Twickenham roared with delight as the home side ran riot in France's hapless defence, scoring five tries in 48 minutes. The visitors later narrowed the gap with two tries, though England fans were already celebrating a day to remember.
This year's "Crunch" rapidly turned into a nightmare for Marc Lièvremont's men, as a fired-up English squad ran riot in France's hapless defence, scoring five tries in the space of 48 minutes.
Desperate to repeat their performance against Wales a fortnight ago, les Bleus found themselves trailing by seven points within two minutes of the start, after Mark Cueto made the most of a Sébastien Chabal error to score England's first try.
Flutey added a second try in the 23rd minute as England's players cut through the French lines with surprising ease. Two conversions and a penalty by Toby Flood gave the home side a comfortable 17-0 lead at the half-hour.
Late tries for Armitage (39 mins) and Worsley (40 mins) compounded France's misery before half time, with the visitors trailing by a record 29 points. In their wildest dreams, England fans could hardly have imagined a more thrilling scenario.
The second half started much as the first had ended, with a ruthless Flutey adding salt to injury with a fifth try.
Visiting fans had to wait until the 55th minute to see their team open the score, courtesy of a try by hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, though flyhalf Morgan Parra then failed to convert.
Julien Malzieu added a second try in the 65th minute, leaving France trailing by 24 points with fifteen minutes to go.
A late surge by the home side eventually came to nothing, but the chanting crowd had already seen more than enough: the final score of 34-10 marks, at last, a return to the days of "Fortress Twickenham".
Date created : 2009-03-15