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Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen


Malakai Fekitoa smashes Conrad Smith


Massive try saving hit by Israel No.8


Rupeni Caucau try and nice assist


Schalk Brits runs into Wayne Barness


Tony Buckley's big handoff on Simon Shaw

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

England vs France highlights

England vs France highlights

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.

Video Length: 1:41

Posted at 9:04 am | 41 comments

Viewing 41 comments

molly February 26, 2008 9:42 am

I love how the commentators celebrate the try at the end "If they just go one on one on the blind side... YES!"Are commentators allowed to be biased?

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Northy February 26, 2008 9:50 am

I love how, after the wigglesworth try, a french player pushes big Lesley, he just turns around and gives him a look that says, "if i wasn't going to go and celebrate the try, id beat the shit out of you."

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will February 26, 2008 10:14 am

Brian Moore is refreshingly honest about the England side. When they play badly (which is all too frequent) he gives them an absolute shellacking, anyone who watched the BBC coverage of the Italy or Wales games can attest to that. But when they do something good he just can't hold in his delight. I find neutral commentators rather boring, I'd much rather hear Brain Moore or Jed from the Alternative Rugby Commentary.Top moment: Big Les is finally given something constructive to do with the ball, "Hurrah!" says Moore.From a supporter's POV it was still rather stilted though. We still gave away far too much ball, our line out was dreadful and why, oh why, oh why is that moron Iain Balshaw still at full back? Every time he went up for a high ball it was like watching the Benny Hill Show.

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perfides anglais February 26, 2008 11:29 am

on ne voit pas assez papy Regan le clown! j'adore quand les Anglais jouent comme des Anglais. Good game, guys

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redbaron February 26, 2008 11:34 am

england won as they scored when they needed to. the worst point of the game is the fat stupid hook Regan did not get at least a sin bin for what he did...

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Anonymous February 26, 2008 11:48 am

I dont know why France played into Englands hands, tactical suicide. England did what they do and did it well. Can anyone tell me what the hell is going on with Strettles hair?Why is everyone going on about Regan getting under the skin of the French, he was awful at throwing in and didnt contribute much around the park. Apart from running his mouth he was pants.

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AK February 26, 2008 11:59 am

Are the commentators biased was the first question. Well I cant belive the French commentators were jumping for joy.We have been waiting along time to see a good English performance albeit a defencive job.Thats the foundation we need to move on so perhaps Brian wont be shouting 'DONT KICK THE BALL AWAY!!' as much on our screens.Man of the match for me was Vickery - he was relentless and tireless. Good to see Lesley make an impact too ... literally. Theres a healthy mix of experience and youth in the team now, we just need some consistency and we are back in biz. Roll on Scotland.

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will February 26, 2008 12:25 pm

Regan is famous for being a bit chippy and that's fine by me, I reckon the most annoying players on the pitch are always the hooker, the openside and the scrum-half. The trouble is that Regan doesn't back it up with his all round performance anymore. He doesn't carry the ball, he doesn't make massive hits and now he's started to be innaccurate in the line-out too. If Thompson really is fit to play again, fantastic, let's have him, if not then Stephen Jones keeps going on about the Northampton hooker Hartley - any Saints fans out there care to enlighten us?

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Rich W February 26, 2008 12:30 pm

Regan is an old warrior and definately does a job, but completely agree with will. His overall game isnt as good as it needs to be for international level. If england get a top quality hooker inbetween vickery and sheridan, who hopefully learns a bit from regan and is a bastard to scrum down against. What a front row that would be

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L-Town February 26, 2008 12:32 pm

Really enjoyed this match. Found that Morgan Parra was superb for the French. In the case of Regan i think he's done a good service for England over tha years buh mayb Ashton shud let Mears and even Hartley have a chance.Ps. On the subject of Balshaw plz can someone get a restraining order out against him to keep him away from an England shirt!!!

