Ol­livon dou­ble helps France beat Eng­land

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Paris, France - Cap­tain Charles Ol­livon scored two tries as France kicked off a new era un­der re­cently-ap­pointed coach Fa­bien Galthie with a thrilling 24-17 vic­tory over Eng­land in their open­ing 2020 Six Na­tions match on Sun­day.

Galthie took over full-time in the wake of France's quar­ter­fi­nal exit at last sea­son's World Cup in Ja­pan and looks to have thor­oughly re­vived the France XV, fea­tur­ing just one player over the age of 30.

Two first-half tries by Vin­cent Rat­tez and Ol­livon, along with two con­ver­sions and a penalty from Ro­main Nta­mack handed the home side, pow­ered mag­nif­i­cently around the pitch by scrum-half An­toine Dupont, a 17-0 half-time lead.

A sec­ond con­verted Ol­livon try ex­tended France's lead but World Cup run­ners-up Eng­land hit back with a Jonny May brace of tries both con­verted by Owen Far­rell. There was a buzz around Stade de France not felt for some time and the ex­pec­tant crowd were soon re­warded af­ter a fe­ro­cious start.

Eng­land, how­ever, will have lit­tle time to lick their wounds, with a tight six-day turn­around be­fore go­ing to Ed­in­burgh to take on Scot­land, de­feated 19-12 by Ire­land in their opener.

Ear­lier on Satur­day, Wales’ Josh Adams scored a hat-trick of tries to help the Six Na­tions cham­pi­ons launch their ti­tle de­fence with a 42-0 ham­mer­ing of Italy in Cardiff on Satur­day. Not since Mau­rice Richards crossed four times against Eng­land back in 1969 had a Wales player scored three or more tries in a home Five or Six Na­tions fix­ture.

Charles Ol­livon

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