RLWC2017 Game 21 – England v France – Match Review + More

Rugby League World Cup action continues with the big England v France clash. We have both the preview and the review after the match.

rlwc england v france

The second game of the Perth double header saw England v France and saw the English win their final pool game of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup and seal second place in Pool A. For the final time in the pool stages we’re covering the game with the Who, What, Where, When and How.

The 2017 Rugby League World Cup is a big deal for us, being huge rugby league fans and love a minnow or two, and we’ll be covering all of the games throughout.


Now onto the England v France game.



RESULT – Who Won?

Tries: G. Widdop (3), S. Ratchford (6), J. Graham (9), M. Percival (23), J. Bateman (29), J. McGillvary (42), J. McGillvary (64)
Goals: G. Widdop 4 Conv

Tries: B. Garcia (34)
Goals: L Albert 1 Conv


How Did They Win?

England’s first ten minutes set up a platform for a handy 36-6 win as they laid on a try every three minutes and it was all a bit too easy easy. They scored left with Gareth Widdop, right with Stefan Ratchford, and in the middle as James Graham scooped up a loose ball to stroll over. But this time England were 18-0 to the good and possession was at 89% to 11%.

France started to get into the game with more ball, but England came back for more with two tries in six minutes to be uncatchable within half an hour. The French did start to look much better with the ball, and scored their only try of the game leading up to the break through Ben Garcia to make it 28-6.

Jermaine McGillvary, who was cleared of a biting charge from the Lebanon game during the week, scored straight after half time to really put the game out of reach of France, but France deserve credit for hanging in there in a second half that saw an increase in drop ball and needless penalties.

There was just one more score, and that was Jermaine McGillvary’s second in the 64th minute. France tried to keep the crowd happy with another try but it never came.


What did we learn?

England did enough to win, seal second place in Pool A, and look reasonably good. However you can’t say they looked too dynamic in the second half, and with the Kumuls up next weekend in the Quarter Finals it won’t be easy.

Sam Burgess has been a loss because of injury, but you couldn’t say he was a vital cog, as the rest of the team seem to have stepped up, given their opportunity. In saying that, if he is fit next weekend, he plays. And that receives a giant booooooooooooooo for a Kumuls fan.

Gareth Widdop is a world class rugby league player. In any position.


What was the Moment of the Match?

The opening burst of three tries before ten minutes of the game sets up anyone for a nice big win, and the French couldn’t compete with that early onslaught this time around. When you’ve had 90-10 possession and scored three tries before ten minutes has happened.


Any other bits and pieces?

  • The English player who got a blood nose from a ball to the face is a different was of needing the blood bin. Although, if it were soccer that player would have need an induced coma and a hospital stay to recover from.
  • The referee getting the way twice was amusing.
  • Some nice big, safe, and legal hits from both sides.



We’ve decided that a tournament as big as the 2017 Rugby League World Cup needs a Player of the tournament, and who better than International relations specialists Kevin Tamati and Greg Dowling to name our award.

We award points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale every match, and the results for this game is below. For the running total from all of the games visit our 2017 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP MATCH CENTRE

5 POINTS – GARETH WIDDOP – Fullback? No worries. Best for England.

4 POINTS – KEVIN BROWN – Replaced Widdop at five eighth and did a super job.

3 POINTS – Jermaine McGillvary – Scored two tries thanks to his speed and strength, topped most rubs and metres.

2 POINTS –  JAMES GRAHAM – leading from the front again, big effort as always.

1 POINT – Lucas Albert – France hung in well in the second half, and he deserves a pat on the back




Where and When: LIVE Sunday 12th Nov – Perth
When is it on TV? Channel 7Mate @ 4pm

What’s the Story?

England did the job against Lebanon last weekend with a decent 29-10 win, and they should find the going a little easier against France on paper. But France didn’t look too bad against England or Lebanon, despite not registering a win thus far, and you always wonder if a French side will be up for a match against England like no other nation.

An interesting move sees Gareth Widdop named at fullback, his place taken by Kevin Brown, despite his experience of 300+ games in the English Super League, he will be up against it on Sunday as the French five eighth Theo Fages has been one of France’s best at this year’s Rugby League World Cup. 

England will be sweating on the return of Sam Burgess for the knockout rounds to add a little more quality to a pack that has done the job required so far at this Rugby League World Cup.


Who Will Win and Why?

England should win, look at the coverage and quality in every position. 

However France still have enough quality to cause England some troubles, and for some reason we foresee a very tight game where England score in the last 5 minutes to seal the win. And possibly salt rubbed in with another Gareth Widdop field goal.

England by 2

Who to watch for?

Tom Burgess produced some gold last week against Lebanon and English and South Sydney fans will be hoping to see some more of that in the near future and on the weekend. 


Who’s in the Teams?


1 Gareth Widdop 2 Stefan Ratchford 3 Mark Percival 4 John Bateman 5 Jermaine McGillvary 6 Kevin Brown 7 Luke Gale 8 Chris Hill 9 James Roby 10 James Graham 11 Ben Currie 12 Mike McMeeken 13 Sean O’Loughlin (c) 14 Alex Walmsley 15 Thomas Burgess 16 Scott Taylor 17 George Williams 18 Ryan Hall 19 Elliott Whitehead 20 Chris Heighington 21 Kallum Watkins


1 Mark Kheirallah 2 Fouad Yaha 3 Bastien Ader 4 Damien Cardace 5 Ilias Bergal 6 Theo Fages (c) 7 Lucas Albert 8 Antoni Maria 9 John Boudebza 10 Julian Bousquet 11 Benjamin Garcia 12 Benjamin Jullien 13 Jason Baitieri 14 Romain Navarrete 15 Thibault Margalet 16 Maxime Herold 17 Remy Marginet 18 Olivier Arnaud 19 Mickael Rouch 20 Nabil Djalout 23 Lambert Belmas





About Max Layne 282 Articles
Max has no time for long bios, he has only time for sport and then more sport. Each week he tries to sum up what sport has tickled the collective fancy of The Gurgler.

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