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Page last updated at 20:51 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 21:51 UK

England 34-12 France

Highlights: BBC Two & BBC Sport website on Sunday, 25 October (1345 GMT)

England (4) 34
Tries: Smith, Myler (2), Sinfield, Hall, T. Briscoe Goals: Sinfield (5)
France (12) 12
Tries: Duport, Bentley Goal: Bosc (2)

Lee Smith
Smith scored England's first try in a poor first half

England recovered from a poor first half to defeat France in the Four Nations curtain-raiser in Doncaster.

Lee Smith crossed early for the hosts, but tries from Vincent Duport and the instrumental Kane Bentley gave France a 12-4 half-time lead.

But two early second-half tries from Richie Myler settled England's nerves, before Kevin Sinfield added another.

An interception try from Ryan Hall made it 28-12 before a Kyle Eastmond grubber put Tom Briscoe over late on.

It was England's 10th consecutive win over France, but they will have to improve considerably if they are to compete with Australia and New Zealand.

England got off to a decent start when stand-off Danny McGuire sent Leeds team-mate Smith over for the game's first try on 12 minutes.

But the French drew level thanks to winger Duport's try midway through the first half after some trickery from debutant full-back Clint Greenshields.

Thomas Bosc's conversion went over off an upright to give the visitors a shock lead and it got worse for England when Julien Touxagas intercepted Scott Moore's wayward pass and put Bentley in for France's second try.

Bosc's second goal made it 12-4 and England would have been even further behind at half-time had the stand-off been able to land a 50m penalty.


Following some strong words from coach Tony Smith, Myler sparked the fightback, jinking his way over for England's second try three minutes into the second half.

Sinfield's short pass on 49 minutes put Myler in for another to edge his side back in front and Sinfield accepted Jamie Peacock's offload to go over three minutes later.

However, the visitors were still able to trouble England, with Constant Villegas and Dimitri Pelo both going close to punishing handling errors.

But all French resistance crumbled when left wing Hall snapped up Bosc's pass near his own line and raced unopposed for his 34th try of the season.

And right wing Briscoe, who was only called into the squad this week, added another three minutes from the end when he collected substitute Eastmond's sweet poke through.

With the game gone, France's discipline went with it, prop David Ferriol being placed on report for an ugly challenge on Sinfield and vice-captain Jean Philippe Baile seeing red after his swinging arm flattened Myler.

England: S Briscoe, T Briscoe, Smith, Shenton, Hall, McGuire, Myler, Morley, Moore, Peacock, Ellis, Burgess, Sinfield.

Replacements: Eastmond for S. Briscoe (54), Graham for Morley (25), Roby for Moore (21), Westwood for Peacock (27).

France: Greenshields, Duport, Raguin, Baile, Pelo, Bosc, Wymm, Ferriol, Bentley, Casty, Elima, Gagliazzo, Fakir.

Replacements: Sadaoui for Ferriol (30), Billggas for Bentley (50), Touxagas for Casty (20), Martins for Fakir (26).

Sent Off: Baile (79).

Att: 11,529

Ref: Leon Williamson (New Zealand).

see also
Coach Smith blames England nerves
23 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Australia 20-20 New Zealand
24 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
England potential excites Smith
21 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
O'Loughlin to miss Four Nations
20 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Peacock says England must deliver
19 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Smith happy with England workout
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Wales 12-48 England
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussies out of French contention
17 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Aussie pair to make Four Nations
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Bridge given shock England call
13 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Leuluai included in Kiwis squad
07 Oct 09 |  Rugby League

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