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England were massive favourites with the bookies who gave the home side a forty-point start on the coupon in the twenty-first encounter between the two sides with France having never recorded a victory against the England side.

The last time that the two sides met was back in April 2023 when England romped to a very comfortable 64-0 win at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium in Warrington with France hoping that they would be able to put on a more competitive performance this time around.

Toulouse was the venue for the first game of a double header which would later see the men’s side face off.

England took just five minutes to open the scoring when Anna Davies took a Jodie Cunningham looping cut out pass to go over in the corner. Isabella Rowe’s conversion attempt fell well short of the sticks. Three minutes later the England onslaught continued with Amy Hardcastle taking a Georgie Hetherington pass and crashing over, Rowe was closer with the conversion attempt, this time hitting the upright.

France steadied the ship and the England tries dried up until the twenty-second minute when Hetherington took a miss-out pass from Zoe Harris to run the angle and stroll over. Rowe made it third time lucky as her conversion sailed between the uprights.

Two minutes later Harris got her second of the afternoon off a Hardcastle pass, the centre fending off her opponent before offloading and when Rowe got her second conversion of the afternoon it was 20-0 and going to plan for the English.

France did well to hold their line until the half time hooter, in some part thanks to a couple of errors from England, the home side trailing by 20-0 at the break.

Ten minutes after the restart England were in for their fifth try of the afternoon when a Harris pass went to Paige Travis to score under the French tackle. Rowe was on target with the conversion for 26-0.

Simple play from England with the ball through the hands saw Davies take the pass on the overlap and score in the right corner for another simple try. Rowe was in the groove with her kicking boot as she added her fourth goal from six attempts.

Emily Partington became the fifth England scorer as she went in down the left-hand side off a Keara Bennett pass, this once failed to be converted by Rowe from the touchline, England with a 36-0 lead with fifteen minutes remaining.

England hit forty points on seventy minutes when Emily Rudge ran the perfect line to take a Rowe pass to go in and improve the angle for the try provider to add a fifth goal of the afternoon from eight attempts.

England’s intensity never waned but they were unable to add to the twenty-two points that they amassed in the second forty to win the game by forty-two points to nil.

The France losing margin was reduced from last year but on any measure, this was still a confident and comprehensive win for England as they kept the French out for a second consecutive eighty minutes. This England women’s side needs to take on the top sides in the world on a regular basis to improve, but as with the men’s game, tests against Australia and New Zealand are for too few and far in-between.

France Women: Samarra, Himoudi, Puche, Vilanove, Ramazeilles, Roses, Diraison, Akpa, Ponnier, Segala, Legout, Bessiere, Bessahli. Subs: Samuel, Monsarrat, Haoua, Kuresa. 18th Man:

England Women: Hetherington, Partington (T), Beevers, Hardcastle (T), Davies (2T), Harris (2T), Rowe (5/8 G), Wood, Bennett, Hoyle, Travis (T), Rudge (T), Cunningham.   Subs: Mottershead, Whitfield, Hornby, Sykes. 18th Man: Northrop.

Half-Time: 0-20.

Full-Time: 0-42.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-8, 0-12, 0-14, 0-18, 0-20 :HT: 0-24, 0-26, 0-30, 0-32, 0-36, 0-40, 0-42 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: England.

Referee: Geoffrey Poumes (France).  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 29th Jun 2024 4:18 PM | Views : 2461 | Replies : 1 | BACK TO STORIES