France v England – story of the match
England’s defeat saw Ireland crowed Six Nations champions.
England surrendered their NatWest 6 Nations title to Ireland with a round to spare after a 22-16 defeat by France completed their worst Championship performance since 2010.
Eddie Jones’ side needed a bonus-point win over France to keep their Six Nations title hopes alive after Ireland took maximum points in their 28-8 victory against Scotland.
However, they never dominated in a penalty-strewn and scrappy match at Stade de France, with Les Bleus’ superiority at the breakdown seeing them edge to victory.
Tweet of the match
Very depressing ! Not enough players showing rugby intelligence - we are not reacting / thinking as we need to......— Will Carling (@willcarling) March 10, 2018
Star man – Yacouba Camara
This was a real game of attrition and while the backline remained shackled, the match was won and lost at the breakdown. France got the better of England in this respect, with openside flanker Camara winning some key penalties while also showing his athleticism and strong ball-carrying ability in open play.
Moment of the match
In a scrappy game which lacked any real fluency, England struggled to get over the gain line. The turning point came early in the second half when a high tackle by England full-back Anthony Watson on wing Benjamin Fall as he closed in on the line denied France a certain try, earned Watson a yellow card – and gave Les Bleus a penalty try which put them seven points clear.
England conceded 16 penalties against France – a statistic boss Eddie Jones will be far from thrilled with. Their forwards came up short and were outplayed by France, who arguably produced their best performance in the last 18 months to destroy England’s Six Nations title hopes.
Who’s up next?
Wales v France, NatWest 6 Nations – March 17
England v Ireland, NatWest 6 Nations – March 17.