England out as France go through to semis
England 12 France 19
Saturday 08 October 2011
England crashed out of the Rugby World Cup as France booked a semi-final clash with Wales.
The French, seemingly in disarray all week after their pool defeat to Tonga, surged into a 16-0 lead with first-half tries from Vincent Clerc and Maxime Medard.
Ben Foden responded with a touchdown in a better second half for England but France edged further ahead with a drop goal from Francois Trinh-Duc.
And although Mark Cueto wrestled his way over the line for a second England try in the closing minutes, the die had already been cast.
Martin Johnson's men were soundly beaten and questions will now be asked over his future as England manager.
England had set a semi-final appearance as their minimum requirement and fell short. Despite today's scoreline, a long way short.
The fact England had topped their group unbeaten and France had suffered defeats to New Zealand and the Tongans meant nothing today.
The fact England had beaten France in the semi-finals of the last two World Cups meant nothing today.
For the third time in World Cup history - after 1987 and 1999 - England go home having failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals.
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