Six Nations 2019: England v France Rate the Match

Jonny May

Let us know what you thought of England’s win at Twickenham this afternoon, featuring a Jonny May hat-trick before half-time.

What were the main talking points? Who played well?

Give the match a rating out of 10 and then share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rate the Match: England v France

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54 thoughts on “Six Nations 2019: England v France Rate the Match

  1. Great result.
    That said. France were shocking. Plenty of physicality, but absolutely no organisation in defence. They must have known the chips through were coming, but had no plan to deal with them. Much better in the second half when they played am actual fullback.
    Plenty for England to analyse and work on post match. France made quite a few line brands, and should have scored more. England also left quite a few points out there.
    And yes, England did have some luck… Sink should have been carded and possibly Farrell’s try disallowed.
    But that is being critical. There was great intensity, which is good to see for a second week running. We maintained it to stretch the lead even after the match was effectively over. Quite a few players really stepped up. Lawes was immense. Curry and Wilson are looking like a great combo.
    Very happy.

      1. May was holding the french player back to prevent him lunging for the ball so we were a bit fortunate but the benefit of the doubt goes to the attacking team so not an unreasonable call from Owens

  2. The game was dead after 50 minutes – not England’s fault – French were, sadly, rather toothless

    1. MoT Gamer. ‘After 50 mins’? Was this a typo? Don’t you mean 5? ‘Rather toothless’? Surely you mean completely?! They gave rugby a bad name by bringing the game into disrepute! Pity there’s no relegation, they’d get my vote. Ruined my afternoon. Should have stayed home & mowed my lawn.

          1. Are you in NZ? Lawns in the UK certainly don’t need mowing at this time of year. Bet you have a wind up mower though!

            1. Well Andy, I have been there funnily enough. My ‘lawn’ here though, in truth, could still do with a trim. Not for the length of its grass, but rather other vegetation, or IOW, invading weeds. Currently, alas my electric mower actually, is currently U/s. I cut through the cable last up & have misplaced the ‘splicing’ device. So, there you have it, a thumb nail history of my green stuff. BTW, do you live in a flat? You must spend as least as much time here as I do. Otherwise, how do you know how much time I spend here? Must ‘the good life’ eh?

              1. Happily retired and ensconced in a large house in Spain where I spend a lot of time drinking cheap plonk by the pool and watching as much sport as possible Don. No lawn just wonderful views and lots of fruit trees.

                1. Forgotten Andy. Think you mentioned Spain before. Sounds idyllic, so long as there aren’t too many fruit cakes out there! Hope life’s no too monotonous? Also, please ensure that you don’t drink too much cheap plonk. Can’t gave you falling into yr pool now!

  3. Gave the game a 7. First half 9, second half 5.

    Have to give it to EJ, he does seem to have the players playing very well and to a good gameplan, to my surprise. Let’s face it France didn’t have a plan, or a clue really. They seem to be a bad team at the moment but they aren’t bad players as a few flashes showed, so am very happy with that result. I think that we probably made France look worse than they were.

    OK we’re two game into the 6N and we’ve put up two great 90 minute performances. I said last week that it was a start and no more than that. Well this week we’ve definitely moved on. If we can reproduce this in the cauldron that is the Millenium Stadium then I might start getting excited about that little tournament later in the year. So far so good and lets see what two weeks brings.

    1. England didn’t play that well but then they didn’t have to
      France did play that badly especially the back 3 who were out of position all game and gifted england easy points

      1. Don’t view it as quite as simple as that. The back three were out of position but part of that stemmed from players coming up to the line to stop our runners, part of it was indeed because the players were picked out of position and didn’t have that learned ability to be in the right place at the right time and part of it was because of our very accurate kicking – something that I have long yearned for.

        Therefore I would say that broadly, it was a third about the good England game plan, a third about good England skillsets and a third about poor French selection. The majority for me is that we played well.

      2. Leon. Surely England played well enough? Certainly they could have had a more imaginative game plan & showed more initiative & invention, both from off & on the field, but within their ltd plan, they did stick to it & still racked up 44! No one played badly within this context did they?

  4. Ok. Head over the parapet again……….
    We stopped playing after fifty minutes and a better team would have taken advantage and reduced the margin of victory by a considerable degree.
    I doubt Eddie was pleased with the second half and rightly so.Yes, France were largely awful but that only serves to highlight that we left another fifteen to twenty points on the park.
    We got a bit lucky with Ashton’s try too. Unless he has arms like Inspector Gadget, there is no way in hell he would have reached that ball, tackle or no.
    Yes, I know certain people will turn puce at my criticism but , as Don P rightly said, this forum is all about opinions.

    1. I agree Acee.Last 20 were not good and Nigel should have reversed his decision re Ashton.The crunch now is of course Wales and a win ought to mean the Slam is ours.We are in a better place now than we have been before Cardiff for many years.

