England lose 24-17 to France in their Six Nations opener

France beat England on Sunday

Six Nations favourites England were stunned by France in their opening game, losing 24-17 in Paris. 

The hosts were ahead after just six minutes, with Vincent Rattez bulldozing his way over the try line. 

There was some criminal defending for the second try when Jonny May - who thought the referee was going to award a penalty against France - pulled out of tackling Charles Ollivon. 

The flanker simply stepped past him and ran down the pitch unchallenged to score. The phrase 'play to the whistle' came to mind there - it was real schoolboy defending. 

Romain Ntamack also converted a penalty to make the score 17-0 to France at half-time. 

But England came out firing at the start of the second half and should have scored their first try of the game just three minutes after the restart. 

A wayward French lineout fell to Maro Itoje and after a phase of play that saw the hosts furiously defending their line, no one could force their way over. 

Eddie Jones' team began to dominate, but it was France who scored the next try. 

France went 24-0 up in the game

Some quick passing from the lineout released Antoine Dupont and he offloaded to Ollivon who went over to score his second of the match. 

In the blink of an eye, England were 24-0 down. 

But the visitors hit back instantly thanks to a moment of individual magic from May. He chased his own kick down the line and beat everyone else to score.

May tried to claw the game back for England

Owen Farrell scored the conversation to make it 24-7 and give England a little bit of hope with 20 minutes to play. 

Less than five minutes later, May was at it again. He picked the ball up on the right flank, beat four players with his speed and cut inside to slide under the posts. That made it 24-14 and game on. 

But France did well to frustrate their opponents in the remaining minutes and even May's individual brilliance wasn't enough to claw the game back.  

France frustrated England in their Six Nations opener

Farrell did convert a penalty to make it 24-17 and get his team what could be an important Bonus Point. 

The result means tournament favourites England start off with a defeat, which rules out the chance of winning the Grand Slam, as many predicted. 

What a result for France, though. 

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