France's Six Nations title hopes are ended by a superb England side in Paris
England claim a 24-22 victory to keep alive their faint hopes of lifting the title
Wales lead with four wins from four and are on track to claim the grand slam
England need to thrash Ireland and hope Wales lose to France to win the title
France’s hopes of winning the Six Nations title this season have been ended after England claimed a superb 24-22 victory in Paris on Sunday.
England’s young side outscored France three tries to one to keep alive their own faint hopes of winning the Six Nations title.
Wales, who defeated Italy on Saturday, need to avoid defeat at home to France next weekend to win the title.
A victory will give Wales the celebrated grand slam of five wins from five matches, although a heavy Welsh defeat, coupled with an England victory over Ireland, will see England snatch the championship on points difference.
England got off to a superb start, scoring two early first half to leave France chasing the game from the 14th-minute onwards.
That was when Manu Tuilagi took advantage of a loose Dimitry Szarzewski pass to burst clear for the opening try.
And although Lionel Beauxis pulled some points back with a penalty for France, fullback Ben Foden barged his way over the line for England’s second try.
Both tries were converted by Owen Farrell and although France scored two more penalties later in the half, England reached the interval with a 14-9 advantage.
A penalty from Farrell soon extended that lead to eight points early in the second half but a Morgan Parra kick reduced the arrears to 17-12.
More England indiscipline saw that lead reduced to just two points courtesy of another Beauxis penalty, but a third converted England try from Tom Croft gave the visitors further breathing space.
France finally crossed the line for the first time with five minutes to go when Wesley Fofana went over in the corner.
Parra converted from the touchline and France tried in vain to snatch a win, with a drop goal attempt from Francois Trinh-Duc narrowly falling short.
But England held on for a deserved victory, the first time they have won all three of their away games in Six Nations history.