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Finished Twickenham

  1. Six Nations - England wear down France to keep Grand Slam hopes on track

    Six Nations - England wear down France to keep Grand Slam hopes on track

    England kept their Six Nations Grand Slam hopes alive by wearing down France and recording a 23-13 victory at Twickenham. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:80'
    • England
    • France
    • 82' FULL TIME: England win - and in the end they deserved it. They outlasted France when they were dangerous, and pounced when they ran out of steam. They are two matches away from a possible Grand Slam.
    • 81' Tempers fray at the end of this match. Unseemly from the likes of Care and Ashton. This match is already won.
    • 80' Picamoles emerges with the ball at the far side of the lineout. Meanwhile Dan Cole has been yellow-carded and his match is over.
    • 79' 'Swing low, sweet chariot' rings out around HQ. Time running out here.
    • 78' England starting to dominate with the ball here, playing with confidence. But they've had to work mighty hard for it.
    • 77' ENGLAND 23-13 FRANCE! No mistakes - and that, you'd have to think, is that.
    • 76' Saint-Andre has his hands on his head as France fail to release the ball. It's another penalty for England, and this could be the one that seals the match.
    • 75' Rogue pass from Michalak - he's given it away at just the wrong moment. France track back 60 yards.
    • 74' France change: Bastareaud off, Fritz on.
    • 73' ENGLAND 20-13 FRANCE! No dramas for Flood and France need a converted try in the next seven minutes just to draw.
    • 72' Bastareaud penalised for not rolling away as Dan Cole charges in at the breakdown. Straight penalty in front of the posts about 25m out. Flood to take it.
    • 71' Huget left to mop up as Care chips across for Ashton. Just a touch too ambitious from the replacement scrum-half.
    • 70' Brown comes away with the ball just as it looks like France could do some damage. And Clerc throws a poor, loopy pass out wide that's intercepted by Ashton.
    • 70' France take off Nyanga and bring on Claasen.
    • 69' The France changes don't appear to have done the balance of the side any favours. England look stronger at the moment.
    • 68' Robshaw with a big interception! Looks like it will all be on but he loses his balance and England have to build behind it. 30m out. Flood tries a chip for Ashton, it just doesn't quite bounce his way.
    • 67' France change: Morgan Parra off, Maxime Machenaud on.
    • 66' Tuilagi brushes off Bastareaud, and tackles just seem to fall off him. The hosts gaining ground here as match enters its last 15 minutes.
    • 65' England survive the break, and there'll be a scrum 25m out from the English try-line with an England put-in. Meantime Mas and Samson are off, with Ducarcon and Suta replace them.
    • 64' France coming forward now - Nyanga survives a robust tackle from Robshaw, skims out and les Bleus surge on.
    • 63' Michalak so close to a moment of genius, chip-kicking and taking a return before his pass so nearly finds Fofana.
    • 62' ENGLAND CHANGE: Farrell off, Flood on.
    • 61' Another poor kick from Farrell - and it looks like he's hurt himself. The groin seemed to go as he overhit it. That's the end of his afternoon.
    • 60' SCUFFED! Farrell doesn't make a clean contact with the kick, and it has no hope of travelling the 50m. As you were at Twickenham.
    • 59' England have a penalty from 50m after Fofana is penalised, while in the latest change Care replaces Ben Youngs at scrum-half.
    • 58' ENGLAND 17-13 FRANCE! Michalak slices a penalty through the posts shortly after his introduction. For a moment it looked like the ball was going to swing from centre to past the near post.
    • 57' France changes: Kayser off, Dimitri Szarzewki on. Debaty replaces Domingo.
    • 56' A rare sight: Farrell misses the penalty. Not by much, but enough not to heap further pressure on the French.
    • 55' ENGLAND 17-10 FRANCE! TRY FOR TUILAGI! England pounced on Nyanga, the ball breaks to Tuilagi, and he storms to the corner.
    • 54' Goode bangs a high ball upfield. Nyanga caught on the ball and in trouble...
    • 53' Meanwhile for France: Trinh-Duc off, Michalak on.
    • 52' In fact it's a triple sub: Lawes, Hartley, and Marler off - Tom Youngs, Haskell, Vunipola on.
    • 51' Quick penalty taken by Youngs, and he gains 10m with a tap-and-go. England throw the ball left and suddenly, for the first time in some while, England go through the phases.
    • 50' England readying Haskell on the touchline and trying to stop Fofana and co. on the edge of hte 22 on it.
    • 49' France come forward, and win an early lineout.
    • 48' ENGLAND 12-10 FRANCE! Farrell hasn't missed - Parra has on a couple of occasions, and that's why England are in the lead.
    • 47' Penalty to England - France collapsed the maul and although it's out a little to the right of centre this should be the moment that England re-take the lead.
    • 46' Lineout for England on the 22 - but Samson intercepts it for France and Trinh-Duc boots Engalnd a bit further back.
    • 45' Dusautoir working his way through the left, with plenty of support. But England still confining them to playing fairly deep.
    • 44' France have begun the second half as they finished the first, and they're still the stronger side.
    • 43' Parra misses! That's a shank past the far post from Parra from around 40m. A let-off for England, and Saint-Andre exhales in frustration.
    • 42' France drive England back at the scrum, and England haven't got the ball under the hooker's feet to work it back. Penalty follows, and France can strike an early blow.
    • 41' Trinh-Duc gets the second half underway.
    • - HALF TIME: ENGLAND 9-10 FRANCE - The visitors, bottom of the table, have been the better side, but England very much alive and if they can cut the errors out there'll be a cracking second half in store.
    • 40+1' MISSED! Parra does kick, but from near halfway he was just wide and just short. That's the final action of the half.
    • 40' Penalty for France after Cole took out the supporting player in the lineout. That's probably too far for a kick at goal, but France have one last chance to use the ball before the interval.
    • 40' Desperate tackle from Cole to hold Fofana back as he threatened to burst through again.
    • 39' Vicious tackle from Lawes on Fall, and frankly the France winger does really well to even hold on to the ball and offer it back while lying supine.
    • 38' Dusautoir tidies up a loose ball from a France lineout, getting the ball to Trinh-Duc, who once again boots France into a better position.
    • 37' But soon after Goode is caught by Parra, giving France some useful territory. England's control slipping under the pressure from their visitors.