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Anonymous February 26, 2008 12:46 pm

It's not to defend France (because Englishmen played very well and merit their victory) but for me there is foward in the first try when Noon tackles Heymans.After that, a good defense from England which cuts the french wings. And a beautiful work from Wilkinson. We can see he's very very important for his team. After the RWC of 2003, when he was wounded, England was very bad. So for me is very important for a team to find a good international #10 (like Larkham, Wilko, Carter, Stein, Contepomi, etc). It's the main problem of France today.GOOOOO France for 2011

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Anonymous February 26, 2008 2:38 pm

England are still playing 10-man rugby. And even so our line out wasn't 100% effective.Why can't we perfect that, and still have cutting back moves? We've got the resources and players to do it.England are this close to becoming the NWO (again)

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geraint February 26, 2008 3:02 pm

From what i saw of the game (which i admit wasn't loads cos i had too many beers by this time after being in the millennium stadium earlier in the day), seemed like the same game as the world cup semi. England got ahead early and france just couldn't get past england's defence. After sackey's try england's confidence grew and france's completely went.Wasn't the best of games but well done to england they deserved to win. Probably serves france rite for goin for 2 inexperienced half-backs.Can someone explain what all the fuss about regan being a "clown" is. I didn't see what he did. Cheers

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Anonymous February 26, 2008 3:11 pm

Reagan was allways offside in the rucks, played during the mauls to pull french's leg, acted to be hurt by Swarzceski, etc. You are going to say "it's normal, it's the game!". Yes, but it was the only thing he did. He wasn't good during the outline, we never saw him in the game....So, i think the french coach said he was a "clown" for that!

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geraint February 26, 2008 3:20 pm

No i don't like Regan anyway and to be honest don't see why he's an international anymore. Just thought he might have been over celebrating at the end or something that's all.

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Sea-Bass February 26, 2008 4:46 pm

I have to say kudos to the French for trying to play their own game. They kept on trying to break the game open and play wide, with the French flair that has been absent so long. Yet there are two thing France really needs in order to truly become the king of Europe. A superb #10 and a stronger frontrow. England played their own game aswell, though I do not like it, it pays off and they win games with it. Hats of to them.

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will February 26, 2008 4:53 pm

Why do England have to play 10 man rugby though? We haven't always done it. The World Cup winning team had a strong pack granted but it also had dynamic three-quarters like Dawson, Greenwood and Robinson. We shouldn't be satisfied with route one performances because when stronger teams like France come along (like the All Blacks in the summer, like South Africa in the WC) it won't be enough.A win against France in France is always welcome, but we'll need more than that if we're to get back to the top of the tree.

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AK February 26, 2008 6:37 pm

One step at a time. You can hardly expect champaign rugby from a newly gelled team.Reagan did his job well and managed to get under the skins of the French by delaying line out ball (although it back fired) and genrally being a pain in the front rows necks. Right out of Brian Moors 'How to wind up the French' stratagies. Its almost traditional in Le crunch.

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Fred February 26, 2008 6:52 pm

Go Wiggy! Great player who should be played more for England :DI agree with your comment about Vainikolo, he is a great try scorer and scored something ridiculous for Bradford Bulls (149 from 152 or something) and he should be used as more than an Impact Player.Great match, England owned the Frogs again ^_^

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Anonymous February 26, 2008 7:32 pm

Why is it ok for Reagan to pretend to be hurt and play act throughout the match and everyone says its part of the game but if an Italian does it people are moaning about football-style acting and cheating coming into the game ?Well done England !Third Centre

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mat n February 26, 2008 9:08 pm

very happy with the english performance, especially the big hits, i was very nervous towars the end because i knew that it could be thrown away in a single minute, but a excellent game

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Anonymous February 26, 2008 10:58 pm

English deserved to win this game, no doubt about it. But as a French, I'd like to say I'M TIRED TO SEE XV DE FRANCE LOSE AGAINST THOSE FUKIN BRITS EVERY SIX MONTH AT STADE DE FRANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you, rugbydump rules

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Rawling February 26, 2008 11:36 pm

Rugby in widescreen. What a revelation. Love the overhead view close to the goal line too.Go England :D

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Anonymous February 27, 2008 10:03 am

The french don't know to adapt their game to the situation, they should have kicked the ball much more, the english looked a little bit weak under those high balls... but the french side apparently didn't see it, too bad for them.

