April 23, 2021

PLAYER RATINGS: Maro Itoje excels and Tom Curry is also impressive as England beat France 23-20

3 min read

Maro Itoje scored a late try as England beat France 23-20 in dramatic circumstances during Saturday’s Six Nations clash.

France took the lead when Antoine Dupont scored a try after just 80 seconds but England were able to prevail.

Sportsmail’s Adam Hathaway assesses how each player performed.

Maro Itoje was the hero with a late try as England secured a 23-20 victory against France

Maro Itoje was the hero with a late try as England secured a 23-20 victory against France

Maro Itoje was the hero with a late try as England secured a 23-20 victory against France

England 

15. Max Malins – 5

First start for the Bristol full-back and not a moment too soon. Good and bad and replaced after 63 minutes but more to come.

Max Malins made his first start and although he had a mixed display there is more to come

Max Malins made his first start and although he had a mixed display there is more to come

Max Malins made his first start and although he had a mixed display there is more to come

14. Anthony Watson – 7

Celebrated his 50th cap with his 22nd England try and another lively display proving wing is back to his best.

13. Henry Slade – 7

Much more involved with ball in hand as England finally gave their midfield some more possession. Good work for Watson score.

12. Owen Farrell (capt) – 7

The captain’s best display of the tournament. Lively in attack where he looked unshackled and solid in defence with 11 tackles.

England captain Owen Farrell produced his best performance of the tournament v France

England captain Owen Farrell produced his best performance of the tournament v France

England captain Owen Farrell produced his best performance of the tournament v France

11. Jonny May – 6

Not as involved as Watson on the other wing but grew in second half and good as ever in the air.

10. George Ford – 7

Got the back line moving by lying flat and probing the French. Kicked decently and still best option at 10. 

9. Ben Youngs – 6

Couple of decent snipes and has picked up the pace in the last couple of games after being flat. One poor kick but lively.

1. Mako Vunipola – 6

Gave away England’s first penalty – after 24 minutes – but solid afternoon at set piece and the odd carry.

Although he gave away England's first penalty, Mako Vunipola had a solid afternoon overall

Although he gave away England's first penalty, Mako Vunipola had a solid afternoon overall

Although he gave away England’s first penalty, Mako Vunipola had a solid afternoon overall

2. Luke Cowan-Dickie – 6

Regained starting spot off Jamie George and got his basics right. England line out was good and nearly went the distance.

3. Kyle Sinckler – 6

Not a game for tight head props but carried decently a couple of times and did job at the scrum for 72 minutes.

4. Maro Itoje – 9

Managed to cut down on his personal penalty count and was virtually faultless. Great response to knockers and crucial try.

5. Charlie Ewels – 6

Back in the starting line up for first time since November and helped a smooth line out operation function.

6. Mark Wilson – 6

Tough as they come, put in another dozen tackles and close to scoring in first half. Substituted on 63 minutes.

7. Tom Curry – 8

Absolutely everywhere again carrying and in defence. Vital first-half turnover saved a French score.

Tom Curry produced an encouraging display as he impressed both carrying and in defence

Tom Curry produced an encouraging display as he impressed both carrying and in defence

Tom Curry produced an encouraging display as he impressed both carrying and in defence

8. Billy Vunipola – 7

Big Billy is getting there and this was his best performance of the Six Nations. A few monstrous carries, more please.

Replacements used: Jamie George (for Cowan-Dickie 72) 5, Ellis Genge (for M. Vunipola 63) 4, Will Stuart (for Sinckler 72) 5, Jonny Hill (for Ewels 78) 5, Ben Earl (for Wilson 63), Dan Robson (for Youngs 76) 4, Ollie Lawrence (for Slade 72), Elliot Daly (for Malins 63) 6.

France

Brice Dulin 6; Teddy Thomas 7, Virimi Vakatawa 5, Gael Fickou 6, Damian Penaud 6; Matthieu Jalibert 8, Antoine Dupont 8; Cyril Baille 5, Julien Marchand 6, Mohamed Haouas 6, Paul Willemse 6, Romain Taofifenua 6, Gregory Alldritt 6, Charles Ollivon (capt) 6, Dylan Cretin 6

Replacements used: Camille Chat 5, Jean-Baptiste Gros 4, Dorian Aldegheri 5, Cyril Cazeaux 5, Cameron Woki 5

Not used: Anthony Jelonch, Baptiste Serin, Romain Ntamack

Antoine Dupont, who scored a try after just 80 seconds, was one of France's best performers

Antoine Dupont, who scored a try after just 80 seconds, was one of France's best performers

Antoine Dupont, who scored a try after just 80 seconds, was one of France’s best performers

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