      1. He said that , then in the next sentence, he opined that they left twenty points on the field!
        Work that one out. I reckon he gave them an almighty bollocking in private and put on a show for the press. at the end of the actual game he had a face like two weeks in grimsby!

  5. Everything about this England side in the 6Ns so far has been a breath of fresh air when compared with last year’s side.
    -No silly, annoying and irritating penalties
    -A side that can not only compete at the breakdown but dominate it
    -A back three which works together, not as individuals
    -a pack which can scrum and maul (remember how terrible we were at both of those last year)
    -a kicking game that is clever and accurate
    -a balanced centre partnership

    My only concern, and it is a bit glass half empty, is England seem to be improving at a fair rate of knots (admittedly it could come undone at the Millenium, but I would be shocked if we didn’t put in a performance) and other teams will see what we are doing and adapt. It happened to us in our unbeaten streak and seems to have happened to Ireland now. To some extent it has happened to NZ with the Lions tour and the two defeats to Ireland.
    But hey, lets enjoy it while it lasts, I think we have some cracking players, who are in form. Lets go for the Grand Slam!

    1. Some very good points there and I’m sure Eddie and his men are already looking at a different tactic for Wales. They may not always have a plan B themselves but if we kick ball to them as we did to France and Ireland, we could come unstuck. Liam Williams and Biggar are so competent under the high ball and Williams is probably the best 15 in the tournament.

      I think the key thing is trying to keep as many of these guys fit leading up to the World Cup and if that means resting a few for the Italy game then so be it. It will give guys like Cockanasaiga, Robson, Harry Williams, Genge etc a chance to perform whilst remaining competitive.

  6. But seriously what the hell has happened to France. It is depressing how poor they are, I know they have their structural issues but surely a half decent coaching team could put together a half decent side with a game plan. The six nations needs a strong french side, it’s like when Scotland were terrible seven, eight years ago. I love beating Scotland but not when they aren’t even competitive, same with France now.

    1. Well they could start by not picking wingers at fullback, centres on the wing and a breeze block at centre.

      Seriously, as you say , they have their issues but these are basic selection errors – especially against a team that was clearly going to use kicking as an offensive tactic!
      It sounds contradictory but I think they badly need a non-French coach to re-instil some pride in their game. Sometimes it takes an outsider to show you what’s missing. Also to bring some fresh tactical and selectoral ideas into the mix.
      If I were them, I’d be making sly advances to EJ to see if he fancies taking on another fixer-upper…

        1. SCW is busy taking back all the nasty things he has said about Eddie Jones in the last 12 months and singing his praises from the rooftops

          1. I admit that is quite a lot of work Leon, but it´s not a full time job! Woodward certainly has the organisational skills to sort France out. Whether the French clubs or Union would allow him to do so is a completely different matter!

        2. Apart from commentating, I hear that SCW may be living the good life in Spain Andy. Do keep yr peepers open for him.

      1. Panlito. Eddie as a Fr fixer upper? Nationality on its own shouldn’t matter. It’s mainly the mind set & experience, also rugby set up, structure. The reality is that Jones has had a mixed career. Won 18, then lost 9 for England. Now that he’s had 1 shock win v Ireland (surely you don’t count Fr?), he’s this fixer upper? Also struggled v NZ, SA in Autumn.. @ home. Bit premature ain’t it? Bit short memory. With basically a ‘D’ & a kicking game, which might work in this 6N, will it work in Japan? Yet to be seen I think.

  7. We should be chuffed winning 44-8 and yet there was something unsatisfactory about the last 30 minutes, some concern about missing 30 tackles and disappointment in our inability to show a bit more imagination when chances to run presented themselves.
    Our kicking game was generally outstanding, but ignoring obvious overlaps isnt a cause for celebration.
    On the plus side, we scored some very well worked and executed tries, our set piece was good, some individuals really shone, the penalty count was low and we seem to have another gear or two to go into.
    France were a shambles. Quite how you could assemble a team with this amount of talent, yet produce a performance lacking in virtually every area is a mystery.

  8. Good performance by England, great tactics (in Eddie we must trust) and a team that finally has a level of consistency to it. Manu and Slade nailing down the centre births and, in my opinion, the find of the year in Wilson. It will take some awesome performances from either Robshaw (when fit) or Shields to wrestle that No 6 jersey from him. Pure understated class. Jamie George seems to be fulfilling his undoubted potential in the national shirt now and we have two out and our belters of an open side in Curry and Underhill. Still have the likes of Watson (Lions starter), Cokanasiga (ripped it up in the Autumn) and JJ to try and fight their way back in. Not to mention the old guard in Hartley, Brown and Robshaw. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but bloody hell! Come on lads!

  9. Jonny May, an Apology.

    Mr May

    I wish to make you a heartfelt apology as, when you played for Gloucester and for England under Stuart Lancaster I used to refer to you as the crap tailor as you always cut inside and never back yourself in a footrace.

