England 23 - 13 France

Match info: Six Nations at Twickenham

Date: 23/02/2013 KO: 17:00 Att: 81,713

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

England

TriesTuilagi (55)PenaltiesFarrell (2, 28, 34, 48) Flood (73, 77)

23
vs
13

France

TriesFofana (30)ConversionsParra (30)PenaltiesParra (6) Michalak (58)

FT (ht: 9-10)

  • Last Updated: February 23 2013, 19:43 GMT

Post-match reaction to England's 23-13 victory over France at Twickenham.

Robshaw and Brad Barritt after the victory
Robshaw and Brad Barritt after the victory

Captain Chris Robshaw attributed England's 23-13 victory over France to an improved defence as they moved into the ascendancy in the final quarter of the RBS 6 Nations clash at Twickenham.

Trailing 10-9 at the interval with a Wesley Fofana try doing the telling damage, Stuart Lancaster's side pulled away after the interval through Manu Tuilagi's try and two penalties from Toby Flood.

It means England remain on course for the Grand Slam with games against Italy and Wales remaining.

However, Robshaw admitted England had not started well and told BBC1: "We were a little bit slow coming out of the blocks.

"They caused all kinds of problems, we expected that. So credit to all the guys, it's a great win.

"Our defence in the first half was pretty sloppy. Once we sorted that out it was pretty good."

He added: "All games are won in the last 20 minutes or so, no matter who we are playing.

"Luckily we got a couple of penalties towards the end to give us a bit of daylight."

Looking to the Italy game, Robshaw said: "We'll enjoy tonight for what it is.

"It's an exciting time, we'll come back here for another full house, I'm looking forward to it."

Coach Stuart Lancaster felt his side became dominant when France substituted the impressive Francois Trinh-Duc to be replaced by the flaky Frederic Michalak.

He said: "I thought we gained ascendancy at that point.

"As a coach you focus on your own substitutions but you cast a glance at the ones they are making.

"I thought it played into our hands.

"Our defence just got stronger."

Despite France's poor showing with three straight losses in this year's Six Nations, Lancaster admitted they had given England a thorough questioning.

He said: "It was a proper Test match - that wasn't the France team that played a couple of weeks ago they caused a lot of problems in a lot of areas.

"It was hard work and it took us 65/70 minutes to do it."

While Lancaster admitted to being disappointed by conceding the Fofana try, he insisted his team were composed at the break.

Tuilagi was bloodied after leaving the field and acknowledged England had been thoroughly tested, saying: "Very relieved - it was a tough game, the French played really well.

"For us we just focus on ourselves and try and keep the energy, keep playing and break them down."


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