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Last Updated: Sunday October 14 2007 09:04 GMT

England power to World Cup final

They did it!

England have powered into the Rugby World Cup final with a hard-fought 14-9 victory over the hosts France in Paris.

Jonny Wilkinson was on sparkling form, kicking two penalties and a drop goal, ensuring that England have the chance to defend the title they won in 2003.

England took the lead less than two minutes into the match, when Josh Lewsey charged over for a try.

France threw everything at the game in the dying minutes, but England's defence was rock solid.

On target: Jonny
On target: Jonny

After England's early try, France hit back with three penalties from Lionel Beauxis, taking them to a four-point lead in the 44th minute.

Three minutes later, Wilkinson brought England back into the game with a penalty of his own - taking them to within a point of Les Bleus.

Another Wilkinson penalty fired England into the lead, and then the fly half - who was England's star man in the 2003 final - scored the drop goal that put England 14-9 in front.

Turnaround

The final whistle marked an incredible turnaround for England, who went down 36-0 to South Africa in the group stages.

The Springboks were taking on Argentina in the competition's second semi-final on Sunday night.



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