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England v France - story of the match

England have opened their RBS Six Nations title defence with a narrow 19-16 victory against France at Twickenham.

Substitute Ben Te'o crossed the line in the 71st minute to score what would prove to be the match-winning try following an underwhelming performance by Eddie Jones' side.

It marked England's 15th victory in a row, but Jones, and the rest of his coaching team, will be hoping for an improved performance when his side travel to Wales next Saturday.


" Feeling mixed. Big energy, big fight but still no victory. To console me, tonight I finished the roast beef" - former France number eight Sebastien Chabal takes scant consolation after England's victory.


Louis Picamoles, the French number eight, starred for the visitors at Twickenham. After just 28 minutes, Picamoles had made more metres than any other forward on the opening weekend of the Six Nations and more than all of the England forwards combined. His impressive drive continued in the second half and he can count himself unlucky to be on the losing side.


On his Six Nations debut, Ben Te'o, a second-half substitute, crossed the line, following a sustained streak of pressure by the hosts. The Twickenham crowd erupted as England extended their winning streak to 15 matches.


England head coach Jones cut a frustrated figure for much of the match as a combination of indiscipline from his team and referee Angus Gardner's trigger-happy whistle contributed to a poor and nervy opening period. Jones will have been pleased to get his side in at the interval with his below-par team level. And while England improved in the second half, thanks largely to a host of changes - including that of Te'o who scored the game's decisive try - Jones will be hoping for a vastly improved performance in Wales next Saturday.


MIKE BROWN: Can hold his head up high amid scruffy England display. 6/10

JONNY MAY: Sin-binned for a dangerous tackle and made little impact. 5

JONATHAN JOSEPH: Unable to make the key breakthrough but went looking. 6

OWEN FARRELL: Big hit on Picamoles is one for highlights reels. 7

ELLIOT DALY: Monster penalty helped England's fightback. Almost touched down. 7

GEORGE FORD: Quiet afternoon for the Bath playmaker. 6

BEN YOUNGS: Failed to scale the heights seen in the autumn. 6

JOE MARLER: Drinking milk to aid broken leg recovery did not help his form. 6

DYLAN HARTLEY: Replaced with 25 minutes to go, made little headway. 6

DAN COLE: Tackled hard and was always present in the tight. 6

JOE LAUNCHBURY: Among England's better performers up-front. 7

COURTNEY LAWES: Started poorly but recovered and was prominent at the end. 7

MARO ITOJE: The pick of England's back row, gave it everything. 6

TOM WOOD: Gave too many penalties away but generally solid. 6

NATHAN HUGHES: Apart from one second-half spell, was anonymous. 5

Replacements -

England's bench won the day with Jack Nowell, James Haskell and Ben Te'o making muscular contributions until Te'o crashed over. The fresh legs ultimately proved decisive. 9


Wales v England, Cardiff (February 11)

France v Scotland, Paris (February 12)


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