England 25-23 France: Emily Scarratt seals Red Roses win with last kick of game


England: (5) 25
Tries: Harrison, Davies, Cleall, Kildunne; Pen: Scarratt Con: Scarratt
France: (15) 23
Tries: Gros, Banet 2; Pens: Drouin 2; Con: Drouin
Highlights: On the BBC Sport site and app.

Emily Scarratt’s penalty gave England victory over France with the last kick of the game in a breathless stumble upon at Twickenham.

The Red Roses, who beat their World Cup pool fighters last week, trailed by means of one level because the clock went purple.

A ferocious France ruled the primary 60 mins, till England emptied their bench and World Player of the Year Scarratt took to the sector.

Late tries from Poppy Cleall and Ellie Kildunne helped flip the tide.

England had claimed a relaxed win in opposition to France in Grenoble, resulting in questions over whether or not they wanted more difficult fighters in preparation for the 2021 World Cup.

But a unique French aspect became up at Twickenham and till the general 10 mins it regarded as though they’d win in England for the primary time since 2015.

Zoe Harrison crossed first for the hosts however Caroline Drouin’s penalty, 5 issues for Emmeline Gros and a sensational Cyrielle Banet rating gave France a 10-point lead at half-time.

After the spoil, Lark Davies and Cleall scored in mauls all sides of a 2nd check out for Banet to carry England to inside 8 issues.

Then Kildunne come what may discovered some way thru a tangle of French defenders to pass, sooner than superstar participant Scarratt additional cemented her position in England’s historical past books with the past due kick.

Renewed France turn out doubters flawed

The fit, unexpectedly scheduled when England’s excursion of Australia and New Zealand fell thru as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic, took on additional importance when the 2 aspects had been drawn in the similar World Cup pool on Thursday.

Back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slam champions England reached the highest of the sector ratings with last weekend’s win and this time round Simon Middleton fielded an experimental beginning XV with subsequent 12 months’s showpiece match in thoughts.

During the week, some puzzled whether or not France’s popularity because the Red Roses’ closest competitors was once slipping.

But from the outset, Les Bleues regarded ferociously motivated to dispel that speak. They right away overpowered England in a scrum throughout the French 22, took the ball to the opposite finish and earned a penalty inside 5 metres of the tryline.

Fly-half Drouin opted to kick on the posts however her effort swung left. The guests ramped up the power once more and when Drouin was once given some other alternative for 3 issues as England got here in on the aspect of a maul, she made no mistake.

Uncharacteristic mistakes from a in most cases scientific England intended they gave away ownership two times in France’s 22 however the Red Roses had been then despatched a present from the Twickenham turf.

Scrum-half Leanne Riley’s wayward go overlooked Katy Daley-Mclean however bounced completely for centre Harrison, who picked up the ball and scored in the fitting nook.

Still France persisted to dominate they usually took the lead all over again as a snappy transfer of route stuck England off-guard, giving Gros masses of room to move over.

England continued in chipping away on the wall of blue and prop Shaunagh Brown drove her approach around the tryline, however the ball was once held up by means of French defenders.

And France then had the ultimate of the primary 1/2 in emphatic style as Shannon Izar discovered some house at the counter-attack.

The full-back coated 30 metres and handed to Banet, who beat much-praised England full-back Kildunne in a one-on-one to attain and provides her aspect their 10-point lead at half-time.

Composed England come alive on the dying

Banet’s glory was once short-lived as she was once given a yellow card virtually right away after the spoil for kicking England ahead Cleall in a ruck.

As the Red Roses in spite of everything discovered some of their same old scientific edge on the set-piece, a maul cruised ahead from the line-out and Davies had her fingers at the ball as England went over.

France persisted to construct a rating with some other 3 issues from Drouin’s boot and England may no longer reply till Middleton totally emptied his bench at the hour.

At first the reinforcements, together with skilled scrum-half Natasha Hunt and flanker Marlie Packer, may no longer halt France’s momentum.

Les Bleues constructed thru levels in England’s 22 as soon as once more and Banet darted over in the fitting nook, however then the Red Roses’ never-say-die angle kicked in.

First got here Cleall’s rating, a carbon replica of the sooner check out by means of Davies, then Kildunne come what may stayed status as a crowd of French defenders attempted to carry her down to assert some other 5 issues.

When the hosts earned a penalty, France’s destiny gave the impression sealed as Scarratt stepped up. The centre was once as dependable as ever, giving England their 7th successive win in opposition to France and a 37th victory of their last 40 Tests.


England: Kildunne; MacDonald, Tuima, Harrison, Dow; Daley-Mclean (capt), Riley; Cornborough, Davies, Brown, Ward, Talling, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Cleall.

Replacements: Cokayne, Perry, Keates, Beckett, Packer, Hunt, Rowland, Scarratt.

France: Izar; Banet, Pignot, Ulutule, Bertrand; Drouin, Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Bernadou, Ferer, N’Diaye, Mayans, Hermet (capt), Gros.

Replacements: Touye, Traore, Joyeux, Diallo, Menager, Bourdon, Peyronnet, Tremouliere.

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