Tuesday, February 26, 2008
England gave their Six Nations campaign a huge boost when they beat France in Paris for the second time in six months.
After a home loss to Wales, and a not too convincing victory over Italy, England bounced back and showed real heart to overcome the French in their own backyard.
Strong, aggressive defence and a destructive scrum reminiscent of that which damaged Australia so badly in last year's World Cup quarter-finals, were the key to a victory that will go a long way to maturing a young side that still has many areas to improve on.
Wilkinson and Flood are gelling nicely, and the inclusion of Wigglesworth proved it's worth as his interplay and presence brought huge value. Jamie Noon's massive hit on Cedric Heymans that led to the Sackey try was also vital. Despite replays showing that it came off Noon's hand, it was the kind of hit that not only resulted in a try, but lifted the team in general.
It was also good to see big Lesley Vainikolo finally being used a bit more. The much talked about Lomu replica has been wasted thus far. If you have a guy like that out on the wing, get him involved more and use his strength and speed.
England travel to Murrayfield in 11 days time for a meeting with the Scots that in theory, will see England overpowering the men in blue.
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