Alarm bells ring for England as they tumble to defeat in France

Alarm bells ring for England as they tumble to defeat in France

Stuart Lancaster admitted England were comprehensively beaten in a 25-20 defeat to France that has set alarm bells ringing just one match before the World Cup begins.

A sobering night for the tournament hosts saw their pack outmuscled for a second successive weekend with a dismal performance at the set piece – for so long a source of English strength – a major concern.

France’s lead stretched to 25-6 until late converted tries by Danny Cipriani and Jonathan Joseph gave the scoreline respectability, although they failed to mask the team’s shortcomings for the previous 70 minutes.

“France deserved to win and played very well in the first half. We didn’t play well in the first half and gave ourselves too much to do,” said head coach Lancaster.

“Our decision-making at the breakdown was poor. We didn’t get enough set-piece ball to build any possession.

“When we did retain possession and build phases, we scored some good tries, but the first 60 minutes weren’t good enough.

“We needed to be better and more disciplined. At half-time we were 7-4 behind on the penalty count and France had scored 15 points without having to work too hard.

“It was difficult for both sides at scrum time and a few decisions didn’t go our way. We’ll have to work on it against Ireland because they have a world class line-out.

“We scored some good tries but it doesn’t feel that way because we gave ourselves too much to do in the first 60.”

England’s second-half improvement coincided with the arrival of their replacements bench, most notably Danny Cipriani.

“Jamie George did well when he came on and all the bench made a difference. I thought Danny did well,” Lancaster said.

“Nick Easter carried well. Danny Care brought zip to the game.”

Lancaster expects centre Brad Barritt to resume training next week after being troubled by a calf problem and reported no injuries from the second and final World Cup warm-up match against France.

More on this topic

Jacob Stockdale hoping for more good memories of Twickenham in bid for World Cup placeJacob Stockdale hoping for more good memories of Twickenham in bid for World Cup place

WADA compliments Rugby World Cup for zero failed drug tests

Stuart Lancaster steps down as England head coach 'by mutual consent'Stuart Lancaster steps down as England head coach 'by mutual consent'

VIDEO: Why the Rugby World Cup 2015 was the greatest rugby tournament everVIDEO: Why the Rugby World Cup 2015 was the greatest rugby tournament ever


More in this Section

Mile Jedinak retires from football aged 35Mile Jedinak retires from football aged 35

Raheem Sterling claims hat-trick as Manchester City sweep aside BrightonRaheem Sterling claims hat-trick as Manchester City sweep aside Brighton

Mikel Arteta delighted with Kieran Tierney as defender adapts to Arsenal lifeMikel Arteta delighted with Kieran Tierney as defender adapts to Arsenal life

Raheem Sterling: Goals don’t mean anything if they don’t lead to trophiesRaheem Sterling: Goals don’t mean anything if they don’t lead to trophies


Lifestyle

The flight that brought us home to Ireland after our seven months sojourn in the Canary Islands (half our stay intended, half not) was the most comfortable I’ve experienced in years. With a large plane almost entirely to yourself, you could again pretend you were somebody.Damien Enright: Wonderful to see the green, green grass of home

IRISH folklore is replete with stories of priests praying for fine weather to help farmers save their crops in wet summers. However, the opposite could soon be happening when divine powers may have to be invoked to provide rain. And not just for farmers.Donal Hickey: Praying for rain — in Ireland

Geography is often the defining factor for the destiny of an island. Those islands that lie close to the shore have often been snapped up by interests on the mainland and their morphology changed to something completely different.The Islands of Ireland: Tarbert morphed onto the mainland

Most of us would agree that we love music, even if each individual’s ideas of what good music is, differs greatly. Have you ever wondered though, why do we love music so much and does it have any positive benefits for us physically or mentally?Appliance of Science: What are the benefits of listening to music?

More From The Irish Examiner