France upset England in World cup warm up

France upset England 25-20 in the return Rugby World Cup warm up match held
at the Stade de France on Saturday.

England had won the first warm-up 19-14 at Twickenham last weekend.

England’s discipline cost them dearly as their forwards were outmuscled and
France kicked six penalties to England’s two.

Frederic Michalak became France’s all-time leading points scorer on Saturday
when his second penalty against England in a World Cup warm-up took him to 383.

The veteran fly-half Michalak gave his hopes of a World Cup starting spot a
major lift with the record-breaking performance.

Michalak went on to kick 17 points, boosting his hopes of a third World Cup
appearance when coach Philippe Saint-Andre names his final squad on Sunday.

France were worthy winners although they had to endure a nervy last 10 minutes
when England, trailing 25-6 at the time, scored two quickfire tries.

France made 12 changes from that match while England went for 14 changes in
their starting XV but Stuart Lancaster’s side were under the cosh from the start
on Saturday.

France’s South African born full-back Scott Spedding kicked a monster penalty
from the halfway line for a 3-0 lead after Luther Burrell had been penalised
for failing to roll away.

Michalak then took over the kicking duties with two successful penalties —
the second awarded when Dan Cole was caught offside — earning him the honour
of becoming France’s all-time leading points scorer.

The 32-year-old passed the previous best of Christophe Lamaison’s 380 points
set between 1996 and 2001.

Michalak, playing in his 72nd Test, has played in three Six Nations Grand Slam
winning sides in 2002, 2004 and 2010, and featured in the 2003 and 2007 World

He was on target again for 12-0 before George Ford got England’s first points
on the board.

The two fly-halves popped over another penalty apiece as France went into the
break 15-6 ahead.

France deservedly grabbed the game’s first try early in the second half with
Michalak playing a crucial role.

He drew one defender and delayed his pass long enough for winger Yoann Huget
to dart and dance through for the score, his seventh international try.

Michalak kicked the extras for 22-6.

As the second-half wore on, the playing surface deteriorated with large chunks
of the Stade de France pitch being ploughed up.

Michalak added another penalty after England were punished at the breakdown
for 25-6 before he was replaced, leaving the field to a standing ovation.

His impressive half-back partner Sebastien Tillous-Borde also came off and
England took advantage of the disruption to score their first try 10 minutes
from time when replacement Danny Cipriani check-stepped and burst through over
the line.

Ford added the conversion for 25-13.

France then took their foot off the gas as the clock ticked down and centre
Jonathan Joseph made them pay with a try in the corner which Ford converted
for 25-20.

Final Score France 25 (15) England 20 (6)


Tries -Huget
Con – Michalak
Pen – Spedding, Michalak (5)

Tries -Cipriani, Joseph
Con – Ford (2)
Pen – Ford (2)



Scott Spedding; Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaitaci;
Frederic Michalak, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Louis Picamoles, Bernard Le Roux,
Damien Chouly; Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape (capt); Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado,
Eddy Ben Ar

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