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England Women leave it late to snatch victory against France

Gloucester-Hartpury Women's News

16 November 2019

Duncan Wood

Mo Hunt
Mo Hunt tries to escape French defenders (c) Getty Images

England Women, featuring three Gloucester-Hartpury players, swooped in the last minute to secure a dramatic 17-15 win over France thanks to Lydia Thompson’s try at Exeter on Saturday afternoon.

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The Red Roses had to overcome a 0-8 first half deficit, and then the setback of relinquishing a 12-8 lead late in the second half having battled their way back in front.

The victory was England’s fourth in a row over France – a record going back to March 2018 when they lost what was a Six Nations decider to a last-minute try in Grenoble.

Emily Scarratt had an early try ruled out at Sandy Park, losing the ball in contact as she dived for the line, and the visitors took full advantage through Jessy Tremouliere’s penalty and Laure Sansus’ try, before Scarratt slotted two penalties to narrow the gap to 6-8 at half-time.

England dominated possession and territory in the second half, but had to settle for two more Scarratt penalties before a dramatic final quarter to the game.

The big French pack started to turn things up a notch as time ticked away, forcing England off their own scrum ball more than once and finally took full advantage as Boujard went over from a five metre scrum, Tremouliere converting.

The Red Roses tried desperately to strike back, but some inaccuracy at key moments looked as though it was going to cost them. Zoe Aldcroft was sinbinned for a neck roll at a ruck, but France’s Romane Menager was also yellow carded as the visitors conceded a string of penalties.

However, France looked like holding out until a loose clearance was gathered by Mo Hunt who managed to offload under pressure and put Emily Scarratt into space before finding Thompson who went over in the corner to snatch a thrilling win.

England:

McKenna; Thompson, Scarratt, Harrison, Dow; Daley-Mclean, Riley; Botterman, Kerr, Bern, Aldcroft, Scott, Beckett, Packer, Hunter.

Replacements:

Perry, Brown, Cleall, Fleetwood, Hunt, Scott, Breach, Marston.

France:

Tremouliere; Boujard, Boudaud, Vernier, Jason; Peyronnet, Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Happy, Corson, N’diaye, Ferer, Hermet, Menager.

 Replacements:

Thomas, Domain, Traore, Roux, Annery, Bourdon, Castel, Menager.

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