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The Shell-Shocked English Media Reaction To England's Humiliating Defeat To France

The Shell-Shocked English Media Reaction To England's Humiliating Defeat To France
Colman Stanley
By Colman Stanley
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France condemned England to their heaviest ever home defeat, in a 10-53 Six Nations win at Twickenham yesterday.

The team, the fans, the coach, and the media were shellshocked by the manner in which the game unfolded, particularly in the second half when the French began to run in tries in a range of different ways.

The post match analysis/discussion was filled with comments on Marcus Smith's performance, England's hopes for the World Cup, and the sheer embarrassment of what occurred in London yesterday.

English Media Reaction To Massive Franc Loss

Stuart Barnes of the Sunday Times acknowledged that Smith was handed a shoddy platform to work off from his forward pack, but he seemed disappointed that there was not even a glimmer of the Harlequins magic he's known for.

"Six Nations: Magic Marcus Smith produces only a vanishing act

"The fly half failed to reach into his box of tricks but was hardly helped by a supply of possession that ranged from slow to static."

"Stick with Smith for Dublin — he didn’t have a chance against France — but the management need to think how the side can start with more pace, power and punch. If this new regime is rebuilding anything, it is an edifice that belongs to another time. Dublin isn’t just the final game of this Six Nations.


"After this mauling it seems clear it is the first match in the quest towards 2027. The 2023 World Cup is beyond them."

READ HERE: Matt Williams Calls For Introduction Of Clever New Law To Speed Up The Game

Gerard Meagher of The Guardian echoed Barnes' thoughts on Smith.


"There is something very English about fly-halves being hung out to dry in the rain. England did not lose this match because of Marcus Smith, rather they were thumped by a fabulous France team who ruthlessly exposed the limits of Steve Borthwick’s side with an exhibition in how to handle the heavens opening.


"Still, the cold, hard facts are that Smith did not deliver anything like the statement performance he was selected to do and England’s fly-half debate rages on.

"The biggest call of Borthwick’s tenure to date can unequivocally be called the most damning of failures."


As a Welshman, Stephen Jones could hardly contain his glee in his Sunday Times column.

This was glorious. It was gorgeous. It was absolutely devastating and compelling. It was France playing brilliant rugby in the modern idiom but based squarely on their heritage of skill and pace and attack.

It was the biggest home defeat England have suffered.

France Dish Out Humiliating Six Nations Defeat To England

READ HERE: Clive Woodward Left Speechless After Six Nations Hammering Of England Courtesy Of France

Oliver Brown of The Telegraph, and Matt Dawson - for BBC  Radio - focused on the utter shame of such a humbling loss.


"This bleakest of days for England at Twickenham was many things – a shellacking, a marmalising, a disgrace," wrote Brown.

"There are no excuses," said Dawson on BBC Radio 5 Live. "From the off, England have not been at the races. It's miserable for England fans, the players, the management.

"I'd like to say you write it off as a bad performance but England were exposed. Ireland will be watching this game thinking we can do that. We can play that way. We can manipulate England in that manner.

"It will put more doubt into the England coaching set-up. We have questioned whether England are playing the right game. They cannot expect to win games against the top teams if they play in that manner."

Others waxed lyrical about the genius performance of Antoine Dupont, as he reminded the rugby world that he is still the greatest player in the game, with another vintage performance.

"Antoine Dupont cements himself as all-time great with Twickenham masterclass.

"France complemented efficiency with brilliance and their captain encapsulated that blend in historic Six Nations win," read the headline and sub-header in Charlie Morgan's reaction piece for The Telegraph.

Stephen Jones has had countless bizarre takes over the years, but even he could not conjure up a controversial take on Dupont, awarding him 10/10 in his match ratings.

SEE ALSO: Virgin Panel Tear Apart "Ignorant, Delusional" England After Historic Defeat Six Nations Defeat To France

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