France put in an outstanding defensive display on route to their surprise 24-17 victory over England in the Six Nations this weekend - and their defensive effort was exemplified by one of the best clearing kicks you will ever see!
France deservedly took an early 17-0 lead in Sunday's match at the Stade de France, with converted tries from Vincent Rattez and Charles Ollivon being added to by a Romain Ntamac penalty.
England were clearly rocked from the start made by the French - having been heavy pre-match favourites to defeat an opposition side which could only boast an average of 10 previous caps a piece.
A swift response was key for England, who must have been buoyed when they managed to pin the French back just a few metres in front of their own try line in the 26th minute of the match.
Typically in this situation, the defending side would simply kick for touch, hoping to gain as much territory as possible before the attacking team begins their surge once more.
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French full back Anthony Bouthier would hear nothing of this, though.
Far from taking a safety-first option, the 27-year-old Montpelier man unleashed a herculean 85-metre kick from his own try line, eventually finding touch deep inside England territory.
It did not take long for footage of the stunning feat to find its way to social media - with fans aghast at the sheer distance that Bouthier had been able to find with his boot.
"Incredible kick from Anthony Bouthier," declared Twitter user @jaredwright17, alongside a clip of the mammoth kick. User @benjames1796 soon followed suit, exclaiming: "That is outrageous!"
In truth, England were exceptionally poor for the vast majority of Sunday's encounter. It was only two late solo tries from winger Jonny May that saved Eddie Jones' side from a far heavier defeat.
Bouthier's kick must no doubt have thoroughly demoralised England at a key time in the match though. To lose such strong field position so quickly cannot have helped the mindset of the World Cup runners-up in any way.
The kick has been heralded in some quarters as the greatest ever seen in the history of the Six Nations championship. Not a bad day at the office at all for a man making his full international debut!News Now - Sport News