Six Nations - Stade de France, 19 March 2016, 21:00 local, 20:00 GMT
France (12) 21 - 31 (17) England (FT)

Match coverage:  Report

Summary

Time Score  
 

A moment's applause to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme - touching moment at the Stade de France.

















Hello and welcome to ESPN's live coverage of France v England from the Stade de France. The visitors are pursuing their first Grand Slam since 2003 -- can the French thwart Eddie Jones' men at the final hurdle?

1

3....2....1.... And we are go! England's George Ford punts off and the Six Nations finale is under way. And straight from the kick off, England tackle the man in the air, and it's a penalty after 14 seconds. Adrenaline clearly pumping. Spedding boots to the England 22 where France will have an attacking lineout.

2 3 - 0

Driving maul from the lineout and a Parisian roar swells up. Spedding trying to take advantage of a gap but he's brought down, and then England are penalised by going in off the feet. Maro Itoje adjudged to have sinned. Kickable three points for France.

3

Machenaud lines it up on the 22, just to the right of the posts. A hush descends. Up, true, 3-0.

4 3 - 3

Another penalty from a restart, this time it goes England's way as France tackle high. Owen Farrell will get a swift opportunity to level the scores.

5

Some jeers and whistles as Farrell kicks goalwards. He's looking nervously at that one as it swerves right of its intended line. It clatters the inside of the post.... and goes over. Three points, and a sign that England's luck is in?

7

France making good progress with a rolling maul, for the second time in as many lineouts. Now they work it right and Vakatawa and Spedding combine neatly on the wing. But Vakatawa is adjudged to have been in touch before offloading, so it's a lineout to England. This is as good as anything France have displayed so far this tournament, even if the match is only seven minutes old.

8

Kruis snares the lineout and from the maul Robshaw breaks off and through the gainline. The ball goes left from there and Mike Brown is in the clear, only to lob a hopeful, expectant pass... to absolutely nobody. France mop up, but positive signs for England.

9

Fofana takes a fine high ball and sets France away on the attack again. Spedding again is the man who bursts through, and Vakatawa has to cut back in from the wing. His flick towards Fickou, though, is off target and straight into touch. Danger signs again for England.

11 3 - 8

Ten minutes gone and France have dominated territory and possession. They're building pressure on the outskirts of the English 22 at the moment. Just as it looks as though France might have an overlap developing, they are penalised for diving in and Farrell clears into French territory. That's a huge let-off for England. And out of nowhere! TRY FOR ENGLAND!!!

12 3 - 10

That's an incredible burst from Care, who exploits a gap -- and an injury to Francois Trinh-Duc -- to charge over unopposed. Trinh-Duc's ankle turned in on itself in the build-up to that try, and he will go off for some treatment. It will be a surprise if he was to return.

13



14

Penalty to France, Vunipola adjudged to have collapsed the scrum. A chance for Machenaud to reduce the deficit. Which he takes.

15 6 - 10

Spedding breaks from deep again and that's another super run from the South African-born fullback. He chips ahead and Mike Brown seems to have barged him -- the England man gets away with it, Jack Nowell tidies up and England clear their lines. Spedding having a stormer, all the same.

17

Good take from Haskell at a lineout, and England are off again, Watson chipping forward and Joseph doing well to take the bouncing ball at the second attempt. England in good shape in the French 22 now.

18

Ford, to Billy Vunipola, he's 10 metres short. Itoje picks up from the breakdown. Mako Vunipola pushes on. France penalised for offside, advantage England. Care forward, then Cole, rolling, rolling, TRY!!!

19 6 - 15

It seemed certain that he would be stopped once, twice, but he rolls over the line after not being held down. The Paris crowd not impressed by a block from Mako Vunipola which referee Nigel Owens has decided he wants to take a look at. Owens not impressed having had a look at that though, and Owens swiftly confirms it's a try. French whistling at its absolute peak after that fandango.

20 6 - 17

22

France could easily be discouraged by that opening quarter. They threatened three times and came away with nothing better than a couple of penalties. Meanwhile England had two half-chances and score two tries. Clinical stuff from England.

23

France penalised on halfway and Farrell might fancy a pop from here given it's right in the middle of the field. Nope, he goes for the corner instead, and gets two-thirds of the way there. Attacking lineout for England.

26

First quiet spell of the match as both sides swap possession around midway. And then Vakatawa springs into life down the left flank, bursting towards England's five metre line before being dragged into touch. Important defensive lineout coming for England.

