England 34 France 6 match report: England feel the width with Ryan Hall and Josh Charnley

 

the dw stadium

England survived an early scare to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, with rather less assurance than New Zealand or Australia, but still with more than enough to spare.

The potency of their wide attack was again their trump card in what was overall an entertaining game, with their wingers, Josh Charnley and Ryan Hall, scoring their first four tries after France had taken a shock lead. Nobody can accuse England of not using the full width of the field.

The French invented the World Cup in 1954, believing in the concept when no one else did, but nobody seriously expected them to progress very far in this one. Had it not been for an easy penalty missed by Papua New Guinea in the first group game, France would not have made the quarter-finals.

On top of that, they had taken a fearful physical pounding from Samoa in their last match on Monday, two days after England had played. It is fair to say that little was anticipated from them last night.

The England coach, Steve McNamara, felt able to do a little mixing and matching in the pack, with Michael McIlorum starting on his Wigan home patch and James Roby, first-choice hooker for so long, on the bench. The surprise was the complete omission of Rob Burrow after the impact he made against Fiji last weekend.

There was another healthy crowd at the DW Stadium, far more than would be attracted to a run-of-the-mill international against France; further proof, if any were needed, that this World Cup has truly caught the game's imagination.

A wild pass from Ben Westwood in the opening stages put England under pressure but did not cost them any points. Not so after three minutes, when Sébastien Raguin got the ball out of a tackle for Vincent Duport to touch down.

It was the wake-up call that England needed and their first try had Wigan written right through it, Sam Tomkins – on his last appearance at the ground – getting a back-flip pass to Charnley.

It looked like a case of the early crisis being over when Tomkins delved deeper into his repertoire to hold up his pass and send Hall over in the opposite corner.

France were beginning to struggle with the tempo and they were caught short again by swift ball movement to Charnley's wing for their third try. Hall kept pace with his second try, from Leroy Cudjoe's break.

France were running out of players after being forced to make a series of early substitutions. They went further behind when Sean O'Loughlin plunged over soon after the interval from Rangi Chase's high kick.

Tomkins ended his residency at the DW by being sin-binned for holding down in the tackle, but Brett Ferres's try and Kevin Sinfield's fifth goal rounded it all off.

England now have the much more demanding task of playing the holders, New Zealand, as part of the double-header of semi-finals at Wembley next Saturday. That is the match that will determine whether the World Cup is a success or failure in playing terms for the hosts.

In the other quarter-final, Australia overwhelmed the surprise package of the tournament, the United States, with a quartet of tries for Brett Morris in the first half at Wrexham. Jarryd Hayne also ran in four tries in the 62-0 victory. Australia will play the winners of today's match between Samoa and Fiji in Warrington.

England Tomkins; Charnley, Watkins, Cudjoe, Hall; Chase, Sinfield; Hill, McIlorum, Graham, Westwood, S Burgess, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used Roby, Ferres, Farrell, G Burgess.

France Escare; Cardace, Baile, Duport, Greenshields; Bosc, Barthau; Fakir, Bentley, Casty, Elima, Raguin, Mounis. Substitutes used Pelissier, Khattabi, Maria, Simon.

Referee A Klein (Aus)

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
News
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
people
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little