England 22-19 France

December 6, 2020

The current Six Nations holders playing on paper the only team to beat them in the Six Nations this season should have been a mouth-watering final. As we mentioned here, this was not a first choice French fifteen, it was a team that was rather makeshift. So imagine how this game played out to get to the 40 minute mark and England trailing by 7 points.


England 6 France 13 HT

Grit, determination and passion in abundance in this first half demonstrated by this French makeshift team.
The willingness to take the game to England in attack supported by a rugged defence means that the half time lead was deserved. If you had chance to watch this via Amazon Video, this was a really good game.

Brice Dulin scoring a wonderful try to cement the young French side firmly into this fixture. Into the last 3 minutes of the half saw England pressuring the French try line. With 10, 11, 12 phases trying to get over the line, the French showed unbelievable determination to keep them out. This is one of the rare times this past couple of seasons when you se an England side camped on an opponents line and come away without points.

Based on what I’ve seen in this first half, the future looks bright for the French national team. Remembering too that England last lost against a team who were the French Six Nations team, away in Paris. These first 40 minutes was entertaining and was only the 3rd time in 2 years when they have trailed at half time. Having an ante post bet on France for the Six Nations? Worth a look for the odds, for sure.

The Second Half

The second half playing right to left saw an early penalty awarded to England. Opting for touch sees the line out won enabling England to pressure France, but nothing coming from it. Quick changes in the 44th minute in the second and back row, from England.
Pesenti the French lock giving away a penalty for a no-arms tackle giving Farrell a penalty kick chance, which he slots cleanly through the sticks to bring the score back to within 4 points.
A passage of ping pong kicking ends with a poor pass to the French 14 who couldn’t pick it up off his bootlaces and knocked on. From the scrum a penalty advantage allowed England to spread the ball out to the English backs, Watson showing a good turn of pace. Brought back to the penalty, Farrell pushed this wide to the right of the uprights.
Another quick penalty in the 53rd minute opting for the line out, showed France were upto the task and thwarted the English attack.
Great turnover from Itoje leads to another penalty, which Farrell nudged right once again,for a disappointing 2 from 5.
Daleys 65th minute kick into the corner was inch perfect, but France managed to clean up their own lineout. Despite all the England possession in the second half, a French penalty extending their lead as the clock ticked into the last 10 minutes. Straight from the restart, France concede a penalty, but the advantage was played and despite 7 or 8 phases there was no way through. Farrell this time kicks the penalty, ensuring he has racked up over 100 points against France.
12-16 with 7 minutes left, sees France on the attack and earning themself a penalty. 4 minutes to go, sees the kick off the post to extend their lead back to 7 points. France haven’t won at Twickenham in 15 years, yet here we have the French underdogs pushing for the win.

A penalty to England sees Slade with a pinpoint kick into the corner. They take the lineout cleanly and the driving maul from the lineout sees Exeter hooker Cowan-Dickie go over for a well deserved try. Farrell slotted the conversion with the last kick of the match to make the score 19-19.

Sudden Death

Now it’s time for extra time, to determine the outright winner. With two halves of 10 minutes to come to see who can seal the sudden death win. The first score, any score will be sufficient to decide this final.
With only 2 Minutes in sees a sloppy French penalty given away, but Farrell manages to clip it off the right upright and it doesn’t go over. The restart sees big Billy Vinaopola knock on the balls and a scrum to France.
With France pushing forward to try get the position for a drop goal, a penalty for off feet eased the pressure on the English defence. From the English lineout, the French defence managed a turnover. A sloppy lineout sees Marler steal for England but the French get possession back.

The second period of the extra time sees a nice kick through into space, Itoje was stopped from getting the ball by French players laying on the ball. The penalty to England slotted over by Own Farrell to rob the French in extra time.

Final thoughts; England 22-19 France

With the debate probably still ongoing as to was it a penalty or not, the official result shows a W for win for England. Was it deserved? Well they ground out the win. England did what they needed to do, but they just made hard work of things. At the end of the day they have a couple of tournaments in the bag this season.

England looked average, this unknown French team were immense. As I said earlier, check the odds to see what price the French are for the Six Nations outright and this might be a trading opportunity.


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