Widdop passes his first Test at a canter

England 60 France 6

England won their only international before the autumn's Four Nations in the southern hemisphere as comfortably as had been expected, with Sam Tomkins scoring a record-equalling four tries. He did the damage in the first half, with three of his tries coming in seven minutes shortly before the break.

"He's got that x-factor where he can create something out of nothing," said the England coach, Steve McNamara, of the Wigan half-back.

He described the one-sided game as "very worthwhile", and added: "We showed some good combinations and you could see the amount of talent on the pitch."

The selection of Gareth Widdop at full-back after only two first-grade games in Australia had caused some debate but within minutes he had made international rugby look very easy indeed. The Melbourne Storm man scored with his first touch, capitalising on lovely handling by Kevin Brown, Sam Burgess and Chris Bridge. Then he set up a try for Tom Briscoe with his second.

Widdop was also involved in England's third try, latching on to another clever offload from Burgess to set up Sam Tomkins' first.

It was possibly a little too easy for England and mistakes and poor decisions started to creep into their play. Andrew Bentley scored for France from Rémy Casty's pass out of the tackle and the French captain, Olivier Elima, could have had another when Frédéric Vaccari's kick eluded Widdop.

But the last 10 minutes of the half belonged to Sam Tomkins. He wriggled through at ankle level for his second try, took his brother Joel's pass for his third and made it four from Widdop's kick.

France could have fallen apart, so they deserved some credit for the way they held their own for the first 15 minutes of the second half. That was ended by Adrian Morley's break and another electric dash from Sam Tomkins that culminated with a floated pass to send Michael Shenton over.

France's full-back Constant Villegas was sent to the sin-bin for a trip on Bridge. England cashed in with tries by Gareth Ellis and Bridge. Ellis and Shenton each scored another as the French resistance became paper-thin. It was a case of job done for England.

England: Widdop; Briscoe, Bridge, Shenton, Hall; Brown, S Tomkins; Graham, Sinfield, Peacock, Ellis, Burgess, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Roby, Morley, Westwood, J Tomkins.

France: Villegas; Piquemal, Gossard, Raguin, Vaccari; Gigot, Munoz; Ferriol, Mounis, Casty, Elima, Fakir, Bentley. Substitutes used: Touxagas, Griffi, Simon, Barthau.

Referee: L Williamson (Australia).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones