England undone in Paris

Exeter Chiefs forward Sam Simmonds reflects on defeat for his side against France in this season's NatWest Six Nations Championship. Picture: Getty Images

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs duo Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds both came off the bench as England’s hopes of glory in this season’s NatWest Six Nations Championship were ended by France in Paris.

Eddie Jones says his side need to come back stronger against Ireland next week after they lost out 22-16 at the Stade de France.

Heading into the game, defending champions England knew they had to register a bonus-point win to retain hopes of the Championship title following Ireland's win over Scotland in Dublin.

But it was to be France who would run out winners as Maxime Machenaud's three first-half penalties cancelled out two from Owen Farrell and one from Elliot Daly.

In the second period a penalty try aided the French cause, meaning Jonny May's late score wasn't to be enough, leaving Jones disappointed.

"It's a learning curve for us," said the England head coach. "We're trying to and learning from these games and it's an important period for us. Whilst we are all disappointed, we are all gutted, we've got to make sure we learn from it and make sure we're stronger next time we play.

"We're about two or three per cent from where we need to be, we were beaten at the breakdown and gave away 16 penalties which is far too many. When we got momentum we didn't convert it into points. It seems like a long way away but it's not, we go through these periods as a team, we're going through a difficult period but we'll get through it."

England looked fired up in the opening to the game and led for much of the first half, with Farrell and Daly's penalties constantly nudging the away side ahead on the scoreboard.

But it was to be France who got the first score of the second period as Benjamin Fall was stopped by a high tackle from Anthony Watson, meaning a penalty try was awarded.

Chiefs duo Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds line-up for England ahead of kick-off at the Stade de France. Picture: Frozen in Motion

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