27

Safely dealt with, up the jumper time before Care hoofs it high to clear the danger. France have to rebuild from just inside the England half, and then get turned over at the breakdown.

28 9 - 17

Fear not, France fans -- it's a penalty to France at the very next breakdown after England fail to release. A chance to close the gap again for Machenaud.

29

30

Brown charges forward after a couple of high kicks from the restart, only to fumble the ball away, but France can't do anything other than be dragged into touch. Lineout just inside the England half.

32

England have worked their way forward to an attacking lineout on the France 22. Itoje snares it, and it goes right to Watson, who barrels forward into contact. Then Billy Vunipola tries to make ground but without much luck. England going left, then right, and trying to find a way through, with Mike Brown stumbling forward. But they're turned over at the breakdown and it will be a French scrum.

33

Clumsy play by Loann Goujon, whose butterfingers play up as he tries to scoop the ball at the back of the scrum. Knock on, and now it's a great opportunity for England...

34

From the scrum, the ball comes back to Jack Nowell who somehow crawls forward for an additional four or five metres, keeping the pressure on the French defence. Care pulling the strings at each breakdown, slowly trying to pick the French defence apart. But the ball is dropped by Vunipola and France will have the put-in once again.

35

Penalty to France now, and Spedding boots deep into England territory. Can France score a try just before half-time to put the pressure back on England?

37

Kruis does brilliantly to snatch the lineout, Watson does equally well to gain some ground having initially been facing the wrong way, but when the kick for touch comes in, France recycle it quickly and the pressure tells with England conceding another penalty for not releasing.

38

Decision to be made as to whether to kick for goal or not, given the time on the clock. Yep, they'll kick for goal and a chance to reduce the deficit to five points at the break.

39 12 - 17

Machenaud boots it through. There's been enough encouragement for France in this first half to keep them very interested in the second period. Their previous games here this year -- against Italy and Ireland -- were very similar. And they won both of those...

40

Attacking scrum for England now with the clock having ticked past the 40. This is quite a big moment, and the key indicator there is that the scrum keeps on collapsing... Penalty to England after France are penalised for pulling the scrum down. Three points on offer here for Farrell...



40+1

Deep deep deep into added time now, and the Parisian whistles are at fever pitch once again. Farrell lines up from the right of the posts. Sizes it up, steps up, drags it wide! Big moment, that looked certain to be another three points there but England will have to settle for a five-point lead at the break.

40+3

Some half-time thoughts from our man in Paris, Tom Hamilton:

"England hold a five-point advantage at half-time thanks to tries from Danny Care -- a wonderful piece of quick-thinking to sprint in from 40 metres -- and Dan Cole. But England's star performer in the first half has been George Kruis who has been impressive in attack, defence and the set piece. France started well -- as Eddie Jones said they would -- but for all of Virimi Vakatawa's gainline-breaking brilliance, their attacks seem to be as much down to surprise as design. This game is nicely poised for what should be an eventful, exciting second 40."

 

The teams are coming back out, France first, then England. And we're about to start the final half of Six Nations 2016!

40

We're under way. Danny Care boots high after England snaffle the kickoff, and France try to build from halfway.

41

Vakatawa with a stunning break! Breaks two tackles then flips to Plisson, and France are deep inside England territory, with a penalty advantage. There's a kick to try and see what's on in the corner, but Nowell is back well. Penalty to France, and the deficit should be narrowed again.

42

Over it goes. 17-15. English nerves being put to the test.

43 15 - 17

Danny Care, who had a pretty good first half, is off. And England win a very quick penalty from the restart, gifting Farrell an opportunity to re-establish a five-point lead.

44 15 - 20

Well, that didn't make it with much to spare! It's through though, and the lead is five once again.

47

England making some good ground, Billy Vunipola as usual the man who has taken it upon himself to barrel onwards. Youngs, to Ford, now Marler (on as a substitute at the break), now it's found its way to Itoje who takes it into the 22. And England are pinged for obstruction. That was a decent bit of play from England, the first time they've really had any possession in this second half.

49

Super kick over the top from Machenaud and Mermoz picks it up, France a bit lucky to get away with obstruction as they gather the kick but it's England who get penalised for not rolling away. "Discipline, discipline" shouts one England player, picked up by the ref mic. Not a great moment for Dylan Hartley, who was the man who gave away the penalty. Though it was slightly harsh.

