England have defeated France in their Round 2 Six Nations clash, 44 points to 8 at Twickenham.
It started fast: England box kicked to clear to begin the half, and France knocked on a few phases in, leading to a Elliot Daly linebreak before he toed through for Jonny May to score within two minutes.
Owen Farrell missed the conversion, but a penalty five minutes later gave the English an opportunity to kick out by more than a converted try.
The two sides traded box kicks, before a knock on gave France a chance for some phase play with an eventual penalty putting them within five, at 8-3.
After Morgan Parra box kicked, a penalty for interference saw Farrell once again increasing England’s buffer, 11-3 from 39 metres.
After the game’s second scrum, England camped France in their own 22, and when the box kick gained them no real ground, England quickly found May who shrugged off a tackle to score.
Playing at speed was the story of the half, and when England took a lineout quickly they broke through to begin a set of phases right on the France line.
After regaining a bomb, they lobbed through once more, finding May again who dotted down for a 23-3 lead.
With less than five remaining in the half, France needed something to go their way, so Yoann Huget made a line-break before finding Damian Penaud who dived over, for 23-8.
A late try to England was not what the French needed, but after a turnover and another protruding kick, England dotted down to end the half, 30-8.
The second half lacked much of the spark of the first, but an intercept to Slade led to a penalty try, as Gael Fickou tackled Chris Ashton without the ball, prompting referee Owens to award a penalty try and send the French winger to the bin.
With 25 minutes left, Farrell tried another overhead kick – the same tactic which worked well all game for them – and the TMO ruled that there was no England knock on in the lead-up, for an Owen Farrell try.
Antoine Dupont came on for France, and brightened things up somewhat for them, but overall it was a dismal day for the visitors, and going scoreless in the second half didn’t help.
The Rugby World Cup enters the quarter-final stages this weekend in a mouth-watering set of fixtures. With all eight sides having met each other in previous World Cup encounters we look back on these meetings before we look ahead to a massive weekend of knockout rugby.