Six Nations 2020: France v England Rate the Match

Tell us what you thought of the match between France and England in Paris this afternoon.

Who played well? What were the main talking points? And what needs to be worked on for next week?

We’ll have reaction and player ratings in due course, but let us know your initial reaction to the game.

44 thoughts on “Six Nations 2020: France v England Rate the Match

  1. F&#king awful by us. Ridiculous that none of our commentators criticise Eddie for playing Curry at 8. How many times did we lose points because we couldn’t control the ball at the back.of the scrum?! Why not play Dombrandt or Earl ffs! Ewels utterly anonymous which was predictable and we looked so much better with Kruis on the pitch.. Furbank doesn’t look like an international fullback. Faz was off colour.
    As for Youngs what can one say?! Just abysmal.
    Eddie has to.take brickbats for that back row and Ewels and Youngs.

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  2. Took the words out of my mouth Bolter.Even Johnno played the TV game and kept his gob shut.
    That just about summed the whole bloody debacle up. France were good and if they carry om improving will have one hell of a team in ’23 but God, we were dire.
    Ed’s response to this will be priceless. No doubt he’ll have some weird and less than wonderful reasoning why it all went tits but basically, picking players in the right positions is a good place to start………..

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    1. It was frigging farcical that nobody had the balls to point out that Eddie picked a crap back row with our best player at 8! If you didn’ t watch rugby you would never know players like Dombrandt existed. Plus playing Lawes at 6.
      And then the silence about how s%it Youngs is.
      And Ewels is anonymous. Tompkins played better than Jj did and he has also regularly been anonymous at international level for a good while.

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  3. My view is the attitude is very different to Japan.Sense of purpose absolute focus determination intensity and desire and sense of togetherness lacking.Farrells leadership poor-all Sarries must be impacted.And then poor selection by Jones as others correctly identify.Scotland hot favourites .Far worse than I expected in my most negative moments.Was persuaded by Jones pre match hype.Wrong again!

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    1. Which suggests that Ed’s time has run it’s course. The remaining games will be even more critical in determining whether he stays or goes. After today i think a new broom may well be needed.

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      1. Eddie has made a lot of awful decisions in the 6 nations in the last 3 seasons.
        Putting Curry at 8 is a joke! Likewise the obsession with Youngs who appears to have a nap before passing the ball to no one from the base of the scrum.

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  4. One more point that needs highlighting: Jones inability to avoid the “silly soundbite” culture. A man of his experience should know better but he has to come out with these juvenile quotes about what England are going to do to the opposition. How about doing the talking on the pitch?

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    1. Eddy Jones comments before matches must and I say a big MUST be curbed. He is becoming an embarrassment to the game and is not in any way an ambassador to the game. Is his attitude and conduct designed to instill crowd problems – because I certainly do not want match atmosphere at the games marred by stupid, bullying and egotistical comments. He is a total disgrace.

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  5. Absolute garbage!
    Three players to drop and never see again:
    1. Youngs….thank you and goodbye for services rendered but never again (as I have said before so jumping on no band-wagon here – just me being consistent)
    2. Ewels
    3. Furbank – horror show of a first cap. Once again Jason Woodward is the best 15 in the prem (I don’t give a monkey’s he’s a kiwi – he’s the best there is!)

    Two player/positional changes:
    Get a proper 8:
    1. Ted Hill was in the squad so get a grip EJ and let’s have a look next time. Either that or Dombrandt or Earl. In that order of preferential selection for me! Lawes would be benched obviously and he didn’t have a bad game but he ain’t no flanker.
    2. Play a new centre who can trundle up the middle or make a half-decent break; so let’s see Devoto and not give him 5 mins like he had today. Joseph ain’t it and hasn’t made a break for England for about two seasons!
    3. When and if fit, put Cockanasiga back on the wing. Why he wasn’t played more in the WC I have no idea; his earlier outings in the group stage screamed out “play me you dinkum Aussie coach!”
    Trying not to use expletives here!

