France had been waiting for twelve years for their rugby team to come back on top and win the Six Nations Grand Slam. And on Saturday 19 March they finally did it. France beat England 25-13 on French soil, in an electric and exciting game that had everyone glued to their screens.
After beating Italy (37-10), Ireland (30-24), Scotland (17-36), and Wales (9-13), it was time to turn to Eddie Jones’ English team. England had only won against Wales and Italy and were looking for a big victory. The visitors played admirably against a French side carried by the cheers from the spectators in the Stade de France. At the end of the tournament, England came in third.
France opened the scoring in the eighth minute with their first penalty. Soon after, Gael Fickou grabbed the team’s first try of the evening. Fickou is one of France’s most experienced players, having been selected to play with them since 2013. He currently plays for Racing 92, a Parisian team. His try was met with cheers from the French supporters who came out en masse for the evening.
At half time, France returned to the locker room with a 12-point lead: 18-6. This certainly gave them confidence. The England team never lost heart and came out strong. In the second half, Will Stuart puts down England’s first try. They were fast, but France were faster. The game was stressful for everyone watching. However, when captain Antoine Dupont scored the third try, it was clear it was over.
Dupont was voted World Player of the Year in December and did not disappoint his fans. The Toulouse star came out in fine form. Coming into the tournament he was battling COVID and an injury. He was not at his best. Nonetheless, he performed well in every game. Together with Stade Toulousain, he won the European Rugby Champions Cup and then went on to be French Champion.
France: Number two in the world
Winning the Six Nations with a grand slam only means good things for France. Especially as they are holding the rugby World Cup in 2023. They have a brilliant team. The recent influx of young players such as Dupont, Ntamack, Jaminet and Penaud, has done them the world of good.
France is now the second most successful rugby team in the world, behind only South Africa. They have waited 12 years to return to greatness and this year they have done it.
England are currently fifth and Wales are eighth in the world rankings. Once thing is clear: England and Wales should step aside for the new great team. France is once again one of the most successful rugby nations in the world.