    • 36' England work France back well here, perhaps for the first time. Lawes instrumental with a tackle on Trinh-Duc.
    • 35' Farrell with a kick from deep but doesn't find touch - Clerc catches it on the wing and sets France off again.
    • 34' ENGLAND 9-10 FRANCE! Farrell gratefully accepts France's gift. The sting has been drawn from that Fofana try right away.
    • 33' Whoops - France give away a penalty, Domingo punished for not rolling away from Robshaw. A very kickable penalty for Farrell, who can reduce the deficit straight away.
    • 32' 'Allez les Bleus' come the chants. Is this Twickenham?
    • 31' ENGLAND 6-10 FRANCE! And Parra adds the kick for good measure from wide.
    • 30' ENGLAND 6-8 FRANCE! AND WHAT A TRY FROM FOFANA! The ball was spun to him around halfway, and he imply brushed off Ashton and Youngs to run for the line. Terrific pace and power, and that's what France can do.
    • 29' Goode and Huget trade kicks from one end of the field to the other. As Goode catches the ball again he opts to go alone.
    • 28' ENGLAND 6-3 FRANCE! England take the lead for a second time after Farrell knocks over the kick from just left of centre.
    • 27' Back to the penalty! Farrell tried a chip kick for Ashton - expansive, but he knew he had a simple three points to kick if it went wrong.
    • 26' England drive from the lineout, then spin right - Tuilagi bursts through to five metres before he is tackled. England continue, but they have a penalty...
    • 25' Mas penalised for not rolling away. Goode has kicked England to the 22. And he's a chance for the hosts.
    • 24' Interesting replays - Farrell is taken out off the ball, but earlier on he actually blocked and brought down Parra. Nothing vicious, but not exactly the spirit of the game, and certainly foul play.
    • 23' England work left and right - Farrell throws a long ball out to Launchbury, but somehow the ball slips away on the ground and once again France have the turnover.
    • 22' England win a lineout via Parling and for the first time the backs are lined up and ready to run. They don't get their chance yet, but England go through the phases.
    • 21' England have missed six tackles in this match, France not one as yet. Youngs fires a box kick down towards the 22 on the right.
    • 20' Ashton in the break in play adjusts his contact lenses. Can scarcely recall seeing him or Mike Brown invovled in the game so far.
    • 19' Saint-Andre, the France coach, chewing gum with Sir Alex Ferguson's ferocity. He must be pleased with the determination shown in the first 20 minutes.
    • 18' Youngs thinks he's broken free with a loose ball, only to be called back for a knock on.
    • 17' England head well into the France half, only for a turnover and then a penalty to be given away. Parra boots the French well beyond halfway.
    • 16' That's not been helped by Joubert at scrum time, with resets and penalties at every turn.
    • 15' The French have been stronger and more resolved, but it's not been a flowing encounter so far. Very bitty exchanges.
    • 14' Farrell and Huget have a slightly-less-than-friendly exchange after Barritt's tackle.
    • 13' FRANCE CLOSE! Trinh-Duc penalised for a knock on as England are split apart, and it looks like Fofana will score. Try won't stand - but replays suggest a tough call as Trinh-Duc steered the loose ball with the back of his foot as he ran, not his hand.
    • 12' Maestri wins the ball at the lineout and France spin the ball left...
    • 11' Good drive from France as this one sends England back about 5m. And once completed, Trinh-Duc kicks for territory.
    • 10' Still no completed scrum after three attempts. Advantage to France - which they use by taking another scrum...
    • 9' France's players have been strong in Europe this season and their rejigged line-up has their top men in their best positions. They look pretty good so far.
    • 8' The scrum doesn't materialise, and Trinh-Duc kicks the ball swiftly out further upfield.
    • 7' France put-in at the scrum in their own half.
    • 6' Lineout around halfway. Neither side have quite made their mark in this one yet.
    • 5' ENGLAND 3-3 FRANCE! - Straight and true from Parra, and the scores are quickly levelled.
    • 4' France go through the hands, and although Bastareaud knocks on there's an existing penalty to come back to. Penalty for the visitors, about 40m out, but central.
    • 3' France with possession for the first time, Fofana driving forward into the England half.
    • 2' ENGLAND 3-0 FRANCE! The cheers went up the moment the kick left Farrell's boot, and it sneaked in at the right post.
    • 1' Penalty to England as Yoann Maestri forgets himself and tackles from an offside position. This is very kickable.
    • 1' Away we go! Parra with the ball early for France, kicking the ball out for an England lineout.
    • 16:59 Everyone in place - Owen Farrell will kick this match off.
    • 16:58 Laura Wright signs God Save The Queen, and the atmosphere ratchets up another notch at Twickenham.
    • 16:57 South African referee Craig Joubert is in charge of this one.
    • 16:56 The players have taken to the field and the national anthems are about to begin.
    • 16:55 The Six Nations table is still led by England, although Wales have joined them on two wins with victory earlier. France still at the foot of the standings. Table
    • 16:50 And whatever happens, our blogger argues you can be sure that whatever the result of today's encounter, it won't be boring. Read more
    • 16:45 Think it will be a walk in the park for England after France lost their first two games? Don't count on it. Our blogger listed four reasons why the French could surprise England earlier this week. Have a read
    • 16:40 Three changes for England from the side that won their first two games of the tournament. Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley and Manu Tuilagi all start at Twickenham. More on the teams here
    • 16:35 ENGLAND: 15-Alex Goode, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Manu Tuilagi, 12-Brad Barritt, 11-Mike Brown, 10-Owen Farrell, 9-Ben Youngs; 8-Tom Wood, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 6-Courtney Lawes, 5-Geoff Parling, 4-Joe Launchbury, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Dylan Hartley, 1-Joe Marler.
    • 16:35 FRANCE: 15-Yoann Huget, 14-Vincent Clerc, 13-Mathieu Bastareaud, 12-Wesley Fofana, 11-Benjamin Fall, 10-Francois Trinh-Duc, 9-Morgan Parra, 8-Louis Picamoles, 7-Thierry Dusautoir, 6-Yannick Nyanga, 5-Yoann Maestri, 4-Christophe Samson, 3-Nicolas Mas, 2-Benjamin Kayser, 1-Thomas Domingo
    • 16:30 Hello and welcome to live text commentary of Le Crunch as England host France at Twickenham in the Six Nations. Kick-off just half an hour away.
  • Summary