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    1. Cocka is injured. Glad someone agrees with me about how anonymous Jj has been for ages! Watson may be back, if so, I would play him at fullback.
      The number 8 situation is downright farcical!
      I reckon Eddie won’t admit to his mistakes though… He never does..

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      1. To be fait, JJ played well in the group stages of the World Cup I thought. But very much agree with everyone on Youngs. Surely this must be it – that overhead pass before he was pulled was awful.

        But I’m not too negative. I subscribe to the cliche that you need a solid spine through the team (2, 8, 9, 15) and our spine was dreadful today – George had an off day, Curry out of position, Youngs dreadful, and poor Furbank exposed. Fix these quickly and I think we’re back to looking good. George will be better next week, but the others need different players in my view.

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  6. Just for the record, how many England qualified eights are playing in the Premiership? I can name the following:
    Billy
    Simmonds
    Morgan
    Dombrandt
    Kvesic?
    Hughes.

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  7. I’m not surprised by the result at all. I’m done with Jones. I want him gone at this point. I’m sick of his garbage team selections. Its already been said here really. Dump Youngs, stop playing people out of position and ignore people who have been out of form for bloody ages like JJ. The Sarries guys all looked out of sorts and maybe need a break. Having Farrell as captain still is criminal. France were good and can get much better. Let’s see if they can be consistent. I hope they can

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  8. So if I was going down the one eyed route (per other contributors) I would say that the difference was a lucky deflection off Lawes’ arm – which ultimately is the 7 Point difference.

    However, the reality is that we were stuffed.

    Positives –
    Marler and our collective scrummaging effort.
    Jonny Mays finishing
    Bonus point

    Negatives
    Farrell’s leadership – still inept and hasn’t shown the ability to turn tough situations around
    Why was Curry playing 8!?!? He is, perhaps, the world leading 6 so why play him out of position
    Furbank – dropped the ball at key moments.
    Young’s – surely Heinz is the better option until we find a long term solution.

    I think that this was a result we all feared might happen. France in Paris, with a young team looking to rebuild after a poor World Cup – this was always going to be a tough match to win. A team of our experience should have navigated a way through this.

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  9. Hate to give props to SCW but he tipped France to win handily and slated that nonsense of a back row. Mind you so did we when it comes to the latter! Sometimes Jones is a great coach getting wins over the ABs but a lot of the time he makes bad selections and tries to be too cute. One man and his dog could see the problems before the match today and during the 6 nations in 2018! This myopia of Eddie’s is borderline ludicrous as is the whole farce of refusing to admit he is wrong leading to him persevering with dead wood and dead strategies.
    He is as bad for the team as he is good for it.

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  10. It was a pretty shoddy all round effort. We made far too many dull errors and our execution at times was simply inept. We coughed up ball too easily and got isolated a few too many times when in attack. Our lack of creativity was shocking. We created absolutely nothing, but sending out a single runner into a wall of defenders isn’t always the best way to break down a defence. As bad as this was, our failure to convert good positions in the opposition 22 into points was another glaring failing.
    We could blame individuals – and its fair to say that a number of our more established players were below their best – but you have to look at the original selection that saw a horribly compromised back row, as well as an attacking game plan that asked too few questions of the defence.

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  11. Maybe we could select an England 15 on here and email it to Eddie or the RFU regards of therugby blog.com!
    Hutch?
    Some bl**dy proactive campaigning is required here!

