Six Nations 2020: Farrell offers no excuses for error-strewn England display

By Sports Desk February 02, 2020

Owen Farrell said sloppy England only had themselves to blame for an error-strewn 24-17 defeat to France in their first game of the Six Nations.

France made a dream start to the Fabien Galthie era at Stade de France, though England gave them a huge helping hand on a wet Sunday in Paris.

The Rugby World Cup runners-up dominated possession and territory, but a double from new captain Charles Ollivon after Vincent Rattez's early try and nine points from the boot of Romain Ntamack put clinical Les Bleus 24-0 up.

A brace of sublime solo tries from Jonny May set the nerves jangling, yet England could only muster a bonus point courtesy of Farrell's penalty with the last kick of the game.

Fired-up France were magnificent in defence, but it might have been a different story had Eddie Jones' not been guilty of 23 handling errors and captain Farrell had no excuses for a poor start to the tournament.

"They scored tries off a couple of our mistakes, we had the ball in our own half too much, we made too many mistakes and they capitalised." he told BBC One.

"They got a foothold, we kind of paused, we had a bit more in the second half but that's not the way we want to defend.

"It's not due to mental fatigue, we were excited to get together and we have to get excited about playing Scotland next week.

"They were more aggressive from the word go, the second half was a bit better but we left ourselves with too much to do."

Related items

  • Ireland beat Scotland to take third spot in Autumn Nations Cup Ireland beat Scotland to take third spot in Autumn Nations Cup

    Ireland's strong second-half showing saw off Scotland as Andy Farrell's side claimed a 31-16 win and third spot in the Autumn Nations Cup.

    Scotland were the better side for much of the opening 40 minutes in Dublin but fell behind to Keith Earls' try just before the interval.

    Earls touched down again after the break, with Cian Healy getting in on the act to cement Ireland's lead.

    Duhan van der Merwe hit back for Scotland but Ross Byrne kicked two late penalties to keep the visitors at bay.

    Wales took fifth place with a 38-18 victory over Italy at Parc y Scarlets.

    The hosts had surrendered a 14-0 lead to trail 18-17 in the second half before Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau combined brilliantly to set Gareth Davies away for a pivotal try.

    Italy did not have a second fightback in them and Wales put the game to bed with two further scores from George North and  Tipuric.

    Elsewhere, Nemani Nadolo scored a hat-trick for Fiji in their 38-24 win over Georgia, securing seventh spot for the Pacific islanders after a six-try haul.

  • Vunipola ruled out of England's final showdown with France Vunipola ruled out of England's final showdown with France

    England prop Mako Vunipola has been ruled out of Sunday's Autumn Nations Cup final against France due to a calf injury.

    Ellis Genge will replace the Saracens forward in Eddie Jones' starting XV at Twickenham at loosehead, with Joe Marler added to the replacements.

    Vunipola sustained the problem during last weekend's encounter with Wales in Llanelli, when he scored a try in a 24-13 win.

    "Mako picked up an injury in last week's game," said England's attack coach Simon Amor.

    "We've given him every opportunity to recover for this one but unfortunately he hasn't made it."

    Vunipola's absence amounts to the second enforced alteration to Jones' side, with Anthony Watson in on the right wing in place of Jonathan Joseph, who is another calf injury victim.

  • Hooper 'disappointed' as Australia are held by Argentina again Hooper 'disappointed' as Australia are held by Argentina again

    Michael Hooper admitted Australia were unhappy with their showing after Saturday's 16-16 draw with Argentina meant the Wallabies finished bottom of the Tri Nations.

    The captain rescued the home team from the prospect of defeat when he was carried over for a second-half try, with Reece Hodge making the conversion to tie up the game.

    A dramatic contest featuring a red card for Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and three yellows, plus a try for each team, could have had a late twist but Hodge missed a long-range penalty in the 80th minute.

    The outcome meant New Zealand were confirmed as champions, which was practically inevitable from the first whistle given it would have taken a landslide victory for either Australia or Argentina to threaten the All Blacks' supremacy.

    A frustrated Hooper told Fox Sports: "They're a tough cookie to crack, the Argies. They applied pressure really well and we weren't able to get over the try-line much except for our mauls there.

    "It's been a long season, a tough season, and it's been great to salvage some Test matches and get on the field and get some games in front of Aussies crowds.

    "We'll build from that, we're not happy with the performance, we're disappointed that we can't get a win there for our last game."

    Heavy rain at Bankwest Stadium meant both sides found it difficult to find fluency. It was the second draw between the teams in the Tri Nations, after a 15-15 battle two weeks ago in Newcastle.

    "It was hard conditions there," Hooper said.

    "I think we were smarter with our kicks and won the territory battle, we were just unable to convert. Disappointed we couldn't play a bit more.

    "I think when we did, we showed some nice stuff, but Argentina have been great defensively throughout this competition. It's a tough ask with four back-to-back big Test matches so they did well.

    "We've got to be more accurate. We're far too inaccurate around our ball control and playing in the right areas of the field."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.