 0

UNBELIEVABLE TRY England turn the ball over and hack it forward. Cueto wins the foot race but can't kick the ball on. The next man dives on it pops the ball up to Flood who slips short of the line unchallenged. However the ball comes back quickly and goes through the hands of a couple of forwards, before Worsley goes over. Armitage misses the tricky kick as Flood looks to have popped his shoulder as he desperately tried to take that ball over the French line.

40

That's half time and what an astonishing half. The running rugby came from England and everything they did came off for them. They were direct and effective, always supporting each other and they were just too much for the French. The French look shellshocked, they didn't look at their best but in the face of this English attack they have been taken apart. 29-0 at half time- who could have predicted that?

 

We'll be restarting shortly, those 2 tries in quick succession at the end of the first half might have ended the contest. England could not have been more different than the lacklustre side of the first few games and will want to build on this. Quite frankly, France need to come out and play well just to salvage some pride and prevent an unwanted new record.

41 34 - 0

INCREDIBLE! TRY France have a lineout on the English 22 from the restart, but knock the ball on. England break from their own 22, Tindall passing to Armitage who charges past three on the outside before yet another simple, well-timed pass to the supporting man releases Flutey, who is half caught but tumbles over the line. Goode converts, England carrying on where they left off.

43

Again, France have a lineout even closer to the English line. Borthwick steals and England clear upfield. All going right for one team here.

45

Shaw rips the ball to gain England possession as the crowd responds to this performance with 'swing low' echoing around Twickenham.

47

Fantastic kick by Goode. England have had a couple of phases in which they tried plenty but went backwards. Goode sees a gap and drives a low kick scudding into touch in the French 22. The way the French lineout has been, this puts them under quite a lot of pressure.

48

Just to show how much it is England's day, an overlong kick, which looked like going dead, bounces off the post and forces the French to run.

49

England are not just attacking well, but pressurise the French in possession and force a knock on inside the French 10 metre line.

51

Pressure is telling as the French scrum concedes the penalty. Easter takes the ball up quickly and the French give another penalty. Desperate stuff.

52

Shaw doesn't look comfortable playing fullback and is caught in possession. His is isolated and gives away the penalty. France now have a chance to base an attack in the English 22. They win the lineout and begin driving the ball up through the forwards.

53

England concede a penalty in front of the posts, but given the scoreline, France have to run it. That's now a couple of penalties in this area of the field and England looking under a little bit of pressure. Of course, this is all relative, as a 34 point cushion means it is less than critical.

54

The French are driving the ball forward and this is testing the English defence.

55 34 - 5

TRY France continue to work the ball short and eventually work numbers around the edge and Szarzewski lunges over.

57

England again strip the ball from French hands and in running it back at them, stretch the French defence. Eventually though they concede a penalty and France clear. England look like they need to simplify things again and concentrate on the basics which have served them so well today. They're trying to score from every attack at the moment.

59

France have another penalty as Vickery fails to roll away. Lineout in the English 22.

61

A turnover each way and some incredibly scrappy rucking eats up a minute or two as both sides are forced to send numbers crashing in.

62

English scrum collapses and Sheridan gets a warning. That's a large number of penalties conceded in the English 22. The scoreline means that the points haven't always been taken, but on another day France may have accumulated 12 or 15.

63 34 - 10

TRY Simple stuff, the ball comes out of the French scrum, it's a 3 on 2 on the blind side and the final man Traille is unopposed in the corner. England will want to remedy this now because bad old habits are coming back and if this continues it will take the gloss off the English victory.

65

A touch of aerial stuff is finished by a French counter attack. They are certainly looking more likely at the moment.

67

A clever kick from Traille is shepherded out by Monye. Traille seems to be dictating the shape of this game since coming on and the two changes at outside half have reversed the balance of the match. England are missing Flood.

69

France batter away still and England are forced to put in huge numbers of tackles. A turnover allows them to clear but the throw in is taken quickly and France attack again.

71

England have had a few phases and it looks to settle them down. A bit of possession and control allows them to break through as Easter offloads to Armitge, whose pace almost carries him to the line, but he cannot find the offload. That was more like it. Possession and simple rugby allowed them to find the opportunity rather than making mistakes trying to create one.

72

A couple of misplaced passes go behind the intended recipients in the French back line and they are forced to scramble a defence and clear. England will hope to build a bit on the last few minutes and snuff out any French resurgence.

