England comfortably rise to French challenge

England gained an expected victory, 42-18 today against France at the University of Bolton Stadium, although the performance of Shaun Wane’s men wasn’t as effective as the previous week’s 60-6 defeat of Samoa, with mistakes creeping into England’s game that threatened at various times to allow their opponents back into the game.

Ryan Hall was one of five players called up by Shaun Wane after last week’s victory and he responded by scoring twice in the opening eleven minutes, touching down from passes by Marc Sneyd, who was winning his first Test cap, and Herbie Farnworth for tries in the left-hand corner, posing Sneyd with no difficulties in adding the conversions.

Luke Thompson scored England’s third when he went in unchallenged between the posts when he supported a break from Victor Radley.

As the first half wore on France fought back, however, with Catalans Dragons stand-off Arthur Mourgue following up his own grubber to touch down and Toulouse hooker Eloi Pelissier burrowing over from dummy-half to make it 18-12 at half-time.

Early in the second half Elliott Whitehead touched down from John Bateman’s offload and Radley claimed his first England try by following up Andy Ackers’ kick through the defence.

Newcastle Knights winger Dom Young then joined in the fun with two tries of his own. The first came in the 57th minute when his fine support play saw him take a pass from interchange player Jack Welsby to score and the second came nine minutes later when he intercepted and ran 90 metres to touch down.

Arthur Romano scored a consolation try for France with four minutes to go and, after a heated disagreement, England prop Tom Burgess was sent to the sinbin in the last minute.

England coach Shaun Wane’s major concern will be Kallum Watkins, after the centre was helped from the field after being injured in a tackle twelve minutes into the second half.

ENGLAND: 1 Sam Tomkins, 5 Ryan Hall, 3 Kallum Watkins, 4 Herbie Farnworth, 14 Dom Young, 21 Marc Sneyd, 7 George Williams, 8 Tom Burgess, 9 Michael McIlorum, 18 Chris Hill, 11 Elliott Whitehead, 12 John Bateman, 13 Victor Radley; Subs: 6 Jack Welsby, 10 Luke Thompson, 19 Andy Ackers, 23 Mikolaj Oledzki.

Tries: Hall (2), Thompson, Whitehead, Radley, Young (2)

Goals: Sneyd 7

FRANCE:1 Morgan Escare, 2 Arthur Romano, 3 Samisoni Langi, 11 Bernard Jullien, 4 Matthieu Laguerre, 6 Arthur Mourgue, 7 Tony Gigot, 8 Jordan Dezaria, 9 Alrix Da Costa, 10 Lambert Belmas, 12 Paul Seguier, 17 Mickael Goudemand,13 Benjamin Garcia; Subs: 14 Eloi Pelissier, 15 Justin Sangare, 16 Gadwin Springer, 19 Corentin le Cam.

Tries: Mourgue, Pelissier, Romano

Goals: Mourgue 3

Half-time: 18-12

Referee: Gerard Sutton