England 44 - 8 France: Jones’ men sets sights on ‘greatest’ Welsh side

13 February, 2019, 17:46 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Mathieu Bastareaud hits the weights in the gym

"We're playing the greatest Welsh side ever, so we'll have to be at our absolute best", Jones said.

After overcoming reigning champions Ireland in their first game, Eddie Jones' men produced a dominant display that was spearheaded by wing May's treble inside the opening half an hour.

But Gatland also knows the size of Wales' task when they meet a team undefeated against them in Six Nations combat since 2013.

Five of England's six tries came from this tactic in another masterclass from Jones and his coaching team, and it wasn't just Owen Farrell supplying the through-balls; Elliot Daly, Ben Youngs and even Chris Ashton all provided pivotal kicks.

"We're breeding some good back-rowers at the moment", said the dread-locked flanker.

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.

"England is going to be a massive crunch match", said the Berkshire-born Scarlets forward.

"You question if you kept the same team and had a real convincing win in terms of finishing off those opportunities we created, maybe the other question would be why didn't you use more of the squad when you had the chance to?"

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Safi N'Diaye, Pauline Bourdon (twice) and Romane Menager scored in reply for France during the second period to earn a bonus-point, but it was far too little.

With Henry Slade's try on the stroke of half-time, England had already secured a bonus point.

'I think that we are capable of doing what the English do, but are we working on this during training?

The last 25 minutes went scoreless, with Jones saying he was pleased England didn't relax in the second half.

The home side thought they had opened the scoring in the fifth minute when full-back Sarah McKenna breezed past two opponents to touch down under the posts, but following an intervention from the TMO the try was ruled out after Poppy Leitch was penalised for blocking Menager in the scrum.

It is the sort of nightmare performance that could leave a lasting mark and with Scotland, Ireland and an increasingly risky Italy to come it will be a real test of Penaud's mettle should he be retained.

"We took a lot of pressure in the kick-chase - 30-8 in the first half.it's very hard to come back".

Les Bleus are enduring a turbulent period under the guidance of current head coach Jacques Brunel, who has lost the faith of his players who are reportedly plotting a revolt against him following an extremely poor run of results.

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