The sole positive from England's loss to France

The sole positive from England's loss to France”

The England vs New Zealand game in the semi-final of the World Cup [England 19-7 New Zealand] was the greatest 80 minutes an England rugby team has ever done.

France's defence coach Shaun Edwards denied Eddie Jones' words did not provide extra motivation.

Vunipola was sorely missed at the Stade de France, especially during lengthy spells when England's forwards pounded the whitewash but lacked the brute strength to make the final breakthrough.

"Eddie said we couldn't handle the brutality of the England team", said the man of the game.

Philippe Chauvin, the father of a teenage French player who died after a being hit in a tackle past year, told The Mail on Sunday that Jones' choice of words reflected rugby's drift into "an apology for violence".

'They were more aggressive. "It's only the start, but it's a great day".

'Scoring three times against the English under the rain is something. We're a in a very positive state.

But head coach Eddie Jones expects him to be in contention for the match against Ireland at Twickenham later this month.

"We weren't good enough in that first half and they were", the Australian said.

"I'm proud of the way the boys came back, but we need to be better than we were in the first half. It was a game that could have been ugly for us, the crowd were going nuts".

"I don't think we would have a mental problem with that second-half performance", he said.

While protesting, France continued to play and it was an expensive mistake for which May accepts the guilt, although she thought that Owens had blown the whistle in a noisy Stade de France. "They're a young team, there's a bit of a renaissance in French rugby and we struggled to match their intensity".

Former France captain Raphael Ibanez, a hard-headed hooker who now manages the national team, rebuked Jones, saying: "It's easy to talk about physical violence when you're watching from the stands".

France skipper Ollivon said he would "certainly remember" his double, but added that he would not be dwelling long on it.

"That's one of the first things you learn when you were a child: blow the whistle".

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