venue: Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse
27th June 2008
Full Match Report
England beat France by running in 10 tries in a superb second-half performance which bodes well for the World Cup in Australia later this year. Performances of note included the three tries for Warrington centre Martin Gleeson and Hull KR wing Peter Fox's touchdown in his first match for England.
England coach Tony Smith had been looking for signs of optimism at the Ernest Wallon stadium on the run-up to their trip to Australia and getting all those points on the board must have helped their preparation. Leon Pryce, who was named man of the match, and loose forward Kevin Sinfield, also had good performances while the home side could not counter the energy of front-row forwards Jamie Peacock and Adrian Morley.
The French XIII, who were made up of nine players from Super League club Catalans Dragons, did well to keep the score at 16-8 at the break, plugging the gaps to restrict England's advantage. The last time France played Great Britain in June 2007, a game the French lost 42-14, there were only five Super League players in their ranks.
England had a tough start when wingers Ade Gardner and Fox both had tries disallowed in the opening spell yet it was France who went ahead when Toulouse scrum-half James Wynne put the home side ahead. Thomas Bosc, the free-scoring Catalans half-back, added the conversion to put the French 6-0 in front but from then on it was pretty much all England.
England's other try scorers, Gleeson apart, were Pryce, substitute Maurie Fa'asavalu, Fox, Keith Senior, Jon Wilkin, Danny McGuire, and Paul Wellens. And the other points came from five conversions by Sinfield and three from Rob Burrow.
Teddy Sadaoui, Cyril Stacul, Younes Khattabi, Trent Clayton, Julien Rinaldi, Gregory Mounis, Laurent Carrasco, Sebastien Raguin, Thomas Bosc, Eric Anselme, Olivier Elima, Adel Fellous, James Wynne. Subs: Vincent Duport, Jamal Fakir, Pierre Sabatie, Remy Casty
Paul Wellens, Ade Gardner, Peter Fox, Keith Senior, Martin Gleeson, Leon Pryce, Rob Burrow, Kevin Sinfield, Sam Burgess, Gareth Ellis, James Roby, Jamie Peacock, Adrian Morley. Subs: Danny McGuire, Jon Wilkin, Maurie Fa’asavalu, James Graham