Rugby: England snatch late Six Nations win over France

England's Maro Itoje claims a lineout during the Six Nations rugby union match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium. — AP
England's Maro Itoje claims a lineout during the Six Nations rugby union match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium. — AP

London - The first half was a wonderful display of high-skilled rugby with both sides committed to running the ball and keeping it alive



By Reuters

Published: Sat 13 Mar 2021, 10:45 PM

A late Maro Itoje try secured England a 23-20 victory over France in a Six Nations game full of high-speed, enterprising rugby at Twickenham on Saturday to leave the championship wide open.

England were trailing by four points heading towards fulltime but Itoje bundled over from a maul and was awarded the try by the TMO after the referee initially ruled that it had been held up.

The first half was a wonderful display of high-skilled rugby with both sides committed to running the ball and keeping it alive.

France opened the scoring after two minutes with an Antoine Dupont try but England hit back with Anthony Watson’s fourth of the championship and edged clear with Owen Farrell penalties before France fashioned a wonderful try for Damian Penaud to lead 17-13 at the break.

The second half was a tighter affair with a penalty apiece keeping it a four-point gap going into the final 25 minutes. But just as France seemed set for their first championship win at Twickenham since 2005, England found a way over, with Farrell also landing the awkward conversion.

The result was ideal for Wales, who top the standings on 19 points after their demolition of Italy in Rome earlier and will be crowned champions with a Grand Slam should they triumph in Paris next week, regardless of what France do if and when they play their rearranged game against Scotland.

France and England have 10 points. Ireland, who visit Scotland on Sunday, have seven, with the Scots on five.


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