France Ladies 10-20 England Women: Red Roses triumph in France
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 09/11/19 3:45pm
England claimed their first win in France since 2012 courtesy of a hard-fought 20-10 victory over France Ladies in Clermont.
Two tries from skipper Sarah Hunter, in addition to points from the boot of recently-crowned World Player of the Year Emily Scarratt, were enough to see England over the line at the Stade Marcel Michelin.
Simon Middleton's side had to weather an early storm from the hosts, who took the lead with a Jessy Tremouliere penalty in the 11th minute.
Scarratt levelled the scores with a penalty of her own seven minutes later before Hunter took charge.
Five minutes from the end of the first half, fabulous execution at the lineout saw hooker Lark Davies throw to the tail, before the ensuing rolling maul was too strong to stop, romping over with Hunter able to touch down at the back.
Minutes later, Hunter was over again as relentless picking-and-going from England on quick ball was too much for France as Hunter dived over from close-range with Beckett latched onto her shoulder.
When Scarratt converted, it gave England a scarcely deserved 17-3 half-time lead.
France upped the pressure at the start of the second half and forced an England sin-binning for repeated infringements on the hour mark, as openside Marlie Packer was yellow carded for offside within her own 22.
Eventually France got their reward when Camille Boudaud touched down out-wide with 15 minutes remaining, with Tremouliere adding the extras to reduce the arrears to a single score at 17-10.
England's response was controlled and when Scarratt stroked home a penalty after 72 minutes it secured the visitors their first win in France since 2012.