50 18 - 20

Machenaud closes the gap again. 18-20, more nail-biting...

51 18 - 20

Once again from the restart, England do a great job of turning France ball over and now can put pressure on the French defence. They're at the edge of the 22, and a snap drop-goal attempt from Ford.... is well wide. Ambitious effort from Ford.

52

Jonathan Joseph looked as though he was making good progress on the ground, but Nigel Owens isn't having that -- that's a penalty for France and they'll have a lineout on the England 22.

53

But Kruis -- again -- wins the lineout ball! Great performance from the England jumper. And when France do make some progress, England turn them over before clearing. And then France are turned over again! England doing phenomenal work at the breakdown.

54

There was a decent overlap on for England there but Mike Brown possibly makes the wrong decision by opting to kick. It's blocked, as well, and England will have to settle for a scrum on their own 10-metre line.

55 18 - 25

Billy Vunipola scoops up from the scrum and makes terrific ground. Now it's with Youngs and he times his grubber perfectly, it pops up for Anthony Watson and IT'S A TRY!! TRY FOR ENGLAND!!

56



That could be a game-breaker right there. Hat's off to Billy Vunipola and Ben Youngs for their alertness, and Anthony Watson's hands were up to the task when the ball popped up for him. Super, super try.

57

Once again at a restart, the kicking team earn a penalty. It seems the receiving team have squandered possession one way or another on every restart in this game. Machenaud will look to keep the scoreboard ticking.

58 21 - 25

It's back to less than a try in it. Super kick again from Machenaud, who has been faultless from the tee.

60

England burrowing forward with Haskell, the ball breaks loose as Ford is smacked by a French tackler on the 22, and it's a France scrum. Maro Itoje takes a knee for a breather, which sums up the effort being put in across the field.

61

Penalty to France from the scrum as England are turned through 90 degrees.

62

And yet again, a lineout following a penalty is turned over by England. Outstanding work by the English pack on these jump balls. That one is all about Maro Itoje's athleticism. Unbelievable jump.

63

From a successive lineout, England ship the ball beautifully along the backline and only a despairing tackle thwarts Nowell from breaking through. Clever kick from George Ford, who punts low into the French 22. Just get them as far away from your own try line as you can at this stage...

64

Goodness, France are lucky to have snagged that lineout as well! They really are under pressure on the set piece. Itoje penalised at the next breakdown for giving the scrum-half an almighty shove.

65

The French lineout has just gone to pieces in this second half. They're a little fortunate to get a scrum for a knock-on after this latest fiasco. They even shortened the line, but to no good effect. Desperate stuff.

66

Guilhem Guirado is replaced, and gets a terrific reception. He's been arguably France's best player in this Six Nations.

67

France penalised for not driving straight. They're turned over at the scrum without the ball ever even reaching it. They're losing their way.

68



Harltey has had a super first tournament as England captain -- this is not what anyone wants to see. He's being put very very carefully on to the spinal board, with a brace around his head and neck. Owen Farrell -- who is now England captain -- goes over to see if Hartley is ok and encouragingly appears to be having a laugh with Hartley, perhaps mocking him for his attempted tackle!



Dylan Hartley is knocked unconscious. He is absolutely flat stiff on the pitch in the middle of the French half. And he's taken an almighty knee to the head having gone down low in the tackle. That is a horrible sight for the England team, who huddle together as their captain is attended to. A hush descends over the Stade de France.

69

"We've had a great game of rugby, we're not going to have the scrum spoil it. If you're not going to sort it out, you'll leave the field." -- Nigel Owens gives the France front row a severe telling off. The clock is ticking, ticking, ticking...

70

Penalty to France just as England were beginning to milk the clock deep in the opposition territory. A boot into touch will resume France's lineout spectacle...

71 21 - 28

They manage to claim possession but are turned over at the breakdown, then Farrell's pass bounces loose and there's an advantage being played for England. High tackle against the French, and once Joseph chips forward and loses possession, the ball goes back to England. Farrell is going to have a pot at goal, despite it being near halfway and despite him not having his best night from the tee.

72

Sweet kick, huge roar from the English contingent in Paris -- it's a lead of a converted try, with eight minutes to go...

73

Two French players collide under a high ball and England get the chance to clear deep into French territory, George Ford hitting a peach into the 22. George Kruis (who else?) snatches the lineout away from the French. How many times is that now?!

