Beaten England rugby team coming home

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An abject display from England saw them crash out of the Rugby World Cup with a 19-12 defeat to France.

England had gone in to the game as big favourites after France lost two of their pool games en route to the quarter-finals.

However Les Bleus are never more dangerous than when the pressure is off and no one gives them a chance - just ask New Zealand.

England were their own worst enemies, though, as poor discipline, missed tackles and a lack of creativity made things easy for the old enemy.

Vincent Clerc and Maxime Medard scored tries, while Dimitri Yachvili slotted over two penalties and Francois Trinh-Duc added a late drop-goal - with France looking a completely different side that was humbled by Tonga.

Ben Foden’s second-half try briefly raised English spirits, while Mark Cueto scored with three minutes left but it was too little, too late.

A breathless opening 10 minutes saw Yachvili draw first blood with a penalty from 45m.

And it could have got worst for England as Clerc found some free space on the blindside but Ben Foden scragged him into touch, while Morgan Parra’s drop-goal attempt barely left the ground.

However a second Yachvili penalty made it 6-0 on 16 minutes although there was a let-off for England as he went wide with his third attempt.

Having been denied once, Clerc made no mistake on 22 minutes as Jonny Wilkinson and Foden were guilty of missing tackles on the French winger. Yachvili missed the conversion.

England’s first chance of points came via Toby Flood but his drop-goal effort was woefully off-target - while a bull-dozing run from Manu Tuilagi was a rare bright point.

And France crossed for their second try as Alexis Palisson’s superb offload inside found Medard to score.

England at least began to string some phases together as the first half drew to an end but twice the final pass failed to go to hand.

A knock-on from Tom Croft in the French 22 after the break summed up England’s woes as another good attacking was wasted.

England, however, gave them some hope on 55 minutes as Foden stepped inside the French defence to score. Wilkinson’s conversion made it 16-7.

The game suddenly came to life, with England sensing half-a-chance - but on three occasions attempted offloads from Toby Flood failed to find a support runner.

France opened up a 12-point lead with a drop-goal from Trinh-Duc before England launched a final assault.

Cueto scooped up a loose ball to crash over with three minutes left following Matt Banahan’s initial break - but Flood was off-target with his conversion attempt.

And England just couldn’t get into a position to strike again as France held on.

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