France thrashes England in record 53-10 win in Six Nations
In one of the darkest days in English rugby history, France humiliated their cross-channel rivals with a record 53-10 scoreline in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday, taking seven trials.
The victory left Les Tricolores with a chance of progressing to the final round of the title, but it was much more than that.
Never before have England dropped so many points in a home Test game, nor in the competition’s 140-year history. It was the team’s third-biggest loss ever, after a 76-0 loss on a weak Australian tour in 1998 and a 58-10 win over South Africa in Bloemfontein in 2007.
It is France’s highest score and biggest margin of difference in 110 games against England – the previous best was in 1972 – and speaks volumes for the traditional northern hemisphere powerhouse six months from the Rugby World Cup quality gap between them.
“We were exposed today,” said England coach Steve Borthwick, who replaced Eddie Jones in December and may have been beyond his capacity. “I think we measure where we are – us and the top teams in the world.
“We know where we are and what we have to do.”
Les Tricolores needed an extra win to secure their title defense going into round 5, and two attempts from winger Damian Penaud, excellent lock Thibaud Flament and flanker Charles Ollivon helped them achieve it in stunning fashion, through a mixed French talent and take advantage of the error-ridden home team.
While England are effectively out of the title race after their second defeat in four games, France – with three wins in four games – sit just a point behind undefeated Ireland in second. The Irish will look to extend their 100 per cent record with a win over Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.
“It’s a very special game for us,” Flament said. “We’re in a good position, we know this game can be won in the last game.”
From the moment Flament broke through England’s fragile defense in his own half to set up Thomas Ramos’ second-minute attempt, the Frenchman was a differentiator. They then put on a show that embarrassed the hosts as Penaud’s two attempts on the right wing in the final 10 minutes took France past a half-century and sparked jeers from some of the home fans, many of whom were heading for the exits. .
In the meantime, Flament and Oliven knocked down attempts just before half-time – when the score was 27-3 – and an early fire in England led to their only attempt, from defender Freddie Stewart After Germany, each added an attempt in the second half.
Les Tricolores’ four-try break in 18 minutes killed any idea of England’s comeback from a 27-10 deficit, starting with Flament’s run to flyhalf Romain Ntamack’s dab and 57 minutes Score by crossing the baseline from 10 meters away.
Olivan’s second attempt was a bit comical as England striker Marcus Smith lost control of the ball as he tried to get back to his attempt line after receiving the ball. The ball landed on the bottom of the trash can, and Oliven reached over a mass of bodies and put both hands on the ball in an attempt that required TMO approval.
It pretty much sums up a miserable day in England.
“If I had the answers, I’d be making millions elsewhere,” said Ellis Ganger, who captained England after Owen Farrell stepped back from the bench during the game. “It’s a bit of a mystery at the moment.”