Sunday, February 27, 2011
England are looking on course for their first Grand Slam since 2003 as they won a hard-fought battle against champions France 17-9 at Twickenham on Saturday, making it three out of three wins so far in this years Six Nations.
While at times England looked scrappy in the backs with inaccurate passing and a few dropped balls, they managed to keep things together to hold off the French challenge, with a try to Ben Foden separating the two sides.
"It was a good win. We really had to fight and graft," said coach Martin Johnson.
"I quite enjoy that type of game - it's not always pretty, but that's test match rugby. Last year we lost to Ireland in a similar sort of game and it rips your guts out."
Jonny Wilkinson, second choice flyhalf these days, came on after 51 minutes - following an injury to Toby Flood and showed the kind of temperament and ability youd expect.
He slotted a long range kick within seconds of entering the stage, and later controlled things nicely, with a few well timed offloads in what was a good opportunity for him.
While Johnson has said that its too early to talk of the Grand Slam, England are on the right track and if they manage to pick up their overall error count, will be difficult to stop.
You can watch extended highlights of the game on the Eplayer on the sidebar. Navigate to 'Rugby Union' and there's a 9 minute long version there, as well as some of the other games.