74

Easter is profligate with a lazy offload returning possession to the French, but the French knock on in the midfield. They were aggressive and coming back into this game, but seem to have lost that momentum.

76

Easter and Armitage both make ground over the game line with strong runs onto the ball but Goode overcooks a crossfield kick, as the move breaks down.

77

As decided by Brian Moore, he has played very well, but could equally have been Easter, Borthwick, Flutey or Armitage. England's all round performance in the first half was exceptional and there were a number of notable individual performances. The second half hasn't had the same intensity or quality and at this stage there are a lot of very tired looking players.

79

England have a penalty are Goode is putting it into touch. One last attack but I think the players would be happy to get off the field now.

80

England retain possession and do look to finish in style. Flutey makes a half break, and England go again, Hartley making a barracking run. This is great stuff from England, everybody committing and looking like they were playing in the first half.

England have a penalty and choose to take a scrum with both sides open (we are three minutes past the 80).

Goode and Tait engineer half an opening for Tindall who is brought down short of the line, Goode tries a cross field kick, but the French secure the ball, and having had enough of this afternoon, put the ball into touch to end the game.

A rousing finish for England, which is appropriate, as they were immense in the first half. The second half was less convincing but I get the impression that this was because they were trying a little too hard. The French were devastated and despite some good periods in the second half will be very worried by the extent and nature of this defeat. England are obviously delighted and will feel like they are back on track.

It was a cracking game, especially in the first half, and it will be a good thing for all rugby supporters and watchers if England can turn in performances like this on a regular basis.

Thanks for joining me, Jamie Allaway, and I hope you can join Scrum.com again next weekend for the deciding and final round of games in the 2009 6 Nations.

Timeline

Time England  Score  France
0 start of first half start of first half
1 Cueto - try 5 - 0
2 Flood - conversion 7 - 0
18 Flood - penalty goal 10 - 0
22 Flutey - try 15 - 0
23 Flood - conversion 17 - 0
37 Armitage - try 22 - 0
38 Flood - conversion 24 - 0
39 Worsley - try 29 - 0
40 Flood - sub off
Goode - sub on
40+1 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half start of second half
41 Flutey - try 34 - 0
43 Vickery - sub off
White - sub on
47 Fritz - sub on
Bastareaud - sub off
Thion - sub off
Bonnaire - sub on
Traille - sub on
Trinh-Duc - sub off
50 Domingo - sub on
Faure - sub off
51 Vickery - sub off
White - sub on
54 Ellis - sub off
Care - sub on
55 34 - 5 Szarzewski - try
57 Hartley - sub on
Mears - sub off
58 Shaw - sub off
Haskell - sub on
Parra - sub off
Tillous-Borde - sub on
59 Vickery - sub on
White - sub off
Kayser - sub on
Szarzewski - sub off
63 34 - 10 Malzieu - try
65 White - sub on
Sheridan - sub off
67 Worsley - sub off
Kennedy - sub on
Harinordoquy - sub off
Picamoles - sub on
72 Tait - sub on
Monye - sub off
Faure - sub on
Marconnet - sub off
80+3 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
0
83

Notes

 
Result England won by a margin of 24 points
Six Nations points England 2, France 0
 
Ground name Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance 82000
 
Referee SJ Dickinson (Australia)
 
England Test debuts none
France Test debuts none

Teams

England France
Tries Cueto (1), Flutey (22, 41), Armitage (37), Worsley (39) Tries Szarzewski (55), Malzieu (63)
Cons Flood (2, 23, 38) Cons none
Pens Flood (18) Pens none

Match stats

England   France
5 Tries 2
3 from 5 Conversion goals 0 from 2
1 from 1 Penalty goals 0 from 1
66.7% Kick at goal success 0.0%
0 Dropped goals 0
Kick/pass/run
33 Kicks from hand 21
149 Passes 131
103 Runs 106
481 Metres run with ball 475
Attacking
9 Clean breaks 4
5 Defenders beaten 16
12 Offloads 7
78 from 82 (95.1%) Rucks won 82 from 92 (89.1%)
3 from 3 (100.0%) Mauls won 3 from 3 (100.0%)
10 Turnovers conceded 21
Defensive
146/16 Tackles made/missed 109/9
90.1% Tackling success rate 92.4%
Set pieces
7 won, 1 lost (87.5%) Scrums on own feed 8 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
13 won, 0 lost (100.0%) Lineouts on own throw 16 won, 2 lost (88.9%)
Discipline
16 Penalties conceded 14
0/0 Yellow/red cards 0/0

