England thump France in Six Nations rugby

Mathieu Bastareaud hits the weights in the gym

But France only reduced the bleeding in the second half as England threw on reserves and rested stars such as Mako Vunipola, George Kruis, Ashton, and Sinckler in the third quarter.

England, who top the table ahead of Italy with two victories from as many games, dominated the match billed as a potential tournament decider by scoring seven tries to France's four. More remarkably, it was the fifth consecutive match England have scored in the first two minutes.

The penalty try was awarded after Chris Ashton was perceived to have been tackled off the ball, meaning he was prevented from nearly certainly crossing the line to add another five points, to their 30-8 lead at the time.

It was their second-highest margin of victory over the French, a point shy of their 37-0 win in 1911. "I think we don't work on it enough, even not at all", the 30-year-old said.

"We are playing the greatest Welsh side ever".

May sealed his reputation as world rugby's deadliest finisher inside half an hour, capitalising on brilliant home kicking but also showing dazzling footwork to outfox Damian Penaud for his second.

In front of 4,674 fans on a dry but chilly day in south Yorkshire, England took the lead against the reigning Grand Slam champions after Katy Daley-Mclean's cross-field kick was superbly taken in the air by West Sussex ace Breach - who was with Chichester and Pulborough RFCs as a youngster and whose family are Felpham-based - to dot down. A mazy run and kick through by Elliot Daly set up a mismatch between some lumbering blue shirts and the quicksilver May, which England's winger won with embarrassing ease to touch down after 67 seconds.

His third was a far easier finish after Chris Ashton joined the kicking gang, nudging a ideal grubber into the same left corner to send Twickenham wild as England led 23-8 with less than half an hour gone.

While the hosts' kicks were chased by hungry backs, France's were purely defensive, and Brunel's side were nearly always on the back foot.

"If you're 30-8 up against France at half-time you are doing something right".

England then showed terrific focus to defend their line and keep their shape amid the usual influx of replacements as France drifted to yet another defeat.

France scrumhalf Morgan Parra has questioned their training methods under coach Jacques Brunel following their 44-8 Six Nations loss to England.

"They had an excellent kicking game and continually took advantage of the space".



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