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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Saturday, 8 October 2011 11:06 UK

Rugby World Cup 2011: England v France - as it happened

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By Mike Henson

1105: Time for me to depart. Not sure if you can have enjoyed that from the English side of the Channel, but thanks for your company and messages. I'll be back tomorrow with live text as the southern hemisphere takes its turn: South Africa v Australia at 0600 BST and New Zealand v Argentina at 0830 BST. Tom Fordyce's report is in, with his thoughts on the causes and consequences rapidly being hammered into a blog. It'll be up soon on for you to continue the debate. Bye for now.

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson tells ITV: "We let them get their tails up. They have got lots of dangermen and they got a foothold in the game with the points on the board. We gave ourselves a massive task, but I'm proud of the way the boys took on that task. This team will stay together, keeping building and I'm sure the next World Cup will be different."

Alex Dodds on Twitter: "Just goes to show you can't hitch a chariot to a one-trick pony."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
A non-England supporter, via text on 81111: "Instead of chastising your team, English supporters should be supporting their team if they lose! The players would probably perform better if they knew that their fans would support them through thick and thin!"

England team manager Martin Johnson tells ITV: "In the first half, when we had the ball we looked OK but the thing that really killed us was that when we were under pressure they scored two and they were soft tries. The guys were still confident they could do something in the second half. We had to score pretty quickly. Ben scored but you have to bounce back with another score and we lost possession. I'm proud of the way they came back but at 16-0 but we gave ourselves too much to do. They scored their tries early and we were chasing. This team's best days are ahead of it. The core of them are very young playing at their first World Cup. But they will be far better as we go into next year."

1044: There will be many factors pointed up in tomorrow's papers, but one to ponder is the make-up of the replacements. Chasing the game, England had few aces up their sleeve with Banahan the only backline runner amongst them. Surely Joe Simpson would have been worth a gamble? Does James Simpson-Daniel deserve to be watching from home?

Matthew Winter on Twitter: "Off field issues, unconvincing displays and a 1/4 Final exit! The rugby boys need to stop watching our footballers!"

England captain Lewis Moody tells ITV: ": "We're just thoroughly disappointed. In the first 40 minutes France came out and took their opportunities and we had a couple of lapses in defences and it cost us massively. We were better in the second-half but we were outplayed overall. Credit to France. The scrums didn't go as well as we would have liked. In Test match rugby you have to get these things right. It's going to be a hard one to swallow but we will regroup."

BBC Radio 5 live
Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson on BBC Radio 5 live: "England were blown away in the first half and probably got a proper telling off. They came out with a little more pace and precision but they made too many mistakes with knock-ons, penalites and turnovers. England were never going to score from 80m out. Those who have watched England before could see they were not any different but whereas Scotland and Argentina couldn't last the distance and England won late on, France were a different outfit."

1034: The French supposedly left coach Marc Lievremont on his own at a planned beers and debrief session after the Tonga defeat. I presume there will be a touch more joie de vivre about the camp now. Have Wales got the skills to burst their bubble in the semi-final?

Jonathan Allen on Twitter: "The sweet chariot swung pretty low during this world cup, got what we deserved #bbcrwc"

1026: For something of a surprise result, that match had something of an inevitable feeling about it from about 20 minutes in. The inquest begins now and it could get messy for both Johnson and the Rugby Football Union.

Full time

80 min: Eng 12-19 Fra Morgan Parra takes his full alloted minute over his pot-shot at goal. It rattles the uprights before dropping wide, but it matters little as Steve Walsh blows the full-time whistle.

78 min: Eng 12-19 Fra England's handling is flimsy and, after knocking on at the restart, they don't look in any danger of stringing together the sort of move required before giving away a penalty. And that could be it.

Try graphic
77 min: Eng 12-19 Fra The video official gives Cueto's score the nod, but Flood duffs the conversion short and wide. Converted score needed to force the draw and extra-time.


75 min: Eng 7-19 Fra A bullocking break from Banahan opens up the French defence and the ball is slung wide. Cueto scoops up a loose ball and scrambles across the line, but Clerc twists him onto his back. The try decision is up in the gods with the video official. Almost impossible to tell from my screen. We wait...

