England thrash France 44-8
Jonny May scores hat-trick
England top Six Nations table
England backed up last weekend’s impressive Six Nations win over reigning champions Ireland by thrashing France 44-8 in London Sunday.
Jonny May touched down three times in the opening 30 minutes with France unable to cope with the winger’s pace or England’s intensity throughout.
Although Damian Penaud managed to pull one try back for the visitors, Henry Slade added another before half time to reassert English dominance.
France have not won a Six Nations match in London since 2005.
And they will have taken few Twickenham beatings as convincing as this during that period.
A penalty try, after Chris Ashton was taken out off the ball by Gael Fickou when it looked like he was about to score, extended England’s lead and saw Fickou sin-binned at the start of the second period.
Owen Farrell then crossed for England’s sixth try, rounding off a thoroughly miserable day for France.
Sunday’s result sets up a mouthwatering clash between England and Wales in Cardiff in two weeks time.
Both teams are unbeaten in this years tournament and will have ambitions of securing the grand slam.
May the Man
Speaking to UK broadcaster ITV after the match, May said that to score a hat trick at Twickenham, the home of English rugby, was “awesome and very special.”
May, who scored after two minutes in Dublin last weekend, was even quicker off the mark Sunday. The Leicester Tigers winger took just 66 seconds to touch down after chasing Elliot Daily’s kick through.
That passage of play set the tone for the afternoon, with England’s kicks in behind proving difficult for France to deal with.
England manager Eddie Jones said he was pleased with his side’s performance even though he though he thought they had “gone off the boil a little bit” towards the end of the opening period when Penaud touched down for France.
“It is a difficult game when you get points in front because you can get seduced by the scoreboard and you start doing things you wouldn’t normally,” he told ITV.
“But we kept our discipline and stuck to the game plan,” Jones added.
France blew a 16 point lead at home to Wales last weekend and rarely looked like causing an upset Sunday.
And coach Frank Brunel acknowledged the gap between his side and England after the match.
“There is nothing to say,” the veteran coach told France 2 Television in comments carried by the AFP news agency.
“The match was over by half-time, bravo to them.”