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Saturday, November 05, 2011

England downed... by French kicking!

England have just lost the test match in France by 16-15, despite outscoring their hosts by two tries to one. Three French penalties and a converted try were enough to sneak past England - who had lead for almost the entire game.

Given the nature of the teams (many of England's leading players were rested for this short tour) it does not mean a sudden change in world rankings, but maybe the real significance is that first line above. France scored three penalties and a conversion in conditions that were pretty awful (heavy rain - again).

Considering that eight months ago or so France's penalty takers would not have reliably kicked the skin of a rice pudding this is a remarkable turn round - especially if you recall that their kicking display in the midweek game was also pretty good.

No news yet as to who it was who kicked England to defeat, but this does suggest that the Six Nations could actually be quite competitive this year - which would be no bad thing.
  • It is interesting to learn that the golden French boot belonged to Aureile Bailon, who is not exactly new to the French team as this was he 28th cap. However she missed all of last season, but now seems to be back with a bang, not to say a boot. With Jessy Trémoulière (who impressed everyone on Wednesday) also in the team, France are building a challenging team.

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