Full Time
9:00pm Sun November 12, 2017
Pool A - Optus Stadium - Crowd: 14744

Match Overview

England got away to a blistering start, bagging three converted tries inside the opening ten minutes, before engaging in a scrappy battle with France.

Gareth Widdop, playing at fullback, found a gap out wide and accelerated straight through it to go over for a good try after just 2 minutes, which he converted with a gem of a kick from touch. Three minutes later and Ratchford scored in the corner after some good passing presented him with enough space. Widdop again converted with a pearler from the sideline.

James Graham was the next to score after receiving pass 10 metres out from the line and running a good back rowers line to score near the posts. Giddop slotted the easy two pointer to see England lead 18-0 after 10 minutes.

The French sured up their defence much better and got their hands on the ball, which stemmed the flow of points, however some well-timed draw and passing by the English backs created an overlap and Percival fell over the line for a simple try. Six minutes later and Bateman stood up his defender and ran around him easily to score, giving the British a 26-0 lead after 28 minutes.

France hit back with a good dummy half try by back rower Benjamin Garcia, throwing a dummy from dummy half and then diving over to score under the posts. Albert converted to see France reduce the margin to 20 points at the break.

The second half was only a minute old when a quick catch and pass by Widdop put McGilvray over for a try. England were looking ominous but clearly took their foot off the pedal, letting ill-discipline and sloppy errors creep into their game. France though had the same problems and for the next 20 minutes, neither side looked threatening.

With 17 minutes remaining in the game, McGilvray scored in the corner to take the Lions lead out to 30 points. The sloppy game continued up until fulltime, England clearly a class above the French but, just as they did last week against Lebanon, couldn't put their opponents to the sword and run up a big score when the opportunity was there to do so.

3. Gareth Widdop

Widdop was at Fullback, but had his hand in a number of the English tries.

2. James Graham

Graham was his usual dominant and powerful best, constantly putting the French defence on the back foot. Scored a good try.

1. Kevin Brown

The half was solid all game, with his kicking game ensuring England maintained the upper hand all game.