venue: Parc Des Sports, Avignon
21st October 2011
Full Match Report
Hull centre Tom Briscoe scored two tries as England overcame France in their only warm-up ahead of their Four Nations opener on 29 October. Steve McNamara's new side had too much class for their hosts, with debutants Jack Reed, Rangi Chase and Chris Heighington making key contributions. Reed provided the highlight of the game with a thrilling 70-metre try.
France scored two late tries but England were convincing winners ahead of their showdown with Wales. Kevin Sinfield set the tone with a 40-20 kick in the first set of tackles to set up the position for Reed to get Ryan Hall over for the first try with just 90 seconds on the clock. Sinfield looked a likely tryscorer after smart offloads from front rowers James Graham and Jamie Peacock, but full-back Cyril Stacul came to the rescue with a last-ditch tackle and the French hit back with their best spell of the match.
A break from debutant centre Mathias Pala signalled danger and established the position from which captain Olivier Elima scored a try to level. Thomas Bosc's conversion edged France in front but he missed a chance to extend their lead when he failed with a penalty. The visitors eventually weathered the storm and took a firm grip on the game with three tries in the last 11 minutes of the first half, with Chase at the heart of the fightback.
Sinfield's second goal made it 20-6 at half-time and any prospect of a comeback by the French was ended when Briscoe grabbed his second try nine minutes into the second half. Full-back replacement Gareth Widdop quickly made his mark, breaking the first line of defence to release Reed, who jinked past two defenders on a superb run to the line. Sinfield's fourth goal opened up a 26-point lead but England relaxed their grip in the last 10 minutes to allow the French two late tries.
England start their Four Nations campaign against Wales at Leigh Sports Village, before taking on New Zealand at the KC Stadium in Hull on 12 November.
Cyril Stacul, Vincent Duport, Jean Philippe Baile, Mathias Pala, Fred Vaccari, Dane Chisholm, Thomas Bosc, David Ferriol, Gregory Mounis, Remy Casty, Olivier Elima, Cyril Gossard, Jason Baitieri. Subs: Eloi Pellisier, Djamel Fakir, Mikael Simon, Sebastian Raguin
Sam Tomkins, Ryan Hall, Jack Reed, Kirk Yeaman, Tom Briscoe Kevin Sinfield, Rangi Chase, Jamie Peacock, James Roby, James Graham, Gareth Ellis, Ben Westwood, Chris Heighington, Gareth Widdop, Adrian Morley, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jon Wilkin