74

France get the ball back and Vakatawa tries to advance, carrying the ball like he would his morning baguette. Still France can build here. Remember, a draw would spoil England's Grand Slam hopes in the most frustrating fashion...

75

Mike Brown steals brilliantly then punts forward and flops under a challenge. Ref Owens is unimpressed, but France - through Maxime Medard - are going to have to build from deep. Meanwhile, Jack Nowell collides unwittingly with an advertising hoarding as he tries to gather a high ball into touch.

76 21 - 28

Substitute Jack Clifford is immediately involved, winning a lineout. It's a penalty to England for France going round the side. And that, should it turn into three points, would be that. Ford with a drop goal attempt -- essentially a free shot at goal -- and it's wide. A yellow card for Xavier Chiocci, and this race is just about run... England are going to win the Grand Slam!

77 21 - 31

Farrell - penalty goal

79

Swing Low rings round the Stade de France. It's been 13 years in the making. Not since 2003 have England been perfect in the Six Nations.

80





Some final thoughts from our man in Paris, Tom Hamilton:

"England have finally banished their Grand Slam demons. Tries from Danny Care, Dan Cole and Anthony Watson -- along with an assured kicking performance from Owen Farrell -- ensured England collected their first clean sweep since 2003. George Kruis and Billy Vunipola were superb but this was a team effort, born from frustration and complete self-belief. England were made to work by a French team who rallied hard but England's organisation ensure they did not let the opportunity slip by."







ENGLAND ARE GRAND SLAM WINNERS!!!!

A turn, a boot from the bottom of the scrum into touch....

France looking for a way through. There isn't one. It's a scrum for England. One restart away from perfection...

Timeline

Time France  Score  England
0 start of first half start of first half
2 Machenaud - penalty goal 3 - 0
4 3 - 3 Farrell - penalty goal
11 3 - 8 Care - try
12 3 - 10 Farrell - conversion
13 Trinh-Duc - sub off
Plisson - sub on
15 Machenaud - penalty goal 6 - 10
19 6 - 15 Cole - try
20 6 - 17 Farrell - conversion
28 Machenaud - penalty goal 9 - 17
39 Machenaud - penalty goal 12 - 17
40+3 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half start of second half
Marler - sub on
MWIWNA Vunipola - sub off
43 Machenaud - penalty goal 15 - 17 Youngs - sub on
Care - sub off
44 15 - 20 Farrell - penalty goal
50 Machenaud - penalty goal 18 - 20
55 18 - 25 Watson - try
57 Poirot - sub off
Atonio - sub on
Slimani - sub off
Chiocci - sub on
Flanquart - sub off
Jedrasiak - sub on
58 Machenaud - penalty goal 21 - 25
66 Chat - sub on
Guirado - sub off
67 Hartley - sub off
Cowan-Dickie - sub on
69 Medard - sub on
Mermoz - sub off
Lauret - sub on
Goujon - sub off
71 21 - 28 Farrell - penalty goal
75 Machenaud - sub off
Bezy - sub on
Robshaw - sub off
Clifford - sub on
76 Chiocci - yellow card
77 21 - 31 Farrell - penalty goal
79 Poirot - sub on
le Roux - sub off
80 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
0
80

Notes

 
Result England won by a margin of 10 points
Six Nations points England 2, France 0
 
Ground name Stade de France, Paris
Attendance 78750
 
Referee N Owens (Wales)
 
France Test debuts none
England Test debuts none

Teams

France England
Tries none Tries Care (11), Cole (19), Watson (55)
Cons none Cons Farrell (12, 20)
Pens Machenaud (2, 15, 28, 39, 43, 50, 58) Pens Farrell (4, 44, 71, 77)

Match stats

France   England
0 Tries 3
0 from 0 Conversion goals 2 from 3
7 from 7 Penalty goals 4 from 5
100.0% Kick at goal success 75.0%
0 Dropped goals 0 (2 missed)
Kick/pass/run
26 Kicks from hand 37
146 Passes 135
110 Runs 117
468 Metres run with ball 406
Attacking
45% (44%/45%) Possession (1H/2H) 55% (56%/55%)
40% (41%/39%) Territory (1H/2H) 60% (59%/61%)
7 Clean breaks 6
28 Defenders beaten 21
8 Offloads 14
75 from 82 (91.5%) Rucks won 81 from 89 (91.0%)
3 from 3 (100.0%) Mauls won 8 from 8 (100.0%)
18 Turnovers conceded 11
Defensive
119/21 Tackles made/missed 116/28
85.0% Tackling success rate 81.0%
Set pieces
4 won, 1 lost (80.0%) Scrums on own feed 6 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
9 won, 4 lost (69.2%) Lineouts on own throw 13 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
Discipline
9 (1) Penalties conceded (Freekicks) 15 (0)
1/0 Yellow/red cards 0/0