73 min: Eng 7-19 Fra A promising line-out for England is squandered as Bonnaire steals Thompson's throw-in ahead of Lawes.

71 min: Eng 7-19 Fra With Parra taking control at the back of the breakdown, Trinh-Duc slots back into the pocket. The service to him is perfect and the fly-half slots the drop-goal to edge France further clear. Real heroics required now if England are to survive.


71 min: Eng 7-16 Fra Referee Steve Walsh warns England as they are tempted to stray offside. They can't afford a penalty.

70 min: Eng 7-16 Fra France forwards work through the phases after Harinordoquy's pick-up at the back of the scrum. Negligible territory gained, but they don't really need it with the clock increasingly on their side.

68 min: Eng 7-16 Fra England starting to run the ball from deep, but they look far from comfortable in doing so. Easter bullets a pass at Tuilagi's eyebrows and the Leicester centre understandably knocks on inside his own 22.

F1 presenter Jake Humphrey on Twitter: "So nervous watching this game. #england have had a World Cup to forget so far, this could be 15 minutes to remember... #standupandbecounted."

65 min: Eng 7-16 Fra A good passage of play from England, but the pressure is released as Flood pops the ball out of the tackle, but to no England player in particular. French hands are fastest to react.

64 min: Eng 7-16 Fra Wigglesworth taps and goes to give England some much-needed urgency. Out wide Palmer and Cueto find some space, but can't find the pace to take advantage.

62 min: Eng 7-16 Fra That is Moody's last act as he gives way to Haskell, Cole departs injured to bring Stevens back into the fray. Johnson empties the bench with Wigglesworth on for Youngs and Banahan on for Wilkinson. Banahan will slot into midfield, with Flood shuffling inside to 10.

Steve Day on Twitter: "England teasing us with hope? I'd rather lose to France than get thrashed by Wales! #bbcrwc"

62 min: Eng 7-16 Fra Moody manages to force a knock-on from Harinordoquy in the shadow of his own posts and England can breathe again.

61 min: Eng 7-16 Fra France rumbling ominously towards the England line. Another try would surely kill off this comeback before it has even properly got going.

58 min: Eng 7-16 Fra Hearts in mouths on the England bench as France take a quick line-out close to the their line, but referee Steve Walsh is having none of it and calls the play back.

Try graphic
57 min: Eng 7-16 Fra Flood drops deep off Wilkinson's shoulder to give Foden space outside him. The Northampton man sells a dummy to Harinordoquy and Clerc and jags inside to give England hope with an excellently-taken try. Wilkinson takes an age over the conversion, but lands it to close the gap further.



53 min: Eng 0-16 Fra The French withdraw Dimitri Yachvili allowing Morgan Parra to move into his usual number nine slot as Francois Trinh-Duc comes in at stand-off.

52 min: Eng 0-16 Fra The scrum looks destabilised by those changes as Dan Cole is forced into rapid retreat and the England pack spins backwards to surrender possession.

50 min: Eng 0-16 Fra Johnson continues to shuffle his pack as Alex Corbisiero comes on for Stevens and Deacon gives way to Simon Shaw. They don't feel like the sort of game-changers that are required, but there are few options on a forward-dominated bench.

Stephen Knowles on Twitter: "This is why I don't waste valuable time watching any type of England match anymore #bbcrwc"

47 min: Eng 0-16 Fra Lawes is on for Croft as Tuilagi and Wilkinson team up to strip the ball off Palisson.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC rugby correspondent Ian Robertson on Radio 5 live:
"There's a huge task ahead of England but not impossible."

44 min: Eng 0-16 Fra England are going in in ones and two and there is no clean ball forthcoming as the French forwards crawl all over Ben Youngs at scrum-half.

43 min: Eng 0-16 Fra Secure ball off the line-out but Tom Croft, a bit dazed after an clash of heads earlier in this half, spills as he attempts to peel off the back. Lawes warming up on the touchline and could be on soon for the flanker.

