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England vs France

2017 Rugby League World Cup, November 12

Perth Rectangular Stadium, Perth, WA
England France
36 SCORE 6
7 Tries 1
4 Conversions 1
0 Penalty Goals 0
0 Field Goals 0

France will need something of a miracle if they are to qualify for the Rugby League World Cup finals when they take on European rivals England who need to make a statement about their form. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 9pm (AEDT).

The French were hammered last week at the hands of Australia, but the score looked worse than the game actually was.

While 52-6 illustrates a thrashing – and the second half was – it could have been a whole lot worse had the goalline defence of the red, white and blue not been up to scratch in the first half.

They turned up time and time again to shut down the Australian side and while things skipped away from them at the end of the first half and into the second as the fitness issue caught up with them, they had some strong performances.

Fullback Mark Kheirallah was superb in both defence and attack, scoring possibly the try of the tournament, while half Theo Fages also had plenty of input with his kicking game.

They were outclassed in the forwards though, spending a majority of the match in defence, and even without Sam Burgess for England, we can expect similar this week.

England have one of the better packs at the tournament – which is hardly a surprise – but even without Burgess, they are led by James Graham, Chris Hill and 400-game Super League player Sean O’Loughlin.

All have been in superb touch, while Alex Walmsley adds size off the bench which won’t be matched anywhere in their opposition.

Despite the superior advantage up front, England have struggled for attacking continuity, and that was shown last week as they struggled to put Lebanon to the sword, in the end, taking out a gritty and less than convincing 29-10 victory.

Wayne Bennett has made some changes this week though and with Dragons half Gareth Widdop moving to fullback, allowing Kevin Brown to line up alongside Luke Gale in the halves, it adds an intriguing scenario ahead of the finals.

The Lions have to find a way to convert their attacking opportunities and maybe a new-look spine is the way to do that.

England should be far too strong for their European rivals. They need to build form before the finals, and France, while fighting hard last week, are a class below the other Group A teams.

England by 24.

Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the final group stage match at the Rugby League World Cup from 9pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment below.

One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1200 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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The Crowd Says (118)

The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:59pm | ! Report

    Thanks for joining me this evening on The Roar for our live coverage of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as England beat France. Convincing on the scoreboard, not so in reality.

    Hopefully you enjoyed the call.

    I’ll be back on Friday night from 8:30pm (AEDT) as Australia tackle Samoa in the first quarter-final. Before then though, we will have the Jillaroos kicking off their Women’s Rugby League World Cup campaign against the Cook Islands on Thursday at 4pm (AEDT), and The Roar will be live for that.

    Bye for now.

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:57pm | ! Report

    Right then, the quarter-finals are set.

    Quarter-final 1: Australia vs Samoa (Friday, 8:30pm at Darwin Stadium)
    Quarter-final 3: Tonga vs Lebanon (Saturday, 3pm at Christchurch Stadium)
    Quarter-final 2: New Zealand vs Fiji (Saturday, 5:30pm at Wellington Stadium)
    Quarter-final 4: England vs Papua New Guinea (Sunday, 4pm at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium)

    It means the semi-finals and final will be looking like this.

    Semi-final 1: Australia/Samoa vs New Zealand/Fiji (Friday, November 24, 8pm at Brisbane Stadium)
    Semi-final 2: Tonga/Lebanon vs England/Papua New Guinea (Saturday, November 25, 4pm at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland)

    The final will be played on Saturday, December 2 at 8pm.

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:57pm | ! Report

    Thoughts on the game Roarers?

    • Roar Guru

      Sleiman Azizi said | 11:14pm | ! Report

      England need to get their act together sooner rather than later.

      Also, Australia v New Zealand and England v Tonga.

      Imagine a New Zealand v Tonga final….


      • Roar Guru

        Scott Pryde said | 11:15pm | ! Report

        That’d be crazy. Would be even better if there was flexibility to move it to Eden Park.

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:57pm | ! Report


    England will run the clock out here, ending the game in possession. It caps off a reasonably strong win, but they have plenty to work on ahead of next week’s quarter-final with Papua New Guinea. The first half was so promising, so very promising. They scored five tries, handled the ball well and did all the little things right. The second half was poor to say the least though, England dropping the ball left, right and centre. Wayne Bennett has plenty to work out ahead of next week, including what exactly their best combination is in the halves and fullback.

    For France, it’s the end of the road. They jump on a plane home and wonder what might have been had they not lost to Lebanon in the first week.

    England 36
    France 6

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:54pm | ! Report

    79′ – Some good runs from France here, with Boudebza then going from dummy half and being tackled over the line. On the next it’s a sloppy play the ball and that’ll go down as another error for France.

    Thankfully, there are just 90 seconds to go. This has been tough to watch.

    England 36
    France 6

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:52pm | ! Report

    76′ – France with a rare opportunity to attack then. Djalout brings it away from the scrum, then it’s Jullien into the middle. Fages spreads left to Albert, then Kheirallah who is tackled 20 out. Garcia an offload to Rouche who is tackled 10 out, then Fages goes short to Bousquet. Last play and Albert kicks with Ratchford tapping it touch in goal.


    England 36
    France 6

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:49pm | ! Report

    75′ – There are problems for England here. Another dropped ball, this time through Tom Burgess – so, not that much of a surprise I suppose.

    England 36
    France 6

  • Roar Guru

    Scott Pryde said | 10:48pm | ! Report

    73′ – Another error for France. Jeez, this has been a really tough world cup for them. They will be looking forward to a 25-hour plane flight home. It’ll be more enjoyable than their run through the Cup anyway.

    England 36
    France 6

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