Autumn Nations Cup: England beat France in sudden death thanks to Owen Farrell penalty

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England were crowned winners of the Autumn Nations Cup as they beat France in the final 22-19, after trailing 6-13 at half-time.

England were tipped as the pre-match favourites, but this was destined to be an intense clash as they came up against an in-form French team.

From the get-go, France were on top as they showed great energy and enthusiasm, and England struggled to keep up with them. Despite being the underdogs, the French were dominant in the early stages.

England managed to get the first points in the game with an Owen Farrell penalty in spite of France’s early dominance.

But only moments later, France managed to get the game’s first try. Fly-half Matthieu Jalibert received the ball just outside England’s 22-metre line and darted past Jamie George and Farrell with a slick dummy, before passing the ball to Brice Dulin, who crossed the line to finish off the move.

England were dominant on set pieces, but they struggled to maintain pressure on France who thrived in the chaos and space which stems from their high-tempo style.

The first half ended with France very much on top of this contest.

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In the second half, France impressively kept their seven-point lead, with the score at 12-19 going into the closing stages of the match.

England’s tenacity was finally rewarded, however, with a try in the 79th minute. A driving maul from five metres out was finished off by substitute Luke Cowan-Dickie. Farrell's conversion attempt was successful, meaning the game would go to extra time.

France were penalised for hands in the ruck in the first minute of extra time, but Farrell’s penalty attempt was unsuccessful. It was agonisingly close as it bounced off of the post.

But Farrell would atone for this miss, as England got another penalty in 13th minute of extra time, and the Saracens star made this one count, securing the Autumn Nations Cup for England.

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