England pull off another tactical masterclass in 44-8 win over France

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He has started the mind games with Warren Gatland early by saying that England are going to be facing the best Welsh team ever in Cardiff next weekend but they have just equalled their best ever winning streak and I don't mind that.

"There's nothing to say", Brunel told France 2 after the slaughter.

And, he's also learned that he needs to be less autocratic with John Mitchell appointed in September and Scott Wisemantel, who came in on a temporary basis in the summer, given the job on a more permanent basis recently too. "He does that pretty well".

Ireland paid a heavy price against England last week for playing an inexperienced fullback and France fell into the same trap.

The home side thought they had opened the scoring in the fifth minute when full-back Sarah McKenna breezed past two opponents to touch down under the posts, but following an intervention from the TMO the try was ruled out after Poppy Leitch was penalised for blocking Menager in the scrum.

Throw in the fact that England were making ground in an impressive 57% of their hit-ups and it is easy to see how France were forced to narrow their defence to suck up the pressure from the English forwards but that left space in behind and in the wide channels.

England had all but wrapped up the match by half-time, leading 30-8 and having already claimed a bonus point after May's hat-trick and one from Henry Slade, leaving France with little to play for in a second half in which they failed to register a single point.

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The hat-trick was completed inside half an hour when Chris Ashton, making his first Six Nations start since 2013, kicked into the path of May. "Will start with u8s tag rugby if you can manage to keep up that is".

It was a hard defeat to take for France but the impact of Antoine Dupont from the bench was a real positive.

By then, Ashton had bombed a try by dropping a lob pass from Manu Tuilagi, but earned a penalty try when he was tackled off the ball from behind by counterpart Gael Fickou.

Daly continued to test Penaud, the son of former France fly-half Alain Penaud, with well judged grubber kicks behind the defensive line as England advanced into the visitors' 22.

One bright spark in a bleak afternoon for France was Penaud, who burst through the gain line on multiple occasions during the first half and finished off a lovely try to bring his side some hope, even if it was quickly doused.

It was their second-highest margin of victory over the French, a point shy of their 37-0 win in 1911.

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