Autumn internationals: France v England
Try: Boudaud Con: Tremouliere Pen: Tremouliere
England (17) 20
Tries: Hunter (2) Cons: Scarratt (2) Pens: Scarratt (2)
England women opened up their Autumn International campaign with an impressive victory over France, their first win across the channel since 2012.
Captain Sarah Hunter was magnificent, leading the way with two tries, while recently crowded World Player of the Year Emily Scarrett was impeccable with the boot kicking 4 from 4.
The clash between the two most dominate sides in the northern hemisphere was played in front of a passionate crowd at the home of Clermont-Auvergue and started at a lightening pace as France through everything at the English from the kick off! However, England’s defence held strong and despite the early domination the Home said only came away with a three point lead from the boot of Jessy Tremouliere.
As the clock ticked down, France became more and more frustrated at their inability to break the English defence and with England starting to dominate the set pieces England hit the home side with two quick fire tries ten minutes before the break, both in almost identical fashion as Sarah Hunter crashed over after some excellent work from her fellow forward pack and with both being converted by Scarrett England to add to her earlier penalty England had a 3-17 advantage at the break.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first in the opening quarter, with France pounding the English defence, which held firm untill the sin binning of Marlie Packer, which allowed the French to take advantage of the extra player and find space in the corner for a try to Camille Boudaud which Tremouliere converted to bring them to within a converted try of the visitors.
Thankfully England didn’t panic and With another penalty from Scarrett helping to calm the nerves they managed to hold on to what would be an important marker for the 2020 Six Nations Championships in which England’s first game is a repeat of this game and the World Cup in 18 months which will be held on French soil.
England: McKenna; Dow, Scarratt, Harrison, Breach; Daley-Mclean, Riley; Botterman, Davies, Bern, Aldcroft, Scott, Beckett, Packer, Hunter.
Replacements: Kerr, Perry, Brown, Cleall, Fleetwood, Hunt, Scott, Thompson
France: Tremouliere; Boujard, Boudaud, Vernier, Menager; Drouin, Bourdon; Deshayes, Sochat, Joyeux; Corson, N'Diaye; Mayans, Hermet, Menager.
Replacements: Thomas, Traore, Pelle, Ferer, Annery, Sansus, Peyronnet, Jason