Poms paste French flops
15 Mar 2009
France produced a disappointing performance in going down 34-10 to England at Twickenham.
The English press will hail their team as world-beaters, but in truth they were just better than the awful French – which wasn’t very difficult.
Prop Sylvain Marconnet stirred things up on the eve of the Test when he said he “hates” the English, but if this is true it wasn’t evident in his or any of his team-mates’ action.
There was no intensity from the French, while the English were their usual passionate selves.
The visitors were repeatedly penalised at scrum-time and their ill discipline spread to other areas of the game.
England dominated at breakdown, which thwarted most French attacks and also set up their third and fourth tries.
The English were willing to have a go from within their own half on a clear Spring day in London, but surprisingly the French adopted a one-dimensional direct approach.
Wing Mark Cueto opened the scoring after a break from Riki Flutey, while in the following try the roles were reversed as Cueto turned provider for Flutey to hand the hosts a 17-0 lead after 23 minutes.
Two turnovers resulted in a couple of tries in the last five minutes before the break, with Delon Armitage and Joe Worsley easing over (29-0).
The French won the second half 10-5, but England were cantering by that stage.
The hosts capitalised on another French mistake straight after half-time when they countered from their own 22 with Flutey claiming his second.
Hooker Dimitri Szarzewski flopped over to get the French on the scoreboard and then winger Julien Malzieu scored, but all it did was add a degree of respectability to the scoreline.
By Grant Ball