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Wasp1 February 27, 2008 10:34 am

Think Strettle was expecting rain! He seems to have installed guttering on his forehead.I also think Balshaw has had his final, final chance (pls god).Loved that overhead camera shot at the end, gave a good perspecticve of moving the defenders around.Further progress in the Scot game and i'll be happy. Even happier if someone smashes Paterson!

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F.G February 27, 2008 11:45 am

Guys, there was a CLEAR knock out before Sackey's try.. Actually, Noon punched the ball as he tackled. It was not intended, but still.However I dont blame the referey, as a New zealander he probably just wanted revenge.that said, England definetly deserved the win. We French were so pathetic. I am angry with Lievremont. The return of French flair ? Bullshit. French flair for him is just rugby without kicks..

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F.G February 27, 2008 11:47 am

(I meant knock on of course)

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Martin Johnson February 27, 2008 9:14 pm

Did anyone notice how EVERYONE was waring scarves. I wanna see chuter in the 2 shirt again, and i wanna see tait, lewsey and varndell somehow involved in atleats one match, but definatley a different fullback. I wouldnt mind seeing ashton giving abendonon a chance, what do u guys think. I still think wilko at fly caus of his kicking (especially drop goals) and caus of the way he is playing with flood. The last thing we need is for ashton to keep changing the teem!

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james February 27, 2008 9:22 pm

the english commentators are the best! they have such strong opinions and are always critisizing englands style of play

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Anonymous February 27, 2008 9:41 pm

french try was the best, such determination and such power. the first england try was a forward pass and the second try wasnt exactly amazing because france gave up

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Anonymous February 27, 2008 9:43 pm

i f*****g hate it when referees reverse penalties after a little bit of pushng and shoving

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Anonymous February 27, 2008 9:44 pm

france are propably gonna either win 2011 or 2015, they are only getting better.

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Anonymous February 27, 2008 9:50 pm

im a french fan but i love to watch Josh lewsey play. where the hell is he at the moment?

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Rugbydump February 28, 2008 8:15 am

Anonymous posters please use a name in future.. your comments aren't appreciated and will be deleted. Click Name/URL and give a name, it's not rocket science.

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Anonymous February 28, 2008 9:16 am

I would like to respond to F.G. when he says Lievremont doesn't want kicks. I think he's wrong because is just the third match of his team and they need marks. So it's sure they could kick more. But we have to wait. And i prefere Lievremont's style than Laporte's one.

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aj.uk February 28, 2008 1:41 pm

"Think Strettle was expecting rain! He seems to have installed guttering on his forehead."haha legendary commentcan we please have a bigger video?there were dozens of big hits from england and france and nice plays as wellall the others are like ten minutes longequality please! excellent weekend of rugby!

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DK March 01, 2008 1:01 am

Excuse but scrollin down I saw a comment claiming Brian Moore is "refreshingly honest" about the England rugby team...mate, if Brian Moore could, he would leg it onto the pitch, stick his fat head up the no. 8's arse and help push the English scrum, the twat would.However I do think England played better rugby than France and did deserve to win.And has no one noticed Andrew Sheridan in the scrum? Everyone says he's amazing, but it's completely illegal! He screws in completely and the opposition don't stand a chance against such illegal tactics. I'm not sure if he realises but referees have to really come down on scrummaging laws, even I as a 15 year old can see that. It's ridiculous

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Tom March 02, 2008 1:44 pm

Too bad we don't see the only valuable play of that game (that is to say the one that brought the french try), too bad the referre didn't see the knock-on on Noon's tackle too. whatever...you rosbeefs deserved to win this one

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Anonymous March 31, 2008 4:56 pm

why is did vainikolo last the whole of the 6 nations?i know he didnt have much ball but whenever he got it he didnt make anything from it. hes not the tank people make him out to be ivve heard people say hes the neew lomu!HA! you wishSIMPSON-DANIEL FOR ENGLAND

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matt-the-flank3r April 18, 2008 2:12 pm

personnaly vainikolo is just being used 2 put players off and draw them in, but in a years time teams will get used 2 him just like tuilagi

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Anthony September 01, 2008 11:11 pm

Well if you hate french rugby as much as the rest of the world does I dont see how you couldnt be biased.

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