Maro Itoje scored a 75th-minute try to see England claim a thrilling 23-20 victory at Twickenham and dent France’s hopes of a Six Nations title.
Gameflow: In a breathtaking first half the lead changed hands three times as France ran in two tries and England one. The second half was far more tight, with both kickers trading penalties, before England laid the telling blow as Itoje just managed to ground the ball before being held up after smashing his way over the tryline. The result denied France a potential Grand Slam and felled them 10 points behind leaders Wales. England, meanwhile, grabbed the second win of their campaign and temporarily elevated to second place on the table, with Ireland and Scotland set to face off on Sunday.
Star performer: Wing Anthony Watson was deservedly named man of the match after a superb performance which included a try, 83 running metres and four broken tackles (the most of any English player).
Key stats: As a massive difference from their first three games – in which they conceded a total of 41 penalties – England conceded none in the opening 20 minutes of the match, their first coming in the 25th minute from a scrum. While England’s penalty count eventually went into double figures (10) in the second half, it was crucial that they kept their discipline in the first half, as it allowed Eddie Jones’ side to stay in touch with the visitors.
England – Tries: Anthony Watson, Maro Itoje. Conversions: Owen Farrell (2). Penalties: Farrell (3).
France – Tries: Antoine Dupont, Damian Penaud. Conversions: Mathieu Jalibert (2). Penalties: Jalibert (2).
Photo: Adrian DENNIS/AFP