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    1. The Englishman who had the best day was surely Sean Edwards who had the French defence sorted as I have never seen before. Think people are being harsh on JJ who never got a pass in space all afternoon because Youngs and Farrell inside him were terrible. Agree totally about the back row, but my two scrum halves would be Care and Spencer. DC is playing some magic stuff at present and is no older than Heinz. I would also get Ibotowe in the squad. Tremendous pace and power and great hands. Thought Owens had a stinker. Seems to completely ignore the offside line and forward passes, and got the wrong hand even after looking at several replays. For his future reference Lawes has tattoos all over his arms whereas the Frenchman doesn’t. Utterly predictable performance given the selection issues, and it appears clear that Farrell is unsurprisingly drained. Why is he still deemed indispensable? I hate it when the hope and anticipation of a new tournament is destroyed in the first twenty minutes.

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  12. Did England lose because of the back row balance or did they lose through indiscipline and inaccuracy? 6 times they entered the 22 and 6 times they came away with no points, farcical. So many handling errors!
    I don’t think curry at 8 was that much of a factor but we needed another mobile forward to help dominate the breakdown. Earls was missed.
    France played well but did they tear England apart? I don’t think Thomas or Vakatawa got that much ball so it wasn’t a case of France chucking it about. Sloppy play from England coupled with an invigorated French defence meant we didn’t made the gainline.
    It’s just lucky we have Johnny May!
    The subs made a difference, sink didn’t look like he fancied it but genge came on and showed impetus.
    There is still time to save this campaign, let’s hope this acts like a kick up the backside.

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  13. The usual tripe coming from EJ post match:

    ‘The result of the game doesn’t affect selection.’

    Why on earth not? What does?

    ‘Selection will always be we pick a side that wants to win.’

    Thanks for clearing that up Eddie, such wisdom. I want to win, so I’ll pop up to Scotland next week and bring my boots.

    ‘Why would a result like this change the 23 for the next game?’

    Because the selected 23 was so evidently lacking. Any other dumb questions?

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  14. The loss doesn’t surprise me….opening game against a Re-energised France in France was always going to be tough. It was the manner of the loss where lets be “Franc” we were out of the game by halftime.

    There was a small slither of hope in me that we could repeat what Wales did to France in the last six nations but it stayed a slither as I just don’t feel this England side have it in them to turn a game on its head.

    Credit to France they seemed more hungry, and their execution was simply a lot better when it counted.

    So let’s look at England…..despite the back row imbalance i actually thought they did well as a unit. Stole several line outs, stronger in the scrum and thought Curry, Underhill and Lawes all carried well and gained yards….but then the ball reached our backs. Lack of creation, static passes, easy to read the list goes on. Having Youngs and Farrell either side of Ford just nullifies his creative ability. We have been crying out for a world class true 12 for a while now and if this is about the future we need to uncover one soon and be done with the Ford/Farrell axis. Farrell looked well out of sorts and his after match brief interview was painful.

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    1. Well put DM. The stats contradict the overall negativity surrounding the performance. To go away to France on a wet day, vs a pumped up young French team reeling from a shocking wc, it was always going to be tough. England won territory, possession, gain line carries, offloads and rucks won. They lost in turnovers though.
      The French D targeted Farrell all day, he isn’t a run threat so they know they can rush him and stop the pass behind the gain line. I’d like to see Ford play alone with a quick distributor at 9, Spencer or Robson would do, and have devoto at 12 to keep defenses honest.
      If Watson is fit he comes back in at 15 and I’d try Thorley on the wing opposite may. Daly just isn’t an international back 3, doesnt have the out and out pace or aerial threat. May on contrast shows what a world class winger can do given time and space.

  15. There is a real risk Jones will select Curry at 8 and retain Furbank next Saturday especially as he rates the 2nd half performance as outstanding.
    I have a feeling that The rwc final has shaken him to the core from which he will never recover.I don’t think he is capable of turning this squad around for Edinburgh.The RFU may need to think about a new coach and captain (Farrell is also broken) come the end of March.To believe the Sarries mess hasn’t had a detrimental effect on their England players is foolish.

