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France (15) 25
Try: Huget Con: Michalak Pens: Michalak 5, Spedding
England (6) 20
Try: Cipriani, Joseph Cons: Ford 2 Pens: Ford 2
France, considered an outsider to win this year's Rugby World Cup, defeated England 25-20 at home in the Stade Francais in front of 80,000 people. The game witnessed a scrappy match marred by numerous penalties against the Red Roses down 15-6 at the half. All of Les Bleus first half points came from penalties off the boot of Frederic Michalak.
After 70-minutes, France increased its lead to 25-6 off a try, conversion, and a penalty. Then, a somnambulant England awoke to score two tries, and two conversions to cut the lead to five points.
England had beaten France 19-14 a week earlier at Twickenham. But Coach Stuart Lancaster will have difficulty naming 31 players with so many starting positions in doubt.
England will have its last RWC warm up September 5 when a revitalized Ireland XV (14 wins of the past 15 matches) come to Twickenham.