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England thump France in Six Nations rout, Grand Slam in sight

Jonny May scored three tries in the first-half of England's 44-8 win over France at Twickenham.
Jonny May scored three tries in the first-half of England's 44-8 win over France at Twickenham. AFP/Adrian Dennis

What the French hype as 'le crunch' ended up 'la mush' as England crushed France on Sunday at Twickenham in the second match of the Six Nations championship. It finished 44 - 8. 


England's 36-point margin of victory was only just short of their largest against France - a 37-0 annihilation in France's first match at Twickenham in 1911.

The spirit of yesteryear was in ample evidence at a vastly changed venue since those pre first world war days.

The hosts were a try up within two minutes. France captain Guilhem Guirado knocked on and the England full-back Elliot Daly, recovering the loose ball, surged past three defenders before kicking the ball along the ground into the try zone. May, surging past Romain Penaud, touched down to make it 5-0.

Though England skipper Owen Farrell missed the conversion, he soon had his first points of the match after converting a penalty to make it 8-0.

After trading penalties, England took control. May scored two more tries before Penaud reduced the deficit to 23-8.

But before the visitors could begin to think about a fightback, Henry Slade went over the line for England. Farrell's conversion to rack up England's 30th point was the final kick of the half.


After squandering a 16-0 lead against Wales at the Stade de France on 1 February, Jacques Brunel's men had the challenge nine days later of coming back from the brink.

They failed. A penalty try awarded after Gael Fickou felled Chris Ashton in a race for the try line made it 37-8 and Farrell added another. 

The savaging sent England to the top of the Six Nations table with 10 points after two games.

France, who started the tournament with so much hope, languish without a win.

"There's nothing to say," Brunel told France 2 after the slaughter. "They were better than us. It was over at half-time. They were too strong."

France have two weeks to lick their wounds before entertaining Scotland at the Stade de France on 23 February.

On the same day, England travel to Cardiff to take on unbeaten Wales at the Principality Stadium.

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