Jonny May scores three as England dominate France

Jonny May scored a hat-trick inside half-an-hour to set England on their way to an excellent 44-8 triumph over an awful France side at Twickenham.

Jonny May scores three as England dominate France

Jonny May scores three as England dominate France

Eddie Jones’ men benefited from Jacques Brunel’s muddled selections as the back three were constantly exposed by the hosts’ kicking game.

Damian Penaud, Yoann Huget and Gael Fickou failed to deal with the threat and May took advantage, touching down three times in the first half, while Henry Slade also crossed the whitewash.

Penaud did get over for Les Bleus but they were outplayed by Jones’ side and a penalty try and Owen Farrell added to their pain, with the fly-half finishing with 17 points overall.

England duly secured their second bonus-point victory in the Six Nations to move to the top of the table and set up a mouth-watering clash against Wales.

Scoring early tries has become a habit for the Red Rose and they set the tone immediately. Brunel’s men had looked to go through the phases but, following a knock on, Daly counter-attacked and weaved his way through several would-be tacklers.

The full-back then kicked through and May’s pace took over as the Leicester Tigers man scampered through and touched down for a 5-0 advantage.

England were in control and Farrell rewarded their early dominance with a three-pointer before the visitors got on the board through Morgan Parra.

They then showed a couple of nice touches as a neat cross-field kick got them well into opposition territory but that was as good as it got in the opening 35 minutes.

Instead, the home side dominated and their fly-half extended their buffer before the kicking game exposed France’s frailties. Brunel’s outfit were utterly abysmal at dealing with the accuracy of the English, while Penaud and Huget were often caught out.

May duly thrived and scored for the second time following a lovely step off his right foot, but he was not done there and had a hat-trick within the first half-hour. This time it was Chris Ashton that obliged with the deft grubber through and his fellow back three player excellently collected and finished.

It was embarrassing by France but they at least responded with a well-worked effort. Huget partially put his earlier issues behind him by going on a mazy run and Penaud was on his shoulder to take the pass and score in the corner.

However, normal service was resumed when Ben Youngs kicked ahead, Ashton picked up and Kyle Sinckler moved the ball left for Slade to step inside and cross the whitewash.

England were dominant and led 30-8 at the break but, despite controlling the early exchanges of the second, they were initially unable to add to their lead.

Jones’ outfit were overplaying slightly and, as a result, the hosts were making mistakes, but they could always rely on the French to gift them a score and they almost inevitably threw a loose pass for Slade to collect.

The centre showed good pace to get away and kick ahead to Ashton, but the wing was illegally tackled off the ball by Fickou, leading to a penalty try and yellow card.

France were perhaps unfortunate, with the ball going away from the England player, but they only had themselves to blame and it summed up a terrible effort from the visitors.

Matters only got worse, however, as Youngs and Farrell combined for the fly-half to extend their buffer going into the final quarter.

England’s intensity then unsurprisingly dropped in attack, allowing Les Bleus to gain some possession, but the Red Rose’s defence remained solid as they secured a dominant win.

The scorers:

For England:Tries: May 3, Slade, penalty try, FarrellCons: Farrell 3Pens: Farrell 2

For France:Try: PenaudPen: ParraYellow Card: Fickou

England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako VunipolaReplacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Jack Nowell

France: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Gaël Fickou, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Félix Lambey, 4 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson PoirotReplacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Romain Ntamack, 23 Thomas Ramos

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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