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Rugby - 02. February 2014.

France Women 18 England Women 6


Report by Sportsbeat

In a thrilling encounter, watched by a record French crowd of 9, 650
people, England couldn't match a buoyant French side in every area and
they consequently paid a high price.

Both sides made a breathless start with France really rising to the
vociferous crowd and putting England under pressure. England, however,
banked the first points of the evening with skipper Katy Mclean
converting a penalty after some good work by Lichfield duo Natasha Hunt
and Emily Scarratt.

France immediately bounced back and put England under pressure again. A
line-out and drive saw them go close but in the end they added three
points after Sandrine Agricole struck a superb drop goal, underlining
France's ambitious play this evening.

France had another chance at goal some minutes later but missed, but
their momentum continued and a super charged France caught England
napping at the scrum. Only a massive defensive effort kept France out
and in the end England over turned their hosts with Scarratt making the
break up field and then Maggie Alphonsi. Alphonsi couldn't stay on her
feet but France were penalised and Mclean edged England into a 6-3 lead
with a 30 minute penalty.

France stuck with it though and Agricole slotted home an important kick
at goal just six minutes later to keep the crowd on tenterhooks and make
the score 6-6 at half-time.

France kept the upper-hand after the break and although they missed an
early shot at goal they went ahead when hooker and captain Gaelle Mignot
scored from a line-out and driving maul. Agricole didn't convert making
the score 11-6.

France's ascendency continued with the home side successfully taking on
England up front and whilst fullback Jessy Tremouliere missed a penalty
France remained in control.

Matters then worsened for England as another line-out saw France inflict
a powerful driving maul, and England couldn't stop the juggernaut.
Mignot went over once again, and with Tremouliere this time taking the
conversion France took a more assailable 6-18 lead and in the end the
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