Fra stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Spedding 0/0 0 12/11/11 118 2 5 1 1 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Fofana 0/0 0 0/7/6 35 0 2 1 1 5/1 1/0 0 0/0
C Fickou 0/0 0 1/6/6 19 0 3 0 0 8/1 0/0 2 0/0
C Mermoz 0/0 0 2/5/8 15 0 1 0 0 9/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Vakatawa 0/0 0 0/6/19 132 4 11 2 7 3/1 0/0 0 0/0
FH Trinh-Duc 0/0 0 0/4/1 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
SH Machenaud 0/0 21 4/63/3 17 0 1 0 2 3/2 0/0 0 0/0
P Poirot 0/0 0 0/0/4 8 0 0 0 0 8/1 0/0 0 0/0
H Guirado 0/0 0 0/0/5 14 0 0 0 0 8/3 0/0 1 0/0
P Slimani 0/0 0 0/0/3 0 0 0 0 0 7/1 0/0 2 0/0
L Flanquart 0/0 0 0/5/5 5 0 0 1 0 9/0 1/0 0 0/0
L Maestri 0/0 0 0/4/7 5 0 0 1 0 8/0 4/0 0 0/0
F Chouly 0/0 0 0/1/10 44 0 1 0 0 12/2 2/0 1 0/0
F le Roux 0/0 0 0/2/4 12 1 0 0 0 11/3 0/0 0 0/0
N8 Goujon 0/0 0 0/4/5 19 0 1 1 2 7/3 0/0 0 0/0
(H) Chat 0/0 0 0/0/2 3 0 0 0 0 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Atonio 0/0 0 0/0/2 2 0 0 0 2 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Chiocci 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 1 3/0 0/0 1 1/0
(L) Jedrasiak 0/0 0 0/2/3 6 0 0 0 1 2/1 1/0 2 0/0
(N8) Lauret 0/0 0 0/1/3 3 0 1 1 0 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
(SH) Bezy 0/0 0 0/5/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FH) Plisson 0/0 0 7/19/1 2 0 0 0 1 2/2 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Medard 0/0 0 0/1/2 9 0 2 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Eng stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Brown 0/0 0 3/6/13 102 1 2 3 3 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
W Watson 1/0 5 1/1/8 34 2 4 1 0 0/2 0/0 3 0/0
C Joseph 0/0 0 1/2/8 31 1 1 0 1 9/1 0/0 1 0/0
C Farrell 0/0 16 4/7/1 0 0 0 1 0 13/3 0/0 0 0/0
W Nowell 0/0 0 0/5/8 20 0 5 2 2 7/5 0/0 2 0/0
FH Ford 0/0 0 13/26/1 0 0 0 0 0 5/1 0/0 0 0/0
SH Care 1/0 5 8/32/3 53 1 1 0 0 2/2 0/0 0 0/0
P MWIWNA Vunipola 0/0 0 0/0/6 2 0 0 0 1 6/2 0/0 1 0/0
H Hartley 0/0 0 0/1/4 0 0 0 0 0 5/1 0/0 1 0/0
P Cole 1/0 5 0/1/4 8 0 1 1 0 2/1 0/0 2 0/0
L Itoje 0/0 0 0/2/8 10 0 0 1 1 10/2 4/1 2 0/0
L Kruis 0/1 0 0/2/6 7 0 0 0 2 14/1 6/3 0 0/0
F Robshaw 0/0 0 0/4/10 14 0 0 1 1 10/4 0/0 1 0/0
F Haskell 0/0 0 0/2/11 10 0 0 1 0 13/1 1/0 1 0/0
N8 VML Vunipola 0/0 0 0/6/18 81 0 5 2 0 8/0 1/0 0 0/0
(H) Cowan-Dickie 0/0 0 0/0/3 6 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Marler 0/0 0 0/1/3 7 0 0 1 0 7/1 0/0 1 0/0
(F) Clifford 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 1/0 0 0/0
(SH) Youngs 0/1 0 7/37/2 21 1 2 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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