Wales extend unbeaten run in game to forget

Mathieu Bastareaud

Though England skipper Owen Farrell missed the conversion, he soon had his first points of the match after converting a penalty to make it 8-0.

England, of course, will go to Cardiff with a lot of confidence after their back-to-back wins against Ireland and France. "I think there was a lot of frustration in that performance, but I can't fault the boys' effort", he said.

A further user wrote: "Wow, hat-trick for Jonny May".

First half hatrick. Phenomenal half from the whole @EnglandRugby squad.

"There's nothing to say", Brunel told France 2 after the slaughter.

And the half ended with outside centre Henry Slade crossing for England's fourth try to leave them in complete command at 30-8.

And another added: "No way back for France now with Jonny May in this form".

France started to get into the game but their cause was not helped when, near the England line, hooker Guirado missed his intended jumper by throwing the ball over the top of a line-out.

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Throw in the fact that England were making ground in an impressive 57% of their hit-ups and it is easy to see how France were forced to narrow their defence to suck up the pressure from the English forwards but that left space in behind and in the wide channels.

This time Farrell kicked the conversion and England were nearly out of sight at 23-3.

Steve Borthwick, the The Red Rose's forwards coach, is expected to voice the English concerns in the customary pre-match meeting with the officials, with England anxious that France's desire to stop their free-flowing offense will see Les Bleus resort to sly tactics, which include delaying the line-out formation and resetting scrums. His delightful grubber kick set up May for one of his tries and he went close to scoring on half-time but was brought to ground - though Slade went over from the ensuing pass by Kyle Sinckler.

The Cardiff ground is renowned for creating one of the most electric atmospheres in world rugby and England must win there on Saturday week if they are to continue towards a Six Nations Grand Slam.

They failed. A penalty try awarded after Gael Fickou felled Chris Ashton in a race for the try line made it 37-8 and Farrell added another.

Schmidt comes off contract with the Ireland Rugby Football Union at the end of this year's World Cup, and has publicly stated he intends to take time away from the game to focus on his family, with his son suffering from epilepsy and having previously battled a brain tumour when he was younger.

With the title already well out of their reach, Les Bleus must now avoid defeat against Scotland at the Stade de France on February 23 if they do not want to play a "wooden spoon" clash in Rome against Italy in their last outing.

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