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Monday, March 12, 2012

England defeat France in Paris in Six Nations classic

England beat France away from home for the first time since 2008 as they came away 24-22 winners in a classic Six Nations encounter in Paris on Sunday afternoon. A last minute dropgoal attempt from Francois Trinh-Duc fell short for the hosts.

In one of the more entertaining Six Nations games we've seen in recent times, Le Crunch turned out to be a classic battle that went right down to the wire as France fought back after England took an early lead. Two quickfire tries, first a great effort from Manu Tuilagi, then a Ben Foden try set up by Ben Morgan, gave England a 14-3 lead in the first half.

France chipped away and the second half was a far tighter affair. A fantastic try from Tom Croft then appeared to seal the deal for the English, but thanks to Julien Dupuy, Lionel Beauxis, and Morgan Parra, who all contributed points from the tee, and a Wesley Fofana try with 6 minutes left, we saw a thrilling finale to the game.

If Trinh-Duc's dropgoal attempt had just a meter more on it, it would have been the French celebrating, but instead England took a famous win in Paris, and still have a mathematical chance of winning the Six Nations.

"It's hard to come back against the English after such a bad start. We clawed back into contention thanks to our pride," said brilliant French number eight, Imanol Harinordoquy.

"The two turnovers did for us. Once again we came back into it and we didn't miss out by much. It's hard to beat the English once they get ahead," he added.

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