France vs England: Sarah Hunter scores twice as Red Roses win in France for first time in seven years

France 10-20 England: Simon Middleton's side survived a cacophonous Stade Marcel Michelin to secure a famous victory

England Women's powerful pack helped them to a first victory in France since 2012
England Women's powerful pack helped them to a first victory in France since 2012

Captain Sarah Hunter scored twice as England Women’s rugby defeat France Women’s rugby away from home for the first time in seven years.

In front of a vocal crowd at the Stade Marcel Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand, England secured a famous victory, quelling the crowd with an impressive performance from a powerful forward pack.

France opened the scoring as Jessy Tremouliere slotted a penalty between the posts after a Katy Daly-McLean high tackle.

But Emily Scarratt swiftly replied in kind, with the newly crowned World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year levelling the scores with a fine strike from the tee.

England’s forwards then began to assert themselves, with a succession of mauls putting the pressure on the French eight.

And Hunter scored the game’s first try, shepherding a powerful surge over the line and scoring.

Hunter grabbed her second before half-time, finding able support in the form of Sarah Beckett to drive over after a succesion of effective carries around the fringes.

France came back into the game as Marlie Packer was sent to the sin bin after referee Joy Neville lost patience with England’s indiscipline, and the extra player told for the French with Camille Boudad put over in the right corner to narrow the lead.

But another well-struck Scarratt penalty extended England’s advantage to ten, and effective defence allowed Simon Middleton’s side to see out the remainder of the game and secure a famous victory.

England had not won in France since 2012, and the hosts had won 17 of their last 18 games at home.

The Red Roses host the French at Sandy Park in Exeter next week before completing their autumn exertions against Italy in Bedford.

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