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    1. Yeah I agree Harlequin, a lot of this has the feel of 6 nations 2018 when Eddie just went into a bunker mentality refusing to admit to the possibility he was wrong. I thought after that sh@tshow he wouldn’t mess around with the back row again but boy was I wrong! The truth about Eddie is that he is downright childish and the more people call out his obvious mistakes the more he becomes determined to repeat them because he sees himself as a kind of coaching god. And sometimes he is brilliant but that is mixed in with an extraordinary amount of rubbish decisions.
      I also worry that some of the sarries players are pretty damn depressed. Faz isn’t really a captain is he? I think it needs to go to Maro or Underhill.

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  16. England,along with Man City share the prize for a level of incompetence and ineptitude so great as to make the Keystone Cops and the Marx Brothers turn green with jealously.

    In seriousness though it is not wise to make snap judgements,sometimes it is better to follow Churchills dictum that Delay is the deadliest form of delay.

    In particular 3 areas need to be addressed;
    1 Scrum half needs to change-we need a much quicker service from the base.
    2 I have opined before about the doubt of Billy and Manu lasting with their injury concerns,we need some clear forward planning,particularly with regard to 8 and back row balance-Maybe Wilson can provide a short term fix .
    3 Farrell is not up to being captain particularly when clear thinking is required-Only a cynic such as me would suggest that Farrell was only made captain to stop him being dropped to the bench or altogether.Ford is a much better 10 and would be a good captain if Itoje is not ready to take the reins.

  17. Didn’t really expect this as, in the end, I thought England would grind them and capitalise on French errors, indiscipline. Although England pulled back at the death, it was a score too far for them by 1/2 time. Not mentioned, but Edwards made an immediate impact with France’s defence for me. Repelled all England’s goal line attacks. BTW, this is another e.g. of where leadership fell over. Both Jones & Farrell kept doing what wasn’t working. R1? You bet. Farrell, particularly being the Johnny on the spot, forgot he had a back line. Unfortunately, he compounded his lack of vision by adding margerine fingers to his bow. Again much is made of the reshuffling or inclusion of other players. Has some merit if course with targets being Youngs & Lawes, even Curry, for instance being out of position. However, after 1/4 of an hour, someone (Jones, Farrell) needed to decide on a change of tactics. By not doing this, it killed England off. The forward charges into the packed, disciplined French defence & the predictable aerial attack on the rookie f/back’s head weren’t working. When England belatedly & in desperation chucked about, funnily enough this fella called J May turned up! The point is, why do England persist with such a locked in mind set with R1? If they played in the 1st 1/4 as they did in the last, or had the ability to mix their game up some, surely they’d have given themselves more of a chance at the W. For me this has always been England’s Achillies heel. This rigidly done for them yesterday more than just the personnel picks IMO. Admittedly it helped when Genge came on as England then started to dominate the scrum, but it was too little to late. The horse had stuck its hooves over its eyes & bolted off on its hind legs. Looks like Jones & Farrell are here to stay, certainly for the forseeable. However, England need some answers & not just by changing on field personnel, they maybe need to change things up off the field too. The same old, same old might work in Scotland, but some innovation might work better. I also think the WC stuff ought to be out to bed now. It’s in the past. The immediate future is of more concern.

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  18. Apparently the word doing the rounds is that Eddie is sticking with Curry at 8!( I am assuming this means we will be treated to Lawes at 6 again) and that Furbank will play again.
    We could get done over at Murrayfield which is always a hard place to get a win. If Eddie is going along with this rubbish again, including starting the anonymous Ewels, then I officially lose patience with him.

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  19. EJ’s selection issues have been well documented here in this forum and properly so but I wonder if his mindless and childish comments pre match to the media aside from motivating the opposition is having a negative impact on the England boys. They might be thinking “ I wish he’d shut the f___k up, they just might be. He might be a distraction to his own side.

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    1. Apparently Eddie has said that it’s not necessary to have a specialist 8 anymore! Honestly I give up! This whole Eddie and his Ego s%itshow has been going on for way too long. I can’t stand 4 years of this…

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