In a historic showdown at Twickenham during the Guinness Six Nations. France delivered a commanding performance, securing a record-breaking 53-10 victory over arch-rivals England. This resounding win not only bolstered Les Tricolores’ chances of retaining the title but also etched a significant chapter in Six Nations history.
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This marked one of the darkest days for English rugby. France showcased their prowess by scoring seven tries, leaving the home team in a state of unprecedented humiliation. The 53-10 defeat stands as England’s worst performance in a home test match and a record-breaking low in the tournament’s 140-year history. This loss ranks third in England’s all-time heaviest defeats. Surpassed only by a 76-0 setback against Australia in 1998 and a 58-10 defeat to South Africa in 2007.
The match highlighted the stark contrast in quality between traditional Northern Hemisphere powerhouses. Raising questions about England’s standing just six months before the Rugby World Cup. Steve Borthwick, England’s coach since replacing Eddie Jones in December. Acknowledged the team’s exposure and the noticeable gap between them and the world’s top-tier teams.
France’s victory, with its highest score and largest margin of victory in 110 meetings with England. Underscored the evolution of the rugby landscape. The triumph was fueled by the brilliance of players like Damian Penaud, Thibaud Flament, and Charles Ollivon. Showcased a blend of French flair and capitalization on the home team’s error-prone performance.
Heading into the final round of the Six Nations. Les Tricolores’ bonus-point win not only kept their title defense alive but also signaled a paradigm shift in the balance of power among rugby’s elite. The resounding success serves as a wake-up call for England. Prompting them to reassess their standing and strategize for the challenges ahead on the road to the Rugby World Cup.
Guinness Six Nations Drama: Ollivon’s Controversial Try Confirmed by TMOTop of Form
In a pivotal match that effectively removes England from contention for the Guinness Six Nations championship. France secured a commanding victory with three wins out of four games. Placing them second behind the unbeaten Ireland, determined by points difference. Ireland seeks to maintain their flawless record in an upcoming match against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Thibaud Flament, reflecting on the game, stated, “It was a very special game for us. We are in a good place, we know this tournament can be won on the last game.” France’s dominance was evident from the early moments when Flament’s breakthrough set up a second-minute try by Thomas Ramos. Showcasing their superiority over the English side.
The French team continued their impressive performance. Leaving the hosts embarrassed as Damian Penaud’s two tries in the final 10 minutes propelled France beyond the half-century mark, prompting some disillusioned home fans to exit early. Flament and Charles Ollivon contributed tries before halftime. Establishing a commanding lead of 27-3.
Despite an early try from England’s fullback Freddie Steward. Hopes of a comeback were shattered by Les Tricolores’ four-try surge in just 18 minutes. Thibaud Flament’s try, initiated by flyhalf Romain Ntamack’s strategic play in the 57th minute. Further solidified France’s dominance.
Ollivon’s second try added a somewhat farcical twist as England’s flyhalf Marcus Smith lost possession. Leading to a try that required confirmation from the TMO. The match showcased the clear prowess of the French team and raised questions about England’s standing in the Guinness Six Nations competition.
It succinctly captured a dismal day for England. Ellis Genge. Who assumed the captaincy as Owen Farrell took a place on the bench for the match, expressed, “If I possessed the solutions, I’d be elsewhere earning millions. It’s currently a bit of a perplexity.”
Uini Atonio’s Surprise Comeback Boosts France’s Tighthead Prospects for Six Nations 2024
Ahead of the Guinness Six Nations 2024. France’s tighthead prop situation is looking more promising with the unexpected return of Uini Atonio. Despite initially announcing his retirement from international rugby following the Rugby World Cup. The 33-year-old New Zealand-born player has had a change of heart.
In a relatively youthful squad, Atonio was one of only two players, alongside Romain Taofifenua. Who opted for international retirement after the 2023 global tournament. However, reports from French publication L’Equipe reveal that head coach Fabien Galthie has successfully persuaded Atonio to reverse his decision. Providing a boost for the upcoming Six Nations.
While Atonio’s Test future post the tournament remains uncertain. His return is a welcome development for Galthie. Who has seen the tighthead become a crucial asset to Les Bleus. Particularly during his coaching tenure. Known for his prowess as both a top-class scrummager and a formidable presence in loose play. Atonio’s absence was notably felt in the World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa.
The French team has faced depth challenges in the tighthead position. Making Atonio’s availability for the Guinness Six Nations crucial. His inclusion provides an opportunity to nurture emerging talents in the position, addressing concerns about the team’s depth.
While Dorian Aldegheri is a dependable scrummager. Questions remain about his suitability as a long-term first-choice player. Sipili Falatea, initially the preferred backup to Atonio in the Six Nations, slipped in the pecking order during the World Cup, raising concerns about his scrummaging abilities.
As France prepares for the Guinness Six Nations. The return of Atonio not only strengthens their front row but also offers Galthie more options and flexibility in building a formidable squad for the upcoming challenges.
France a Historic Venue for France’s Guinness Six Nations Triumphs
Since its inauguration in 1998 the Stade de France. Boasting a capacity of over 80,000 has served as the iconic venue for France’s exhilarating Guinness Six Nations clashes. Over the years, this colossal stadium has witnessed historic moments, including four Grand Slam victories by Les Bleus and numerous unforgettable encounters.
As France prepares to embark on their Rugby World Cup campaign against New Zealand this Friday, let’s revisit some of the most memorable Guinness Six Nations triumphs for France at the Stade de France.
1998 – France 24-17 England. The inaugural night of the stadium marked a triumphant start for Les Bleus, securing a 24-17 victory over England and setting the stage for back-to-back Grand Slams. A crowd of over 77,000 in Saint-Denis witnessed Philippe Bernat-Salles scoring the stadium’s first try just 11 minutes into the game. Christophe Dominici added another try, complemented by the accurate kicking of Christophe Lamaison and well-timed drop goals from Thomas Castaignède and Jean-Luc Sadourny. Despite Neil Back’s try and four penalties from Paul Grayson for England. France emerged victorious in their new home.
2002 – France 20-15 England In 2002. England sought revenge for their defeat two years earlier, where Jonny Wilkinson’s five penalties secured their first victory at the Stade de France. However, France responded with a dominant 20-15 win in Le Crunch. Notably, Serge Betsen’s relentless pursuit of Wilkinson defined the match, disrupting the fly-half’s control. A rapid 17-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes, courtesy of tries from Gérald Merceron and Imanol Harinordoquy, set the tone for Les Bleus. Despite a brilliant solo try from Jason Robinson. France emerged triumphant in this memorable encounter.
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