It makes victory even more

sweeter, when the Frogs show it’s not just their footballer coaches who are whingers.

Beating them in their own backyard for the second time in a few months is top notch stuff but when they start their moaning about the way things went it gets better.

Jamie Noon tackles France's Cedric Heymans leading to England's opening try

And that moaning started early, with the front row moaning at the ref, who it has to be said did surprise me. He’s got some history with England, so when I first saw who it was with the whistle I was expecting the worst, from a man who I heard described as the kind of bloke who looks like his bedroom is full of full length mirrors and hair brushes. Penalised for everything, even the things the French were guilty of but no he was fair 😯

And he didn’t let their front row away with anything – great – as Sheridan had his opposite number in his pocket. Which led to more whinging from the crowd as “Ronnie” Regan was subbed to a chorus of derision, priceless, as was the look on the hooker’s face. You know you’ve got ’em where you want ’em then, otherwise known as the Brian Moore method.

And then the French coach, Marc Lievremont, calls us “pragmatic” with a hint of disdain because we knew how to beat them and chose to play that way, such as including an actual goal kicker and playing with our forwards to the fore instead of just shipping the ball aimlessly wide to the winger who was then just bundled into touch. I seem to recall real French flair teams of the past did a little more than that.

Maybe it’s not just being beaten by the perfidious Albion but it’s the fact it ain’t a great England team that riles them so much. Ashton has some things right but there’s still glaring errors in many areas, such as Balshaw at fullback, Vainikolo not getting involved enough, get these things sorted out and we might be able to outscore them try wise more than two to one next time 😀

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