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England vs France rugby LIVE: Result and reaction as England win Women’s Six Nations grand slam decider

England 38-33 France: A world-record crowd of more than 58,000 were at Twickenham to see England seal another Women’s Six Nations grand slam

Michael Jones
Saturday 29 April 2023 16:07 BST
(Action Images via Reuters)

England beat a spirited France 38-33 to win their fifth straight Women’s Six Nations title with a grand slam in front of a world-record crowd at Twickenham to give coach Simon Middleton a fitting farewell.

With 58,498 fans in attendance, England struggled with nerves at first before pulling away from fellow unbeaten side France to go into the break with a commanding 33-0 lead.

Abby Dow scored England’s first try and although Helena Rowland missed the conversion, she made no mistake when captain Marlie Packer and Alex Matthews powered over. France were also temporarily down to 14 players when Jessy Tremouliere was sent to the sin bin, which also welcomed Rose Bernadou later in the half, helping England to score from a penalty try before Zoe Aldcroft also went over.

But England took their foot off the gas in the second half and France got on the board when Emilie Boulard scored the opening try before Gabrielle Vernier went through the English defence for a second. Both teams then scored from rolling mauls to make it 38-21 to England with 65 minutes on the clock. With five minutes left, France rallied with two more tries from Emeline Gros and Cyrielle Banet, but Tremouliere missed the first conversion as England held on for another grand slam.

Relive England’s historic win over France in the Women’s Six Nations, below


England survive scare to make Women’s Six Nations history in front of world-record crowd

England completed a famous grand slam with a 38-33 victory over France but were saved by the bell in front of a world-record 58,498 crowd at Twickenham.

Initially rising to the occasion of setting a new highest attendance for the women’s game, surpassing the 42,579 seen for last autumn’s World Cup final in Auckland, the Red Roses ran amok to build a 33-0 interval lead.

A fifth successive Women’s Six Nations looked certain but France were reborn for a second half they dominated 33-5 only to run out of time as England collapsed in dramatic fashion.

It remained a triumphant send-off for outgoing England head coach Simon Middleton with the strongest rivalry in the Championship producing another compelling instalment.

England survive scare to make Women’s Six Nations history in front of record crowd

England 38-33 France: 58,498 fans crowded into Twickenham to watch the Red Roses seal a famous grand slam

Mike Jones29 April 2023 16:07

England win the Grand Slam after victory over France

(Getty Images)
Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:29

Kabeya on Middleton

England flanker Sadia Kabeya praises departing head coach Simon Middleton: “Simon is very level-headed and always has his eye on the prize and the most important thing was getting the result.

“He’s keeping his emotions in check right now and taking in this amazing occasion but I’m sure there will be lots of emotion later.”

Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:26

The trophy presentation

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:20

Reaction from Sadia Kabeya

Player of the match Sadia Kabeya spoke to the BBC following the match saying: “It’s been an absolutely amazing tournament and today we got the result in front of an amazing crowd. It’s been an amazing day at Twickenham.

“It was definitely a game of two halves but we stuck to it and our gameplan.

“The only way is up for us. With the plyers we have coming through, the sky is the limit.”

Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:18

The trophy presentation

Sarah Hunter presents England with the new Six Nations trophy and each player, after receiving her medal, is given the trophy to brandish for a moment.

Top scenes at Twickenham.

Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:15

Post-match reaction from Marlie Packer

“Super proud moment.” said the England captain,“I can remember a couple of hundred people and a dog watching us.

“The crowd has been amazing, they have been behind us all the way. I only hope they’ll come back. We want to sell it out and become world chamions in front of them in 2025.”

Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:13

FT England 38-33 France

The French players have gone over to say congratulations to England head coach Simon Middleton who’s tenure is now over. The trophy is brought out onto the pitch.

England are beginning to celebrate.

Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:11

FT England 38-33 France

(Action Images via Reuters)
(Getty Images)
(Action Images via Reuters)
Mike Jones29 April 2023 15:02

Full-time: England 38-33 France

Lark Davies’ second half try is the only difference between the teams in the end. England put 33 points on the board in the first half before France responded with 33 of their own in the second.

A great game comes to an end with England coming out on top. They win the Six Nations and complete another grand slam!

Mike Jones29 April 2023 14:58

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