[Source: France Rugby/Twitter]
Rampant France ran in seven tries to overwhelm a ragged England 53-10 this morning, their biggest ever win over the English and first in the Six Nations at Twickenham for 18 years.
Tries by fullback Thomas Ramos, lock Thibaud Flament and flanker Charles Ollivon gave the visitors a 27-3 halftime lead.
England hit back with a Freddie Steward try but Flament and Ollivon both crossed again before winger Damian Penaud added two late scores as the shell-shocked hosts wilted in the driving rain.
France also stayed in contention to win this year’s title ahead of their final game against Wales, climbing to second in the standings behind Ireland with England fourth.
“It was a very special game for us and we tried to make it count,” Flament told ITV. “We said in the week we needed this game.
“It was great to score. I was in the right place at the right moment, I am glad we won and it was a challenge at halftime to play like this for the whole game. We are in a good place.”
France struck in the second minute with a slick passing move finished off in the corner by fullback Ramos and Flament barged over the line from close range following a lineout to extend their lead to 17-0.
England flyhalf Marcus Smith kicked a penalty to get the hosts on the scoreboard but France flanker Ollivon surged over to stretch the visitors’ lead before the interval.
Smith, picked ahead of regular captain Owen Farrell, failed to get his team firing as the hosts made a slew of handling errors and gave away a succession of penalties to halt what little momentum they had.
Steward forced his way over soon after the interval to give England faint hopes of a comeback but fatal indecision allowed Flament to pick up a loose ball and steam over for his second try in the 57th minute.