Still more to come - but now bring on Wales

Gloucestershire Echo - - DEACS' WEEK -

ENG­LAND against France al­ways has a bit of edge and spice - but this lat­est en­counter was over by the 30th minute.

By then, Jonny May had com­pleted a hat-trick which con­sisted of speed, great feet and some clin­i­cal fin­ish­ing.

The anal­y­sis guys in the Eng­land camp did their jobs re­al­is­ing that the French wingers play high on the line and hav­ing French full back Yoann Huget who played on the wing against Wales at full back, looked out of sorts.

Eng­land picked two fliers in May and Chris Ash­ton, cou­pled with a tac­tic of kick­ing early into the space be­hind the high de­fen­sive line, so May had a field day.

Eng­land sti­fled the French at­tack with once again a high-speed de­fen­sive line, with Court­ney Lawes at his de­struc­tive best.

Sud­denly Owen Far­rell looks com­fort­able play­ing at 10, set­ting the tempo of the game, lead­ing the side with more calm and clar­ity.

And af­ter so much talk for many sea­sons about the Eng­land mid­field, Manu Tu­ilagi and Henry Slade look as though they have been play­ing to­gether for years.

The re­al­ity is this was the sec­ond time the pair had played to­gether for Eng­land.

The flankers, Tom Curry and Mark Wil­son, once again had fan­tas­tic games.

Wil­son is my type of player un­selfish.

He worked his socks off and mak­ing 20-plus tack­les in a game that you have won by 40-odd points is out­stand­ing.

He en­joys his fel­low play­ers tak­ing the plau­dits whilst he just goes about his work.

His part­ner Curry is brave over the ball; he is a ‘right place at the right time’ player thwart­ing dan­ger­ous at­tacks from the op­po­si­tion.

What they both do is put their bod­ies on the line; give ev­ery ounce of en­ergy, and skill in their per­for­mances.

Hooker Jamie Ge­orge has grasped the num­ner two shirt fi­nally, with Dy­lan Hart­ley be­com­ing a dis­tant mem­ory and his fel­low front rower Kyle Sinck­ler has grasped the op­por­tu­nity also to play reg­u­lar in­ter­na­tional rugby with two com­mand­ing per­for­mances.

But he has to stop the petu­lant mo­ments he has in the pres­sure cooker at­mos­phere, which is in­ter­na­tional rugby.

I be­lieve there is more to come from this Eng­land team. Billy Vu­nipola will only get bet­ter with more min­utes on the field af­ter in­jury - and also there is Maro Itoje to come back.

I am not sure where the French go from here af­ter this lat­est de­feat - they do not seem to have a plan on or off the field.

Their team se­lec­tion is mud­dled and does not have any sort of con­sis­tency and on the field of play they lack any sort of lead­er­ship or di­rec­tion.

For­eign play­ers on mas­sive pay pack­ets are tak­ing the place of young French play­ers who now do not have the op­por­tu­nity to play in the Top 14 has se­verely un­der­mined the abil­ity of the in­ter­na­tional side to be a suc­cess on the world stage.

Eng­land have Wales up next in Cardiff and games like this make the Six Na­tions the best rugby tour­na­ment out­side the World Cup.

The ver­bals be­tween the two re­spec­tive coaches have al­ready started with Ed­die Jones stat­ing it is the best Welsh side ever ramp­ing up the pres­sure on the men in red.

Gat­land has hit back say­ing his side will be mo­ti­vated and ready when the English­men roll into Cardiff.

With both still on for the grand slam the at­mos­phere will be un­real and it will be a true test of Eng­land’s cre­den­tials of once again be­ing a front-run­ner for World Cup suc­cess.

I can­not wait.

Mark Wil­son had an out­stand­ing game, mak­ing 20-plus tack­les against France

with Andy Dea­con, for­mer Glouces­ter prop and Cirences­ter di­rec­tor of rugby

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.