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Saturday, 9 November 2013

England women dominate France at Twickenham Stadium

England started strongly with fast ball movement. Laybourn was making her mark with superb running on the left wing - her break halted as she clipped the touch line. France were very alert and were expert at jumping on any loose ball. Their hard-hitting defense often causing balls to spill.

Yet England were determined and broke through time and again. In a push for the first points of the game, the home side formed a rolling maul following a scrum. They switched to grab and drive creeping closer to the line. However the French proved too strong on this occasion. The ball was sent wide to continue the attack however the whistle blew for a forward pass.

France did not have possession for long, being penalised for holding on. The home side kicked to the corner for an attacking line-out. They formed another maul and another penalty came. Not wanting to take three points and kick for the posts, the home side opted for another line-out. A scrum followed and they pushed for the line. They crossed but the French defense pushed them back before the ball could be grounded. England chose to send the ball to the left wing and Wilson scored the first points of the game. Captain Mclean adding the conversion. England had a 7-point lead 15 minutes into the game.

France sent the re-start long, putting pressure on England. This tactic worked and the visitors started their scoring with 3 points from a penalty.

The home side were determined not to allow France an easy comeback and just a couple of minutes later Mclean slid across the line for a try, adding her own conversion.

The points continued to add up for England as Alphonsi, who had been a highlight of the first half with her ability to slip through tackles and power through the opposition, added a try of her own. Mclean adding the two-point conversion. The home side were now 21-3 ahead.

England were determined for more as Burford made a clinical pass to Laybourn but dangerous play by the visitors once again halted their run. They kicked for an attacking line-out and secured the ball, sending it from one wing to the other allowing Allan to add her name to the scorecard. Mclean, on this occasion, missed the conversion. The last points of the first half went to France, Agricole doubling their score to 6 through a penalty.

Half Time: England 26 - 6 France

France make good progress up the field in the second half but an infringement by the visitors allowed England to kick to safety. France came again but knocked on, handing the scrum to England. Alphonsi continued to make an impact, slicing through the French defense once again. She made a tidy pass allowing Wilson to cross the line for her second of the evening. The boot of Mclean was once again on course and the conversion was added.

It seemed there was a moment of lapsed concentration: going against the run of play Lievre broke through for a try, converted. They then attempted to continue their comeback with Agricole going for the posts from a penalty just inside the English half. It did not have the length or direction.

There was concern for England as Wilson, who had made such an impact on the game, had to be helped from the field after sustaining an injury. If this concerned the home side, they did not show it as Laybourn broke the defensive line and ran half the field to score a try. The conversion taking their total to 40 points.

In similar fashion to the first half, France wanted to have their say and took the final points: a converted try Lievre.

Full time: England 40 - 20 France

Captain Katy Mclean spoke with Radio Jackie's Natalie Osborne after the win.  You can listen to the interview on the Radio Jackie Red Button.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 11:23 pm  

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