England 23-20 France: Maro Itoje are trying earns England Six Worldwide locations eradicate at Twickenham

England (13) 23
Tries: Watson, Itoje Cons: Farrell 2 Pens: Farrell 3
France (17) 20
Tries: Dupont, Penaud Cons: Jalibert 2 Pens: Jalibert 2

England overhauled a stubborn, skilful France to grab victory in a look-sawing Six Worldwide locations match at Twickenham.

Eddie Jones’ facet trailed 17-13 at the fracture after shapely ratings from Antoine Dupont and Damian Penaud had attach France in entrance.

The hosts’ stress informed in a cagey 2nd half as Maro Itoje barged over for a 77th-minute get.

Even then France threatened to land a decisive counter-punch however Brice Dulin’s fracture became as soon as snuffed out.

Wales’ eradicate over Italy earlier in the day skill England’s victory is too late to salvage a Six Worldwide locations title defence.

But victory went some methodology to re-establishing England’s credentials because the northern hemisphere’s superpower, in world rankings a minimal of.

The 2019 World Cup runners-up had slipped to fourth, beneath France, after defeats by Scotland and Wales in their opening three games of this year’s campaign.

In the present day time’s victory takes them motivate above their opponents to 3rd.

But, with Wales and Scotland upwardly cell and France a dinky while a ways flung from a first eradicate at Twickenham since 2005, any claims to being Europe’s number 1 facet are a ways from conclusive.

France, who play unbeaten Wales in Paris subsequent weekend, can soundless eradicate the title for the first time since 2010.

Transition or custom for poker-faced Jones?

Owen Farrell celebrates with Luke Cowan-Dickie
Owen Farrell celebrates with Luke Cowan-Dickie, who became as soon as making finest his fifth starting up

The attach a question to for Jones now may presumably perchance be whether or no longer to stick or twist again.

The Australian has admitted that his facet are in a interval of transition, suggesting finest around 70% of the most neatly-liked squad will feature at the next World Cup in 2023.

He introduced the free-operating full-motivate Max Malins and laborious-carrying hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie into the starting up line-up and his facet regarded revived as they slugged it out with France in an provocative first half.

Anthony Watson’s are trying, created by Henry Slade’s darting fracture and George Ford mis-pass on the flit’s 50th England appearance, became as soon as the least he and his facet deserved.

Six Nations table
France’s sport in opposition to Scotland – before everything scheduled for 28 February – became as soon as postponed to a later date after a Covid outbreak in the French camp

The 2nd half featured more perspiration than inspiration from England. Owen Farrell’s boot kept them interior vary ahead of Itoje burrowed over to fracture France’s resolve.

With the final-weekend day out to Dublin a silly rubber in title terms, will Jones proceed for extra surgical operation to his facet or restore weird and wonderful mainstays Elliot Daly and Jamie George who contributed to a sturdy closing quarter?

It must be that this summer’s tour of North The US, while the Lions have interaction on South Africa, will as an replacement be the likelihood he takes to take a look at a couple of of his fringe squad individuals.

Jalibert and Dupont shine in defeat

Matthieu Jalibert
Jalibert, 22, is allotment of an exhilarating chop of young French fly-halves with Romain Ntamack and Louis Carbonel rivalling him for the 10 jersey

France will attain again. With two successive below-20 world titles in the motivate of them, a residence World Cup in 2023 in entrance of them and a take hold of of racy young stars hitting their straps, the future is engaging.

In fresh years, France be pleased on occasion failed to stay as a lot as their reputation for incisive, imaginative rugby. On their closing Six Worldwide locations take a look at with to Twickenham, they misplaced by bigger than 30 factors, failing to attach a glove on England.

But, finally, they’ve a expertise of gamers to take a look at as a lot as an excellent previous. Central to their eradicate became as soon as the half-motivate partnership of Dupont and Matthieu Jalibert.

Jones had talked about earlier this week that he would establish for scrum-half Dupont having merely a tremendous sport reasonably than a special one. His hopes had been thwarted in 81 seconds. Dupont attacked the short facet, ran a unbelievable toughen line and then gathered Teddy Thomas’ kick ahead for the first get.

The excellence of Dupont, player of the tournament closing year, potentially the correct on the earth this, came as no surprise. But Jalibert, making his seventh starting up, has attain in below the radar.

Picked ahead of Romain Ntamack, he pulled the strings to perfection, providing a delicious basketball pass for Damian Penaud to stroll in for a unbelievable 2nd are trying.

This France facet can combine steel with the stardust even supposing. Drilled by defence coach Shaun Edwards, they repelled England’s assaults many times in the 2nd half finest to be finally undone interior sight of a landmark eradicate.

Man of the match – Anthony Watson

Anthony Watson
Watson made three practical breaks, bigger than any diversified residence player, and scored his 22nd England are trying

‘We persistently are attempting to play love that’ – response

England head coach Eddie Jones: “We’re disenchanted that we didn’t be pleased 82,000 fans in right here with us, they would maybe be pleased got bigger than their money’s price, and the RFU would had been contented.

“We persistently are attempting to play love that. We would like to play every sport love that however on occasion it ultimate doesn’t work love that. There became as soon as reasonably rapid ball, there became as soon as a first price floor, no longer worthy rain, so it became as soon as ultimate conditions to play a passing sport.”

England flit Anthony Watson: “We knew we had no longer conducted to our requirements in particular in discipline in opposition to Wales. It’s possible you’ll presumably perchance presumably look the togetherness of our squad, now we be pleased to characteristic the benchmark and now we be pleased got to rep effectively.

“It became as soon as an infinite sport to be fervent with, credit to France, however it with out a doubt became as soon as a joy to be allotment of. Scoring a are trying in the closing five minutes and controlling it at the tip became as soon as the most fundamental thing. We’re ultimate contented with that.”

Line-ups

England: Malins, Watson, Slade, Farrell, Could presumably, Ford, Youngs, M. Vunipola, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Itoje, Ewels, Wilson, Curry, B. Vunipola.

Replacements: Daly for Malins (63), Lawrence for Slade (72), Robson for Youngs (76), Genge for M. Vunipola (63), George for Cowan-Dickie (72), Stuart for Sinckler (72), Hill for Ewels (78), Earl for Wilson (63).

France: Dulin, Thomas, Vakatawa, Fickou, Penaud, Jalibert, Dupont, Baille, Marchand, Haouas, R. Taofifenua, Willemse, Cretin, Ollivon, Alldritt.

Replacements: Gros for Baille (68), Chat for Marchand (72), Aldegheri for Haouas (59), Cazeaux for R. Taofifenua (59), Woki for Cretin (72). Now not Stale: Jelonch, Serin, Ntamack.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

Contact judges: Mike Adamson (Scotland) & Craig Evans (Wales)

TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

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