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May scores hat-trick as England hammer France
February 11, 2019
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Twickenham: Jonny May ran in a first-half hat-trick of tries as England thrashed France 44-8 at Twickenham on Sunday to make it two wins from two this year’s Six Nations.

Kicks behind the French defence on a rainswept pitch proved the visitors’ undoing, with May repeatedly tormenting opposing wing Damian Penaud.

England’s 36-point margin of victory was only just shy of their largest against Les Bleus -- a 37-0 win in France’s first match at Twickenham back in 1911. May opened the scoring in the second minute as England, for the fifth Test in a row, had a try inside the first three minutes.

And the half ended with outside centre Henry Slade crossing for England’s fourth try to leave them in complete command at 30-8.

This victory followed England’s 32-20 win away to reigning champions Ireland last week and was another impressive display ahead of this year’s World Cup.

For France, who will be one of England’s pool opponents at Japan 2019, it was their second straight defeat this Championship after they squandered a 16-0 half-time lead in a 24-19 loss to Wales in Paris.

Jacques Brunel, the France coach, made six changes to his starting XV following that match but this humiliation meant his side had now lost 10 of their last 13 Tests.

Barely had the anthems finished when France’s bid for a first Six Nations win at Twickenham since 2005 was rocked by May’s opening try.

France captain Guilhem Guirado knocked on and England full-back Elliot Daly, recovering the loose ball, cut a line through the visitors defence before putting in a clever angled kick behind the cover and into the in-goal area. May, surging past Penaud, touched down to make it 5-0.

England captain Owen Farrell missed the tough conversion from but the fly-half soon added a penalty before France scrum-half Morgan Parra kicked one of his own before a 40-metre Farrell penalty made it 11-3.

France started to get into the game but their cause was not helped when, near the England line, hooker Guirado missed his intended jumper by throwing the ball over the top of a line-out.

Daly continued to test Penaud, the son of former France fly-half Alain Penaud, with well judged grubber kicks behind the defensive line as England advanced into the visitors’ 22.

And after sustained forward pressure Farrell’s cut-out pass found May who, one-on-one with not much room to play with against Penaud, beat the Frenchman all too easily for another try in the left corner.

Wales see off Italy

Wales struggled to overpower Italy 26-15 in the Six Nations on Saturday, notching up a record-equalling 11th straight victory to become the first Welsh team to enjoy such a win streak in over a century but failing to sparkle.

Wales, who beat France in their opening match, dominated possession but scored only two tries in a performance unlikely cause many concerns for their next opponents, England.

Agencies

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