|England: (5) 25|
|Tries: Harrison, Davies, Cleall, Kildunne; Pen: Scarratt Con: Scarratt|
|France: (15) 23|
|Tries: Gros, Banet 2; Pens: Drouin 2; Con: Drouin|
|Highlights: On the BBC Sport web site and app.|
Emily Scarratt’s penalty gave England victory over France with the final kick of the sport in a breathless encounter at Twickenham.
The Pink Roses, who beat their World Cup pool opponents final week, trailed by one level because the clock went pink.
A ferocious France dominated the primary 60 minutes, till England emptied their bench and World Participant of the 12 months Scarratt took to the sphere.
Late tries from Poppy Cleall and Ellie Kildunne helped flip the tide.
England had claimed a cushty win towards France in Grenoble, resulting in questions over whether or not they wanted harder opponents in preparation for the 2021 World Cup.
However a special French facet turned up at Twickenham and till the ultimate 10 minutes it seemed as if they might win in England for the primary time since 2015.
Zoe Harrison crossed first for the hosts however Caroline Drouin’s penalty, 5 factors for Emmeline Gros and a sensational Cyrielle Banet rating gave France a 10-point lead at half-time.
After the break, Lark Davies and Cleall scored in mauls both facet of a second strive for Banet to carry England to inside eight factors.
Then Kildunne someway discovered a means by way of a tangle of French defenders to cross, earlier than star participant Scarratt additional cemented her place in England’s historical past books with the late kick.
Renewed France show doubters unsuitable
The match, swiftly scheduled when England’s tour of Australia and New Zealand fell by way of due to the coronavirus pandemic, took on further significance when the 2 sides had been drawn in the identical World Cup pool on Thursday.
Again-to-back Six Nations Grand Slam champions England reached the highest of the world rankings with final weekend’s win and this time round Simon Middleton fielded an experimental beginning XV with subsequent 12 months’s showpiece occasion in thoughts.
Through the week, some questioned whether or not France’s status because the Pink Roses’ closest rivals was slipping.
However from the outset, Les Bleues seemed ferociously motivated to dispel that speak. They instantly overpowered England in a scrum contained in the French 22, took the ball to the opposite finish and earned a penalty inside 5 metres of the try-line.
Fly-half Drouin opted to kick on the posts however her effort swung left. The guests ramped up the stress once more and when Drouin was given one other alternative for 3 factors as England got here in in conjunction with a maul, she made no mistake.
Uncharacteristic errors from a usually scientific England meant they gave away possession twice in France’s 22 however the Pink Roses had been then despatched a present from the Twickenham turf.
Scrum-half Leanne Riley’s wayward cross missed Katy Daley-Mclean however bounced completely for centre Harrison, who picked up the ball and scored in the proper nook.
Nonetheless France continued to dominate they usually took the lead as soon as extra as a fast change of route caught England off guard, giving Gros loads of room to go over.
France then had the ultimate phrase of the primary half in emphatic style as Shannon Izar discovered some area on the counter-attack.
The total-back lined 30 metres and handed to Banet, who beat much-praised England full-back Kildunne in a one-on-one to attain and provides her facet their 10-point lead at half-time.
Composed England come alive on the loss of life
Banet’s glory was short-lived as she was given a yellow card virtually instantly after the break for kicking England ahead Cleall in a ruck.
Because the Pink Roses lastly discovered a few of their normal scientific edge on the set-piece, a maul cruised ahead from the line-out and Davies had her palms on the ball as England went over.
France continued to construct a rating with one other three factors from Drouin’s boot and England couldn’t reply till Middleton fully emptied his bench on the hour.
At first the reinforcements, together with skilled scrum-half Natasha Hunt and flanker Marlie Packer, couldn’t halt France’s momentum.
Les Bleues constructed by way of phases in England’s 22 as soon as once more and Banet darted over in the proper nook, however then the Pink Roses’ never-say-die angle kicked in.
First got here Cleall’s rating, a carbon copy of the sooner strive by Davies, then Kildunne someway stayed standing as a crowd of French defenders tried to carry her down to assert one other 5 factors.
When the hosts earned a penalty, France’s destiny appeared sealed as Scarratt stepped up. The centre was as dependable as ever, giving England their seventh successive win towards France and a thirty seventh victory of their previous 40 Checks.
Participant of the match: Ellie Kildunne
‘The bench had been unbelievable’ – what they stated
England fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean, captain for the match, stated on BBC Two: “The bench did a unbelievable job, however it’s a must to credit score France. We have now had some battles with these ladies however fortunate for us we now have come out on high. That was a hell of a efficiency from them, however I’m actually pleased with our ladies.”
Injured England captain Sarah Hunter on BBC Two: “We need to be successful our video games after we play France, particularly going forward to the World Cup with them in our pool we would like a slight edge.
“We nonetheless need to face them within the Six Nations, and we all know something will come after we get to the World Cup.”
‘England go into World Cup stuffed with positivity’ – evaluation
England World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi on BBC Two
England are primary on the planet, however we now have seen it earlier than the place something can occur within the World Cup.
However England positively have the arrogance, and they need to be going into the Six Nations and the World Cup stuffed with positivity.
England: Kildunne; MacDonald, Tuima, Harrison, Dow; Daley-Mclean (capt), Riley; Cornborough, Davies, Brown, Ward, Talling, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Cleall.
Replacements: Cokayne, Perry, Keates, Beckett, Packer, Hunt, Rowland, Scarratt.
France: Izar; Banet, Pignot, Ulutule, Bertrand; Drouin, Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Bernadou, Ferer, N’Diaye, Mayans, Hermet (capt), Gros.
Replacements: Touye, Traore, Joyeux, Diallo, Menager, Bourdon, Peyronnet, Tremouliere.