    Now following your move to Leicester and under Eddie Jones you have proved me wrong, constantly backing yourself in a straight line relying on your pace and chasing everything down.

    You have been England’s best player for the last two games in my eyes and thank you for proving me wrong .

    Yours sincerely

    Mr B

    1. Mr Bean. Sure J May appreciates yr sycophancy, or does he? Perhaps you could look him up in the Yellow Pages, then call him & see? Hope he doesn’t chunder!

  10. It’s an odd one.

    To beat France out of it within the first half is *exactly* what I would ask from the team.

    To be utterly ruthless with the first 3 opportunities they get and score tries is *exactly* what I’d ask for.

    To control the tactical game so totally and force France to play so much from their own half is *exactly* what I’d have asked for.

    The England team never let France have a sniff. And I’m impressed by that.

    But it felt like they were too wedded to the plan. It felt like they ignored overlaps, and when they did try to play more improvised stuff later it didn’t work.

    The gameplan was clearly very good – and well executed, and it seems churlish to criticise. The French try was poorly defended, and plenty of room for growth.

    But plenty of good things too – I did particularly enjoy Lawes munching Bastareaud and the Vunipolas meeting Huget in the first minute! And the tries were all taken very clinically and well executed.

    1. I know what you mean. Everyone I watched with had a similar feeling ‘Great win but…’
      Perhaps churlish but I certainly thought that they looked a bit stilted when they put the ball through the hands without kicking. And it’s certainly true that the subs didn’t all slip in seamlessly and the team lost shape after about 60 mins. But how much of that is due to game that was well won by that point? Hard to know
      Re Lawes and Bastereaud – how much power does it take to knock someone the size of Bastereaud back like that?? Scary

      1. Looking at his tackling technique it’s intetesting. I know he’s a huge man but he’s not massively built.

        I seriously doubt he’s anything like the most powerful player in the team. What I think he has is great timing, plus the ability to use the length of his body and legs to apply power through a much longer period of time than the initial impact.

        When he approaches he uses his good lateral movement (long legs) to line up, lowers his hips but keeps his head up and doesn’t seem to lose speed as he does so, then hits just above their centre of gravity which means he gets a good leverage, then the leg and length of his levers come in to play.

        It’s really interesting because he seems to be unique in the way he tackles. I’m Not saying he’s the best lock in the world by any means but he has this unique ability.

        1. You mean he uses proper tackling technique.

          Straight on to the attacker head up, uses the shoulder body at a 45 degree angle, power driven in a straight line, driving up through the legs.
          Quality Technique

        2. McMurphy. & he’s 18 stone. As you allude to, tackling is also about positioning, balance, for both the tackler as well as the tacklee. Lawes was positioned as you describe, Bastaureaud was too upright & so had less fwd purchase, hence his backward motion in the tackle. Still retained possession for recycling though.

  11. Personally am surprised by some of the negative remarks on here. The individuals in that French team include some very good rugby players. Picamoles was a one man wrecking crew last week and should have got MoM against Wales in my opinion. Basteraud pretty much sunk us single handedly 12 months ago. And I could go on. Yes, they aren’t playing like a team but England stopped them doing that and executed their own game plan to perfection. If that had been NZ putting 44 points on France, we all would have been saying what a great team performance.

    Yes, there are things to improve on (which is a good thing in my book) and no we are not as good as NZ, but I reckon we played darn well on Saturday.

    1. Staggy. Most comments here have surely been positive? Might be useful to pin point the negatives you mention to comment on these? FMPOV, it could be interesting to know what England have learned, or gained, from this win v Fr. For instance, with Fr basically being non competitive, why did England need to stick so rigidly to such a basic kicking game throughout? Is EJ being too much of a ltd control freak? Is Farrell simply a functionary to slavishly carry out EJ’s orders. Is there not any room for on field initiative or decision making? Could England have used it, after say 15, to test out their 3/4 line to better effect, bearing in mind that there’s a WC to win as well & not just this 6N?

  12. Totally agree Staggy.

    Would have been nice to see 50 points up, but I’d still rather the result we had with no more injuries to key players, which playing at 100% for 80 mins increases that very risk. I don’t know if reducing the intensity was a deliberate decision, if it was ,I for one wouldn’t disagree with it. Not with 3 games left to play, especially after just one weeks rest from the incredible physicality of the Ireland clash. More likely though I think it was so obvious the game was over. 30 points in the first half, 14 in the second, and France pointless for 45 mins.
    I think if anything, Wales remind me of England in last years championship; on a winning roll, and winning games….just.

    I think it was inevitable that points were left on the pitch. It’s been a while since the team has been in possession of such dominance and options. International rugby is normally a lot more frugal.

    Wales is going to be another big game, the second “game of the tournament”. And if we get by the that and Italy…..perhaps there’ll be a third game of the tournament against the old enemy. I do hope so.


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