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Page last updated at 21:04 GMT, Sunday, 27 February 2011

England Women 16-3 France Women

Katy McLean
England's Katy Mclean brushes past France centre Sandrine Ramkilaoun

England Women maintained their unbeaten record in the 2011 Six Nations with a hard-fought win over France at Worcester's Sixways Stadium.

Tries for hooker Amy Garnett and skipper Katy McLean sealed the victory but England had to be patient with both scores coming in the last 20 minutes.

"We lacked precision at times but the important thing is we are still on track," said England coach Gary Street.

England remain on course to clinch a sixth consecutive Grand Slam.

The reigning champions controlled much of the game, but Street was disappointed that they struggled to turn possession into points.

"We were very sporadic today and we managed to squander quite a few opportunities," he added. "It was frustrating because we got ourselves into some good positions but we missed the try scoring opportunities.

"There's lots for us to work on but we have now got a good focus for our game against Scotland. We know where the improvements need to be made."

McLean ensured England got off to a great start, catching France cold with a strong break. But the visitors crowded England out and averted the danger.

However, it was the visitiors who took the lead in the 26th minute through a penalty from fly-half Nadge Casenave, who took over kicking duties from Sandrine Agricole after the latter's earlier miss.

There's lots for us to work on but we have now got a good focus for our game against Scotland. We know where the improvements need to be made

England head coach Gary Street

McLean then levelled the score with a successful penalty right on the stroke of half-time, before putting England ahead with another in the 49th minute.

With the home side only three points ahead at 6-3, they made a number of changes with Amy Garnett, Rachael Burford and Catherine Spence all coming on.

Burford almost made an instant impression, coming close to driving over the try-line, but France's defence held firm.

However, England were not be denied a few minutes later when Garnett picked up from the back of a ruck and barged her way over the line. McLean missed the penalty but England led 11-3 after 72 minutes.

McLean then rounded off the win in injury time when Street's side fed the ball out to the right wing as McLean found space to score the final try.

She missed the resulting conversion, but the points secured an important win for England, who play Scotland at Twickenham on March 13.


England Women: Danielle Waterman (Worcester), Katherine Merchant (Worcester), Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), Kimberley Oliver (Bristol), Francesca Matthews (Richmond), Katy Mclean (c) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), La Toya Mason (Wasps), Rochelle Clark (Worcester), Emma Croker (Richmond), Sophie Hemming (Bristol), Rebecca Essex (Richmond), Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps), Heather Fisher (Worcester), Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), Sarah Hunter (Lichfield).

Replacements: Georgina Roberts for Matthews, Rachael Burford for Oliver, Amy Garnett for Croker, Catherine Spencer for Fisher, Rowena Burnfield for McGilchrist, Rosemarie Crowley for Hemming.

France Women: Ladagnous, Aguerre, Poublan, Agricole, Ramkilaoun, Casenave, Yahe (c); Ezanno, Mignot, Chobet, De Nadaï, Bouisset, Djossouvi, Ba, Hebel.

Replacements: Noguera, Barthelemy, Rabier, Andre, Troncy, Sobolak, Heguy.


England's 2011 RBS Six Nations fixtures:

6 Feb: Wales 0-19 England

12 Feb: England 68-5 Italy

27 Feb: England 16-3 France

13 Mar: England v Scotland (Twickenham Stadium, after men's Six Nations match) 1715

18 Mar: Ireland v England (Ashbourne RFC) 1930



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see also
England women overpower Italians
12 Feb 11 |  English
England Women change four in pack
09 Feb 11 |  English
Wales Women 0-19 England Women
06 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Matthews gets England Women call
27 Jan 11 |  English
McLean handed England captaincy
20 Jan 11 |  English
England Women retain Six Nations
19 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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