France edge England in 33-31 thriller to grab second place

March 17, 2024 11:40 am

[Source: Reuters]

Thomas Ramos landed a last-minute penalty to give France a dramatic 33-31 victory over England in the Six Nations match on Saturday and secure a second-place finish behind Ireland who had earlier retained the title with victory over Scotland.

Ramos, who landed seven out of eight attempts at goal, split the posts from the halfway line after England looked to have snatched victory through a Tommy Freeman try.

Ireland finished on 20 points with France second on 15 ahead of England on 14 and Scotland on 12.

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France showed great intensity from the start and, after an early penalty apiece, scored a classic try after stealing an attacking England lineout.

Gael Fickou swept forward and quick hands sent scrumhalf Nolann Le Garrec over.

Two Ramos penalties stretched the lead to 16-3 but England hit back just before halftime with a crisp lineout move that sent rampaging centre Ollie Lawrence over.

George Ford converted to close the gap to 16-10 but England’s first-half struggles in this Six Nations continued as they trailed in all five games.

That situation lasted only two minutes of the second half as another surging run by Ben Earl set up Lawrence for his second try and Ford converted to put England 17-16 ahead.