Eng stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Armitage 1/1 5 6/4/10 110 2 1 3 3 3/1 0/0 1 0/0
W Cueto 1/1 5 1/6/7 64 2 1 0 1 3/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Tindall 0/0 0 2/3/4 17 0 0 0 1 10/0 0/0 1 0/0
C Flutey 2/1 10 1/11/9 69 4 1 0 0 8/2 0/0 0 0/0
W Monye 0/0 0 1/0/6 63 1 1 0 0 3/2 0/0 0 0/0
FH Flood 0/1 9 4/4/7 18 0 0 0 0 3/1 0/0 1 0/0
SH Ellis 0/0 0 7/49/2 12 0 0 0 1 2/1 1/0 0 0/0
P Sheridan 0/0 0 0/1/3 9 0 0 0 0 6/0 0/0 2 0/0
H Mears 0/0 0 0/0/4 3 0 0 1 0 8/1 0/0 0 0/0
P Vickery 0/0 0 0/1/2 5 0 0 1 0 9/1 0/0 3 0/0
L Borthwick 0/0 0 0/3/6 0 0 0 0 0 13/1 3/1 0 0/0
L Shaw 0/1 0 0/1/10 17 0 0 2 2 10/0 1/0 3 0/0
F Croft 0/0 0 0/1/2 5 0 0 1 0 11/0 5/1 1 0/0
F Worsley 1/0 5 0/3/6 9 0 0 0 0 13/2 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Easter 0/0 0 0/9/11 54 0 0 2 1 17/0 1/0 1 0/0
(H) Hartley 0/0 0 0/1/3 10 0 1 1 1 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) White 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Kennedy 0/0 0 0/1/1 0 0 0 0 0 4/0 2/0 0 0/0
(F) Haskell 0/0 0 0/1/3 0 0 0 0 0 7/1 0/0 0 0/0
(SH) Care 0/0 0 0/23/1 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0 0/0
(FH) Goode 0/0 0 11/13/4 16 0 0 2 0 1/1 0/0 0 0/0
(W) Tait 0/0 0 0/2/1 0 0 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Fra stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Medard 0/0 0 3/7/6 87 1 4 0 1 3/1 1/0 0 0/0
W Malzieu 1/0 5 0/1/8 37 1 1 1 0 8/1 1/0 1 0/0
C Bastareaud 0/0 0 0/0/2 30 1 2 1 2 4/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Jauzion 0/0 0 3/7/12 50 0 1 2 1 5/0 1/0 2 0/0
W Heymans 0/0 0 4/5/6 31 0 0 1 4 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Trinh-Duc 0/0 0 2/6/6 34 0 1 1 3 4/1 0/0 0 0/0
SH Parra 0/0 0 3/33/2 14 0 0 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Faure 0/0 0 0/1/2 2 0 0 0 0 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
H Szarzewski 1/0 5 0/1/8 12 0 1 0 0 10/0 0/0 1 0/0
P Marconnet 0/0 0 0/0/3 0 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 3 0/0
L Nallet 0/0 0 0/0/3 1 0 0 0 1 5/0 3/0 1 0/0
L Thion 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 4/0 1/0 0 0/0
F Dusautoir 0/0 0 0/3/6 25 0 1 0 3 15/0 0/0 1 0/0
F Chabal 0/0 0 0/1/13 34 0 0 1 1 5/2 4/0 1 0/0
N8 Harinordoquy 0/0 0 0/4/10 49 1 4 0 0 6/0 1/0 1 0/0
(H) Kayser 0/0 0 0/1/3 2 0 0 0 1 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Domingo 0/0 0 0/1/2 7 0 0 0 1 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(N8) Picamoles 0/0 0 0/1/2 8 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Bonnaire 0/0 0 0/0/2 23 0 1 0 2 2/0 3/0 0 0/0
(SH) Tillous-Borde 0/1 0 1/35/2 0 0 0 1 1 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Fritz 0/0 0 0/2/3 11 0 0 1 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Traille 0/0 0 5/15/4 18 0 0 2 0 4/0 0/0 1 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Other scores

2011 Rugby World Cup Qualifier
Belgium 15 - 15 Czechia Brussels
Portugal 24 - 19 Spain Lisbon
Guinness Premiership
London Irish 38 - 17 Worcester Warriors Reading
Newcastle Falcons 24 - 16 Harlequins Newcastle
Saracens 20 - 16 Bath Rugby Watford