England end French Grand Slam hopes as Itoje crosses late on for Twickenham win

French dreams were smashed at Twickenham as Maro Itoje scored a late try to give England a 23-20 victory.

England were forced to overcome a slow start and arguably the world's best player.

Antoine Dupont needed just over a minute to cross the whitewash and continue his irresistible form, but it wasn't enough for Les Blues.

England huffed and puffed in the second-half and Itoje managed to cross with just three minutes remaining despite the best efforts of Teddy Thomas.

An on-field decision of no try was overturned by the TMO as the hosts responded in the perfect way following their Welsh loss.

Dupont opened the scoring after he ran an excellent support line and was able to cross within 70 seconds after Thomas had kicked forward.

Nothing seems to be beyond the Toulouse nine who sparkles every time he takes to the pitch at the moment.

Anthony Watson celebrated his 50th cap for England by levelling the scores after ten minutes.

Successive Owen Farrell penalties put the hosts 13-7 up before Matthieu Jalibert cut that deficit in half.

The French then scored off a first phase line out move that scythed through the England defence and allowed Damien Penaud to cross in the corner.

Two more Jalibert penalties made the score 20-13 in the second-half but a three-pointer from Farrell ensured the Red Rose were within a try of leading.

The Twickenham pitch had become the scene of an increasing error-strewn show however with unnecessary infringements costing the hosts field position.

Despite that England continued to press as they sought the score that would put them back in the driving seat with Ben Youngs and Billy Vunipola enjoying returns to form.

France were on the money at the breakdown however and came up with several crucial turnovers as they sought to keep their Grand Slam chances alive.

But it was Itoje, a man who copped plenty of flack following England's loss in Cardiff, who had the final world – and it is unlikely to be his last.

Source: Read Full Article