42 min: Eng 0-16 Fra A poser of a penalty decision as England are awarded one just inside the French half. Wilkinson opts for the corner rather than the sticks.

England cricketer Stuart Broad on Twitter: "Keep the faith- if there's a man who can give a passionate team talk to make the lads come out firing- it's Johno #17-16"

41 min: Eng 0-16 Fra The French give an early signal of how they are going to play this one. Harinordoquy and Nallet both stick the ball up the jumper and take it in short. No need for risky off-loads now.

0927: The French are on the field early and eager to get stuck back into England and finish off the job.

Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Well England's rugby team look like being my 3rd wrong prediction in 2days...come on eeeeenglaaaaaand get back into this game perleeeeease!"

Ryan Woollford on Twitter: "England need to score in the 1st 5mins in the 2nd half for a chance to save face and get within touching distance."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Richard in Ealing, via text on 81111: "What are our backs doing? This is embarrassing, they are too flat and too close together, no pace in the passing and unbelievably sloppy. Fuming."

0921: England trudge off shell-shocked after being caught in the full force of a French hurricane in that first half. Is there any way back from here? It will require the sort of form that England are yet to show so far in this tournament.

Half time

40 min: Eng 0-16 Fra The final pass of the first half goes to ground as Ashton watches the ball disappear behind him as he gets ready to pin his ears back on the outside.

38 min: Eng 0-16 Fra Close, but no cigar. As England recycle quickly, Ashton canters down the whitewash and lobs a pass inside for Cueto, but the winger is dragged down as the line beckons.

38 min: Eng 0-16 Fra A nice half-break by Wilkinson before he shovels the ball out of the back door to Easter on the charge.

37 min: Eng 0-16 Fra It looks as if this onslaught has ruffled even the usually composed Ben Foden. The full-back attempts a quick line-out but is hauled back by the referee as he carried the ball out of play himself in his eagerness.

33 min: Eng 0-16 Fra Wilkinson flicks the ball inside to Cueto coming steaming in off his wing, but the Sale man fumbles. Still it is not clicking for England in the backs.

Try graphic
30 min: Eng 0-16 Fra The French are in danger of disappearing over the horizon. Parra spins a miss-pass out to Palison who stands up Cueto before off-loading inside to Maxime Medard to cross. Yachvili misses his second conversion, but England need someone to take this game by the scruff of the neck sharpish.


27 min: Eng 0-11 Fra Dusautoir peels off the subsequent line-out to take France up to within five metres. Massive pressure.

26 min: Eng 0-11 Fra Louis Deacon concedes his team's fifth penalty inside the opening 30 mins as he is too lazy in his running back through the French backline for referee Walsh's taste.

25 min: Eng 0-11 Fra England struggling to capitalise on half-chances. Toby Flood snatches at a drop-goal which trails well wide before Tuilagi's powerful break, bravely halted by Yachvili, is squandered as Cueto knocks on out wide.

Try graphic
22 min: Eng 0-11 Fra Martin Johnson will be raging. After losing their own line-out again, England fail to get to grips with the French backline as a little run-around move opens a chink of space for Vincent Clerc who darts in and pirouettes past the remnants of the defence. Yachvili misses the conversion.


20 min: Eng 0-6 Fra Stevens is having a right old tussle with Mas in the front row but he gets the benefit of the doubt from referee Steve Walsh at a scrum close to the England line.

17 min: Eng 0-6 Fra Impressive stuff from Yachvili as he slots another pearler. Matt Stevens then gives away yet another penalty as he hangs on on the ground, but he is let off as the number nine's radar is slightly off kilter with his third attempt.


15 min: Eng 0-3 Fra Matt Stevens gives away his sixth penalty of the tournament - more than any other player - as he slips out in the scrum and Yachvili will take this one on.

14 min: Eng 0-3 Fra Morgan Parra opts to chance a snap drop-goal but it is an ugly wobbler which snakes wide of the sticks.

13 min: Eng 0-3 Fra Vincent Clerc holds off Youngs and Cueto to make ground up the left wing as the French move up to within ten metres.

