🇫🇷 🏴 #FRAvENG Match Thread
A new era begins for #France in Paris on Sunday as Fabien Galthié and Shaun Edwards take charge for Le Crunch.
It's an incredibly young, rebooted squad, all in prep for RWC 2023, so today should be interesting. Both teams are fielding debutante fullbacks.
England has a few changes, but nothing eye popping given their RWC outing.
This is the first match for England post-Brexit, so here's hoping the French fans have plenty to say about that debacle.
First five minutes show England looking to exert physical dominance but France demonstrating great composure and plenty of vigour. I imagine we'll see France kicking over these burly forwards and pressuring the England backs.
FRA 7-0 ENG
France attack down the left and Rattez collects a gorgeous inside ball from Ntamack to scoot over the line. Massive gap exploited by France.
Ntamack adds the three.
First scrum is white put-in England fail to control and France scoop it up in front of a confuddled England.
Bouthier catches another high ball under pressure, he's performing admirably on his debut.
England in at the side defending their 10 metre line, Owens calls a penalty and France opt to kick.
FRA 10-0 ENG Ntamack slices it cleanly through the uprights, France comfortably controlling the first quarter.
England win a turnover and France get to practice their brand new Shaun Edwards blitz defence. France simply pushed them back, forcing the kick to nowhere. Excellent defense. England's brute force not working for them just yet, but the afternoon is young.
FRA 17-0 ENG
Stunning work from France around a flustered England, Rattez to Ollivon, easy peasy.
England splutter near the French tryline, cough the ball forward and France clear it NINETY METRES up field. England lineout fails, no retention. If England is trying to cow France by weight and size, it ain't working. Ca ne marche pas, rosbifs.
George Ford in a completely unpressured knock-on, but France were a hair offide a second earlier so it's a get out of jail free card on that one. England sense a moment and start driving to the French chalk.
Deep in the French 22 and the blue defense is impenetrable again. France win the penalty as England muddle their way through this first half.
Nigel Owens has a word with both teams on the lineouts.
Dupont, Ollivon, Ntamack, Bouthier, all showing fantastic composure and field awareness today. Five minutes left in this half and England scoreless. Eddie Jones will have some choice words in the dressing room.
The clock is red and England are going through over a dozen phases to drive up to the line. France take the closing minutes to practice their defense yet again, and history repeats itself as England flollop forward and proffer the ball to willing French jackalling hands. Half-time and wowwee wee wah what a half for this young French team. #rugby #6nations #sixnations #LeCrunch
Ford gets a good kick finally, England up to the 5m line. England phase it through some heavy pick and go action, finally pick up a penalty advantage. They turn down three and scrum for seven. French defense is brilliant stil.
England retain from scrum and go wide left, lost it forward but Nige claims a blue offside and we're back for another scrum on the French 5.
France pull a turnover out of the hat and clear our of their 22. Seven or eight visits from the English but no try yet. France choose this moment to swap out their front row. Bamba and Poirot run on and Poirot immediately jackals a ball from English hands. No nonsense control here.
George Ford finding some better accuracy this half. Late tackle by Genge who just came on for Marler, the crowd doesn't like it but the officials are OK with it.
FRA 24-0 ENG Dupont brilliant steps around the English defence, feeds back inside to Ollivon who aquaplanes over the line. The English lose their collective cool and a large fight breaks out in the dead ball area. Time passes. Ntamack cleans up the extras.
FRA 24-7 ENG Farrell cleans up from Johnny May's kick and chase try, grounding is good and England have some points, bless 'em.
England beginning to dominate the scrum set piece, if England can find opportunity from these set piece plays there's life in this game yet.
England hammering away but French defence holds. Tons of pressure from a refreshed England, but France win the turnover and breathe a sigh of relief. Scrum down. Blue put-in. This could finish the match either way.
Five minutes to go and some dangerous play in the French goal area. Furbank showing up but France still composed, and Rattez / Bouthier still owning everything they touch.
80,000 French fans are wondering what the hell just happened. One minute to go and France kick the ball into the stands thinking it's all over. It isn't. England now has a put in 5 metres out. Ten seconds to go.
The clock is red. England have the final play but they can't close the gap.
#FRAvENG Full-time Score
FRA 24-17 ENG
England grab three from a penalty but it's the last play of the day. France have a great story to tell and a lot to look forward to this year.
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