England produced a remarkable first half performance to dispatch the French at Twickenham within half an hour, sealing the win before the interval. The visitors were decidedly average, but this was a very un-English display by the hosts.
As the sun shone at Rugby HQ, England looked threatening every time they had the ball, running at pace, recycling quickly and taking every chance that came their way. They enjoyed plenty of possession thanks to a series of turnovers that kept them on the front foot and left France looking like a schoolboy team.
With another try just after half time, supporters were left wondering where the real England had gone, but they did make an appearance for the most of the second half. France began to apply some pressure and string some phases together, England began to give away penalties and narrowly avoided the sin bin. Nevertheless, a relaxed performance can be forgiven since the game had already been won.
Another similar performance against Scotland next week, and we can start rejoicing – we’ve been in the situation before where one strong performance seems to elevate the side above their station too soon. I’m thinking of the Ireland game last year, Scotland the year before.
Instead of being carried away, I’m scratching my head at Marc Lievremont. A ridiculous team selection against the tournament favourites and they win; a sensible starting side against boring England and they don’t score a point for the best part of an hour.
Where were the positives for you? How do you think Johnno’s post-match dressing room discussion would have differed from a fortnight ago? What do they need to work on this week?