It felt like it was all France in the opening half. England were visiting France in the last game of the 2024 Six nations, in Lyon, and the noise was big. But then with action on either side of half-time, we saw England score three tries in six minutes of match time.

Le Crunch, eh?

That’s the name for the annual match-up between England and France. And it looked like France were the side who had turned up in Lyon.

The Test was being played there as the Stade de France in Paris is out of commission as it is prepared for the Olympic Games later this year. And it was noisy in the stadium. Lots was going on. The France kick-off had to be retaken at the very start of the game. Then the hosts cut loose, as Nolann Le Garrec finished an all-time classic Six Nations try.

But England did well to roar back, with two tries for Ollie Lawrence, and one for Marcus Smith.

The first of the three England tries in six minutes came from rapid ball workd along the line, flat, with Henry Slade rapdily feeding centre partner Ollie Lawrence. The defender, Gael Fickou was tight on him, quick, but was off-centre, and Lawrence busted past the flailing arm to score a super try.

And on the other side of half-time, Lawrence was in again.

And the third score in quick succession came a super Ben Earl break – and what a tournament he’s had. A step inside from Smith, and he was in. Big roar.

But this was no ordinary game. Nice, for England fans, to see England score three tries in quick succession, but France were not going to lie down. And bang-bang, England went from eight points up to six points in arrears, as France scored two in quick time, through Leo Barre and Fickou.

What a game.

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