France: (9) 22
Try: Penalty try* Pens: Machenaud 4 Beauxis
England: (9) 16
Try: May Con: Farrell Pens: Farrell 2 Daly
England’s dreams of collected a third successive 6 nations title crashed as they fell to a 22-16 defeat to France in Paris on Saturday evening. This was their second defeat of the tournament, meaning Ireland’s bonus point victory over Scotland was enough to secure them the title with a game reminding.
After the pervious weeks defeat to Scotland, Eddie Jones men had to win in France scoring four tries in the process if they were to retain their title.
England captain for the day Owen Farrell opened the scoring early in the game only for the French to reply with a penalty of their own from Maxime Machenaud as the visitors issues in the rucks continued as they were consistently second best at the break down allowing the French to stay in touch, despite England opening up a 9-3 lead through two more penalties from Farrell and Elliot Daly’s effort from 55m out, the French levelled at 9-9 just before half time.
Although they were competing at the set plays England just couldn’t find the flair that saw them score 9 tries in their first 1 ½ games of this years Six Nations, instead relying on predictable one man rugby in the forwards.
The turning point of the game came early in the second half as Benjamin Fall looked to have scored for the French, only for full back Anthony Watson to produce a remarkable save. Unfortunately, Watsons tackle was deemed high and after conferring with the video ref Watson was Sin Binned and a penalty try awarded and with the conversion and a further penalty the score was 19 – 9.
England’s had hopes of a remarkable comeback when Farrell found Jonny May to score in the corner, Farrell adding on an excellent touchline conversion to make it 19-16, but yet another infringement at the breakdown allowed substitute Lionel Beauxis to calm the home sides nerves as he converted the penalty to make it 22-16.
It was 2006 the last time England lost three games in a single Six Nations competition, however on this form and with Ireland eyeing a Grand Slam, Eddie Jones man will have to find some form over the next week before they take on Ireland at Twickenham.