France v England NatWest Six Nations 2018
WMG had another great time at the Six Nations on Saturday where we entertained our guests at the Official On-Site Hospitality within the Stade de France.
The day started with me up early and excited to be heading to Kings Cross to pick up a Euro Star to Paris (as opposed the usual Thameslink to St Albans).
After finding my hotel which was not easy, I had some lunch changed and headed over to the Stade de France to meet our clients and host what was a fantastic hospitality experience for our clients.
We had a large group over from the UK and also a large group from France so I was doing my best to remain neutral, though after hearing the result from the earlier Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium I knew England had it all to do requiring 4 tries to stay in contention.
The Champagne reception was fantastic with all our guests interacting and enjoying a really top notch 4 course dinner in a atmosphere that was buzzing with rugby fans. The VIP area within the Stade de France really impressed me I must say.
England were looking to get their Six Nations championship defence back on track on Saturday evening as we took on France , looking to make up for their shock defeat by Scotland last time out, however they needed a bonus- point win against France to keep the Six Nations title from Ireland, but a very unspectacular performance in 22-16 defeat in Paris, led to Joe Schmidt’s side gaining a third championship in five years.
A penalty try, four penalties from Maxime Machenaud and one from Lionel Beauxis gave France the win while England’s points came from a Jonny May try that was converted by Owen Farrell who also added two penalties, with Elliot Daly landing one.
Eddie Jones’ men needed to beat France and score four tries to keep the championship alive, but they came nowhere close in display that lacked any excitement, the game was poised at 9-9 at half time but was opened when Anthony Watson’s high tackle on Benjamin Fall forced the England full-back to be sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes and penalty try awarded.
A key phase was unfolding four minutes after half-time as Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole and Joe Launchbury carried hard only for the increasingly influential Mathieu Bastareaud to claim a critical turnover close to his own line.
England did score in the 73rd minute after Owen Farrell fired out a pass to Elliot Daly on the wing, who beautifully knocked it back inside to Jonny May who went over, Farrell converted.
A converted try would have secured it for England, but France held strong just a matter of feet away from the try line as the Red Roses surrendered their two-year dominance of the NatWest 6 Nations.
Not since 2006 have England lost three matches in a single Six Nations season, however with Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday, a Grand Slam within their reach its become a real possibility.
Although Ireland have already won the Six Nations and deservedly so, I am really looking forward to heading down to Twickenham next weekend to watch England v Ireland in the last game of the Six Nations. It is falling on St Patricks Day so even though I will be working, I feel a few pints of Guinness will be the right way to go. Can England improve from their last 2 poor performances and stop the Irish from making it a Grand Slam.