England vs France – Report – Six Nations Championship 2023 – 11 Mar, 2023 – ESPN
Rampant France ran in seven runs to crush a ragged England 53-10 on Saturday, their biggest win against the English and first Six Nations win at Twickenham in 18 years.
Attempts by defender Thomas Ramos, castle Thibault Flament and flanker Charles Olivon allowed the guests to take the lead with a score of 27:3.
England hit back with Freddie Steward, but Flament and Olivon fired again before winger Damian Peno added two late goals as the shell-shocked hosts withered in the pouring rain.
France also continued to challenge for the title this year ahead of the final game against Wales, moving up to second in the standings behind Ireland and England to fourth.
“It was a very special game for us and we tried to make it matter,” Flament told ITV. “Last week we said we needed this game.
“It was great to score. I was in the right place at the right time, I’m glad we won and it wasn’t easy at half-time to play like that the whole game. We’re in a good place.”
France struck in the second minute with a nimble pass that was completed in the corner by defender Ramos, with Flaman breaking through the line from close range after the lineout to extend his lead to 17-0.
England midfielder Marcus Smith converted a penalty and the hosts scored on the scoreboard, but France’s winger Olivon pulled ahead and extended the visitors’ lead before half-time.
Smith, drafted ahead of primary captain Owen Farrell, was unable to get his team to shoot as the hosts made a lot of handling mistakes and missed a penalty shootout to stop what little momentum they had.
Shortly after the break, Steward pulled ahead to give England faint comeback hopes, but a fatal hesitation allowed Flament to pick up the lost ball and soar on a second run in the 57th minute.
Ramos made a fifth French try, Smith clambered back to retrieve the ball near the line, but was unable to stop Olivon from landing.
Farrell was sent to try to bolster England’s defenses, but they rarely threatened to cut the deficit and it was France who struck again.
A good shot from Gael Fico sent Peno across the line and with the hosts confused, the winger quickly added a second try from the right.
As the fans poured out of the stadium, Smith took a sharp break to create an opportunity for a consolation goal, but England conceded another soft penalty and France were left to celebrate a spectacular victory ahead of this year’s World Cup, which they are hosting.
It was England’s third heaviest defeat in manager Steve Borthwick’s fourth game.
“I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” said England captain Ellis Genge. “This is one of our worst performances and we have been punished many times. We asked the guys to keep fighting and I think we fought 80%.
“Momentum, it has been against us for too long, we have not been able to recoup. I’m not hiding from him, today we were well beaten.