    England versus France
    Tuilagi 54’ Tries Fofana 30’
      Conversions Parra 32’
    Farrell 2’, 28’, 34’, 48’, Flood 73’, 77’ Penalties Parra 5’, Michalak 57’
      Drops  

Live Team Line-Up

  • England

    Manager: Stuart Lancaster

    On the Field

    • Marler Substitution Out (52′)
    • Hartley Substitution Out (52′)
    • Cole
    • Launchbury
    • Parling
    • Lawes Substitution Out (52′)
    • Robshaw
    • Wood
    • Youngs Substitution Out (59′)
    • Farrell Substitution Out (62′)
    • Brown
    • Barritt
    • Tuilagi Try
    • Ashton
    • Goode

    Subs

    • Waldrom
    • Haskell Substitution In (52′)
    • Flood Substitution In (62′)
    • Care Substitution In (59′)
    • Youngs Substitution In (52′)
    • Wilson
    • Twelvetrees
    • Vunipola Substitution In (52′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

  • France

    Manager: Philippe Saint-André

    On the Field

    • Domingo Substitution Out (56′)
    • Kayser Substitution Out (56′)
    • Mas Substitution Out (65′)
    • Samson Substitution Out (65′)
    • Maestri
    • Nyanga Substitution Out (69′)
    • Dusautoir
    • Picamoles
    • Parra Substitution Out (67′)
    • Trinh-Duc Substitution Out (53′)
    • Fall
    • Fofana Try
    • Bastareaud Substitution Out (74′)
    • Clerc
    • Huget

    Subs

    • Michalak Substitution In (53′)
    • Debaty Substitution In (56′)
    • Szarzewski Substitution In (56′)
    • Fritz Substitution In (74′)
    • Ducalcon Substitution In (65′)
    • Suta Substitution In (65′)
    • Machenaud Substitution In (67′)
    • Claassen Substitution In (69′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None