9 min: Eng 0-3 Fra Scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili strikes it clean and true through the uprights to give France the lead. Jonny Wilkinson sends the restart drop-kick sailing out on the full.


8 min: Eng 0-0 Fra Tom Croft gets across to shut down the space for Palisson, but Toby Flood gives away a penalty as he fails to release the tackled French attacker in the next phase.

MadOneVB on Twitter: "England to win by 6 points, come on! #BBCRWC"

4 min: Eng 0-0 Fra Manu Tuilagi charges in and parks Morgan Parra on his backside with another big hit. Fierce stuff from England.

3 min: Eng 0-0 Fra Great tempo from England in defence as well as Ashton splatters opposite number Alexis Palisson as he chases down a high kick.

3 min: Eng 0-0 Fra Nallet pinches Thompson's line-out throw at the front and France clear their lines to ease the pressure.

2 min: Eng 0-0 Fra All the adventure is coming from England as they spin the ball again. Foden, up from full-back, nudges a grubber through for Ashton to chase, and Dimitri Yachvili is forced to hack into touch and concede a line-out on his own five-metre.

1 min: Eng 0-0 Fra Bright opening from England as Flood looks for Manu Tuilagi who charges up the touchline before being ushered into touch.

0831 BST:Here are the starting line-ups:
England: Ben Foden (Northampton Saints); Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks); Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Matt Stevens (Saracens), Steve Thompson (London Wasps), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers), Tom Palmer (Stade Francais), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Lewis Moody (Bath Rugby, capt), Nick Easter (Harlequins)
France: Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Maxime Mermoz, Alexis Palisson, Morgan Parra, Dimitri Yachvili; Jean-Baptiste Poux, William Servat, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Pape, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Julien Bonnaire, Imanol Harinordoquy

0830 BST:God Save the Queen done and dusted by England captain Lewis Moody and his men, his opposite number, Thierry Dusautoir, stares moodily into the middle distance as the French exercise their own vocal cords.

Mister Marelli on Twitter: "This is the ultimate English nightmare - getting dumped out by the French, or getting through and being spanked by the Welsh #BBCRWC"

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
0824 BST: How do you see this one panning out then? Hit me with your thoughts on text via 81111 (UK users only) and Twitter via hashtag #BBCRWC .

0822 BST: The French were pretty abject in their defeat to Tonga in their final Pool match and Martin Johnson will have taken notes of how the Pacific Islanders powered into the French at the set-piece and sure-footed fly-half Kurt Morath kicks proved the difference. A possible template there for his side?

0816 BST: If there is one team that Wilko seems to revel in playing it is the French. He has prospered at Toulon in the Top 14 and scored all 24 points against France in the 2003 semi-final before landing the crucial kicks in 2007. Not to mention a thundering, highlight-reel hit on winger Emile Ntamack around the turn of the millennium.

0811 BST: The big selection news was Johnson's decision to pair Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood at fly-half and inside centre to give himself kicking options of either foot in the backline. Tom Fordyce is on the ground for BBC Sport at Eden Park and counted up two misses from three place-kick attempts from Wilkinson in the warm-up. Hmmm.

0807 BST: England, perhaps with their off-the-field entertainment arrangements now in more responsible hands, visited Auckland's premier haunted house attraction during the week. It would be typical of France to ressurect a World Cup campaign that has seemed dead in the water at times and frighten the World Cup life out of Martin Johnson's men.

0800 BST: In each of the last World Cups, England have sent the French home as they made their way into the final. Encore une fois or third time lucky for the mercurial Gauls?

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see also
England 12-19 France
08 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Guscott's World Cup analysis
07 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales 22-10 Ireland
08 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Ireland v Wales as it happened
08 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup round-up
08 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Johnson rejects 'kicking contest'
08 Oct 11 |  English
Flood starts alongside Wilkinson
06 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
France make changes for England
06 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
France must save honour - Nallet
05 Oct 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup fixtures and results
26 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup 2011 team guide
08 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union

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