England eliminate fiery France

An early try wasn't enough for France as England put in a dominant first half to progress to the semi-finals of the 2013 World Cup, defeating their European neighbours 34-6 in Wigan today.

Despite the scoreline, England's defence was the highlight of the game, with France having several long passages of attack at the English line throughout the second half. The French offered positive and expansive attack for much of that time but England's line speed and scramble prevented the visitors from anything other than a fifth minute try to Vincent Duport.

After a shock in the opening five minutes, the English lifted a gear, dominating possession and field position for much of the remainder of the first half. England opened their account through some beautiful link-up play out wide, Sam Tomkins finding Josh Charnley who tiptoed along the touchline and stumbled over the line to score. Ryan Hall matched Charnley's efforts on the opposite flank at the 19th minute before Charnley doubled his own tally four minutes later, putting England 16-6 in front.

Keen to match his teammate's effort, Hall added a second four-pointer of his own - the hosts flexing their muscle to take a 22-6 lead to halftime.

The second half will be of more concern to English coach Steve McNamara, with England scoring only two tries. The highlight of a scrappy second forty will be the English defence, keeping France scoreless after the break. Sean O'Loughlin and Brett Ferres picked up tries for the hosts but they will need to take their game to another level next week to compete with New Zealand in next weekend's semi-final at Wembley.

France will be left to rue an indifferent tournament - a desperate win over PNG followed by a big loss to New Zealand and a spirited but ulimately poor showing against Samoa - but managed to test England in ways many didn't expect.

Match Details
England Lions 34 France 6
Venue: DW Stadium
Crowd: 22276
Halftime Score: England Lions 22-6

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sam Tomkins
2 points - James Graham
1 point - Ryan Hall

ENGLAND LIONS (34)
Tries: Josh Charnley (2), Ryan Hall (2), Sean O'Loughlin, Brett Ferres
Field Goals:
Conversions: Kevin Sinfield (5/6)
Penalty Goals:

FRANCE (6)
Tries: Vincent Duport
Field Goals:
Conversions: Thomas Bosc (1/1)
Penalty Goals:


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

That will do us from the DW Stadium in Wigan. Some angry words from referee Klein to English five-eighth Rangi Chase with 2 seconds left but that will do us. England are off to play New Zealand next weekend at Wembley.

England Lions 34-6

77

TRY ENGLAND LIONS
Scored by Brett Ferres. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful.

The obstruction call is mulled over, but ultimately is ruled that the French defender committed himself. Ferres finds the yawning gap and scores for England.

England Lions 34-6

77

VIDEO REFEREE possible England try to Brett Ferres. Checking obstruction.

England Lions 28-6

75

SIN BIN
Sam Tomkins is sent to the sin bin.

England down to twelve men for the remaining six minutes. Silly stuff from Sam Tomkins.

England Lions 28-6

72

Not a good option from France, Greenshield puts a grubber through but it goes dead easily. England 20m restart.

England Lions 28-6

71

England forced to defend again here with France dominating field position.

England Lions 28-6

68

Play stopped momentarily while Rangi Chase is told to change jersey after a big patch of blood becomes evident. England have a scrum 10m out.

England Lions 28-6

64

Several raids on the England line bear no fruit for the French. Some great defence from the hosts - France haven't been too bad in attack either!

England Lions 28-6

60

A couple of England errors have France on the attack again.

England Lions 28-6

56

England away down the left wing, Ryan Hall receiving a long ball... which is ruled forward. France scrum on halfway.

England Lions 28-6

52

England's defence holds out. They work it out of their own half here.

England Lions 28-6

50

France with a chance now. A cross-field kick yields a six-more call from referee Klein, another set for England to defend.

England Lions 28-6

48

TRY ENGLAND LIONS
Scored by Sean O'Loughlin. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful.

Some back-and-forth about the contest in the air with Ryan Hall said to have not knocked the ball on. It finds its way back to Sean O'Loughlin who powers his way over the line. Sinfield converts.

England Lions 28-6

47

VIDEO REFEREE possible England try to Sean O'Loughlin.

England Lions 22-6

HALFTIME at Wigan and we have the English on top 22-6 after resisting an early French onslaught.

England Lions 22-6

37

Penalty England on the last, Charnley goes up to take the ball but is tackled in the air.

England Lions 22-6

36

After letting in a few tries, France are now piling pressure on England, forcing errors and making them defend for a few spells.

England Lions 22-6

32

An English forward pass sees the French with a scrum inside the England 20m.

England Lions 22-6

29

TRY ENGLAND LIONS
Scored by Ryan Hall. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful.

It's an England avalanche here. The wingers are having a field day, England in again through Ryan Hall down the left side.

England Lions 22-6

24

TRY ENGLAND LIONS
Scored by Josh Charnley. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield unsuccessful.

Charnley is in again down the left touchline! England turning on the razzle dazzle now.

England Lions 16-6

19

TRY ENGLAND LIONS
Scored by Ryan Hall. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful.

England have similar success down their left side, with an easy overlap spotted and a long ball putting Hall over in the corner. Sinfield adds the two.

England Lions 12-6

18

England back on the attack again, France with no answer yet despite their early showing. England still being made to work for their points...

6 all

16

England test the French right side again with an aerial assault, Cardace is up to it this time, although not before Ryan Hall attempts a strip which seems him ruled to have knocked on. France handover.

6 all

12

TRY ENGLAND LIONS
Scored by Josh Charnley. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful.

Outstanding link-up play on the right wing by the English sees Tomkins put Charnley over in the corner!

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11

France spill it coming out of their own end, putting England straight back on the attack. The errors continue, both sides spilling it. England scrum 10m out.

France 6-0

10

UNFORCED ERROR ENGLAND LIONS
Ryan Hall makes an unforced error.

Promising from England on their first foray into French territory, a cross-field kick from Sinfield finds it's way to Ryan Hall but he can't control it. Knock on, French scrum.

France 6-0

8

Positive first set after the try for France but the grubber on the last is no good and England have the ball. Now there's a penalty going England's way as well.

France 6-0

6

TRY FRANCE
Scored by Vincent Duport. Conversion attempt by Thomas Bosc successful.

What a start for France! Sebastien Raguin gets an offload away just before the line and Vincent Duport crashes over for the visitors and we have a game on our hands! Bosc converts!

France 6-0

We are underway in Wigan between the English and French sides in the third quarter final.

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