England finished the pool stage with a 36-6 win over France, setting them up for a quarter final showdown against Papua New Guinea.
ENGLAND START ALL FIRED UP
England started the game with three tries in the first nine minutes. Gareth Widdop opened the scoring, finding a gap in the French defence, followed by further tries to Stefan Ratchford and James Graham.
They continued to dominate possession and added a fourth try through Mark Percival and a fifth when John Bateman muscled over the line just before the 30 minute mark.
FRANCE GET BACK INTO IT
Just before halftime, France’s Benjamin Garcia crossed the line after a brilliant dummy, reducing England’s lead to 26-6.
England let France back into the game in the second half, offering them up more possession and opportunities, although France they weren’t able to get on the scoreboard again.
TALE OF TWO HALVES FOR ENGLAND
England’s second half performance was filled with errors and missed opportunities.
There were able to add a try just after half time with Jermaine McGillvary carrying on his impressive World Cup campaign, adding a second try later in the second half. He has now scored nine tries in his last nine England international games.
THE NEW SPINE FOR ENGLAND?
Wayne Bennett rang the changes for this game. However, the best changes were down the spine for England. Moving Widdop to fullback is the best idea Bennett’s had so far in this World Cup. It allowed him to support across the field and offload to his heart’s content.
Kevin Brown and Luke Gale also held solid performances, with George Williams coming off the bench later on in the game. James Roby was also one of England’s stronger players, combining well with Widdop, Brown and Gale.
Tries: McGillvary 2, Widdop, Ratchford, Graham, Percival, Bateman
Goals: Widdop 4
Goals: Albert 1