A less than perfect England performance saw England pick up a win over France who at halftime looked like they were well in the game.
England will want to get back to the heights of last week moving forward, but a win is a win.
Hall at the double
In typical fashion, Ryan Hall wasted no time in getting on the scoresheet on his 41st cap he added to his record breaking number of tries in an England shirt. The first came from a kick which was patted back and Marc Sneyd showed good composure to create a try for the winger. Then, in typical Hall in an England shirt fashion, he was on hand to finish a lovely passing move in the corner.
A try made in Sydney
Unlike last week, Victor Radley’s fingers weren’t quite all over the first quarter as they were last week but a moment of quality from the loose-forward punctuated the first quarter as he dummied to break through and tee up Luke Thompson in support.
After rolling with the punches in the opening 25 minutes the introduction of the Leeds bound Justin Sangare helped turn the game. He started to ask questions of the England middles and put them on the back foot for spells which helped France battle back into the game and then a smart kick from Arthur Mourgue which was knocked down by Marc Sneyd bounced back up for Mourgue to score.
Sangare stampede allows Pelissier to pounce
Sangare continued to make things tough on England and after a barnstorming run, he enabled Eloi Pelissier to sneak over to make a game of it.
After a disappointing end to the first half, England produced a moment of quality at the start of the second half to take control of the game. John Bateman crabbed across and bust through before offloading to Elliot Whitehead for another World Cup try.
Ackers’s creates try for Radley
A smart kick from Andy Ackers all but sealed the game as Victor Radley rushed onto it to score.
Young gets himself another try
After a superb brace last week, tonight Young got himself a much easier try thanks to some lovely hands down the right as John Bateman released Jack Welsby, now playing at centre, teed up Young for the try.
Young’s steals the show
Dom Young stole the show as he stole a pass to race the length of the field and underline that he could very well be World Clas.
Leeds Rhinos with some impressive business
France were at their best when Leeds bound Justin Sangare entered the field. He got England on the back foot with some powerful runs which required multiple tacklers. He helped create France’s second try. Leeds can pat themselves on the back with this business.
Has Bateman done enough to claim a place in the strongest side
The main question going into today’s game surrounded John Bateman and if he could force his way into England’s strongest side. After a slow start, it was his moment of class that turned the game. It was coupled with another vital involvement in a try later in the game and perhaps cemented his place in Shaun Wane’s strongest side.
World Class Young
During World Cup’s, there’s often a focus on Australian and Kiwi players and the quality they possess. But this World Cup has shown that England have a World Class star themselves in the brilliant Dom Young. He could be the best winger on the planet.
Can France beat Samoa?
France did cause England problems today especially in the middle with Justin Sangare on the field. With Samoa off colour last week, France may just pip them to the quarter-finals next week with a win over them.
England perhaps tried too hard in attack, pushing passes that weren’t on. It’s always the temptation in a game like this, but England must get back to being clinical next week and for the knockouts.