England 42-18 France: Dom Young and Ryan Hall both score twice as hosts maintain superb form
As the former England lad extended his try record, their newcomer to the neighborhood showed why he might just be the man to beat it one day.
Veteran Ryan Hall sent the hosts off to a flying start against France with two tries in the opening 11 minutes, taking his tally in his country’s colors to 37.
However, fellow wing magician Dom Young was no slouch, scoring a brace at Bolton to add the finishing touch to England’s second successive World Cup victory.
England confidently beat France 42-18 at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday
Shaun Wane’s side ran seven tries in total – to go with the 10 they scored last week against Samoa – and all were successfully converted by Marc Sneyd.
They are now all but assured of a place in the quarter-finals, where they will likely face Papua New Guinea, and they remain on track to reach the final at Old Trafford on November 19.
The only blemish on England’s notebook on Saturday night was that it allowed the French to score three tries. Indeed, Wane’s anger was there for all to see on TV cameras in the dressing room at half-time after his side’s 18-0 lead was reduced to 18-12. “We had a bit of a roast at half-time,” admitted half-back George Williams.
However, while Wane may have chided his sloppy defence, there’s certainly nothing wrong with their attacking play – and it was two players 13 years apart who stole the show at University Stadium of Bolton.
Ryan Hall scored his first two tries on his return alongside Shaun Wane as England started strong
Hall was a notable omission from Wane’s side in Samoa’s first rout last week at St James’ Park, with Young and Tommy Makinson starting on the wings.
The 34-year-old revealed he relaxed at the England team hotel this week as he learned a new classic piece on the piano. Well, he hit all the right notes on the pitch last night, serving his boss a timely reminder of his talent.
“He always gives me something to think about because he’s a good player,” Wane said. “I have three fantastic wingers. The way he has trained and performed since we have been in camp has been impeccable. I love him to pieces.
Luke Thompson’s single try under the posts then propelled England 18-0 in the 24th minute
Wane – and all of England – would also fall in love with Young. The 21-year-old now has four tries in two World Cup games and his second here was a sight to behold, intercepting Eloi Pelissier’s pass on his own try line then running the length of the pitch to touch the floor.
Bolton’s 23,648 fans rose to their feet and it was the kind of moment to get the nation excited about England’s chances of winning the World Cup.
But Wane said: “I don’t think about stuff like that. I just want to keep improving. We won two games but there is still a lot of talent in this competition.
While England were neglected against Samoa last week, they were overwhelming favorites to beat the French. It took them just six minutes to open the scoring when a kick from Williams took its toll and led Sneyd to pass to Hall to land.
Elliott Whitehead scored early in the second half after France’s late push before the break
Just five minutes later, Hall grabbed his second and England’s when Herbie Farnworth again found him in space on the left wing.
The host nation’s third try came in the 24th minute when Victor Radley brilliantly broke the line and Luke Thompson was in support to finish under the posts.
However, England let France back before half-time. With their first deep foray into home territory, Arthur Mourge went after his grubber kick hit Sneyd and landed perfectly in his path.
Then four minutes later, a sloppy England defense allowed Pelissier to get the upper hand on the line.
Dom Young maintained his scintillating form with two more tries as England pulled away late
But whatever stern words from Wane in the interval, they worked as his side did not score until five minutes after the restart. John Bateman crossed the line, broke a tackle and then fed Elliott Whitehead, who passed the whitewash for his third try of this World Cup.
Shortly after, Andy Ackers slotted the ball in with a smart kick, giving Radley the easiest finish on his first try for England.
Until then, Young’s name went unnoticed by his absence on the scoresheet. But he put that on just after 57 minutes when Jack Welsby found him on the right wing to complete a nice team move – then he kept his best until the end with that 95-yard run.
France grabbed their only half-time try four minutes from time when an individual outburst from Tony Gigot allowed Arthur Romano to score. But that was just a consolation against an English side on the march.
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the Rugby World Cup clash between England and France, written by Ben Willcocks.