venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington
27th May 2016
Full Match Report
England overwhelmed their French counterparts with a powerful display at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Skipper Brad Walker took the man-of-the-match award by notching up 24 points comprising 10 goals and one try.
France threatened at the opening of each half but were guilty of making too many errors and giving away far too many penalties. England took full advantage, their powerful forwards laying a solid platform for their backs to exploit.
France surprised the home side by opening the scoring after just four minutes. The ball was worked out wide to Jordan Flovie near the halfway line and the left wing showed real pace as he scorched down the touchline before cutting inside to touchdown under the posts. Romain Pollares converted but, England were soon level when a good run by Conor Fitzsimmons saw the loose forward tackled just short of the line. From the quick play-the-ball Walker sliced through from close range and levelled the scores with the conversion.
England took the lead after 15 minutes when second row James Batchelor touched down a neat grubber kick from scrum-half Rob Fairclough, with Walker again adding the conversion. The big English forwards were beginning to dominate and whenever they took play near the French line a score seemed imminent. Replacement Caine Barnes used his strength from close range to cross and Judah Mazive followed up with another. Walker converted both and added a penalty to make it 26-6 at the break.
Two tries in the opening three minutes of the second half by France threatened a Gallic revival. Anthony Delgardo crossed for the first before Flovie claimed his second and a conversion by Pollares brought them to within 10 points but that was as close as they were to get.
Justin Sangare lost the ball from the kick off under his own posts and Liam Paisley took full advantage to cross with Walker again adding the extras. Flovie raised French hopes by completing his hat-trick with another fine run and a terrific finish in the corner to make it 32-20.But the final quarter belonged to England, with two tries from Liam Walsh and one from Lewis Heckford with Walker maintaining his 100 per cent kicking record by converting all three and adding a penalty.
Lewis Heckford; Joe Brown, Joe Wardill, Liam Paisley, Judah Mazive, Brad Walker, Matthew English, Jez Litten, Mikolaj Oledzki, James Bathchelor, Cameron Smith, Conor Fitzsimmons, Danny Walker, Liam Walsh, Jon Luke Kirby, Caine Barnes
Pierre Bise; Romain Puso, Paul Izard, Arthur Romano, Jordan Flovie; Romain Pallares, Theo Guinguet; Lambert Belmas, Matheiu Tovena, Levy N’Zoungou, Franck Maria, Alexandre Mickalezik, Mattieu Khedimi, Anthony Delgardo, Justin Sangare, Maxime Garcia, Enzo Gauci