Sunday, February 24, 2013

England stay on track for Grand Slam with win over France

England continued their charge towards a Six Nations Grand Slam as they beat France 23-13 in a fascinating game at Twickenham on Saturday. Skipper Chris Robshaw attributed the win to the home team's defence against a dangerous French side. 

France had led 10-9 at halftime thanks to the boot of Morgan Parra and a superb try by Wesley Fofana down the left flank. Fofana evaded a number of weak England tackles as he gave Twickenham a taste of his highly regarded speed and strength.

A fourth Owen Farrell penalty and an opportunistic try by bloodied Manu Tuilagi gave England the lead before replacement Toby Flood came on to add two penalties.

Captain Chris Robshaw, who was immense yet again, was full of praise for Tuilagi.

"‘Manu was great. He came into the team and you could really see his power and physicality, as well as his ability to hit a great line and use his hands. He wanted to prove a point - and he did just that," said Robshaw, who has been making a serious claim for the Lions captaincy in recent weeks.

"We were a little bit slow coming out of the blocks. They caused all kinds of problems, we expected that. So credit to all the guys, it's a great win. Our defence in the first half was pretty sloppy. Once we sorted that out it was pretty good," he said.

England must now beat Italy at home and Wales away to capture the elusive Grand Slam, which they haven't won since the Rugby World Cup winning year of 2003.

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