France beat England to win 2016 Women's Six Nations

France score
Gaelle Mignot scored France's first try just before half-time
Women's Six Nations
France: (5) 17
Tries: Mignot (2), Forlani Cons: Cabalou
England: (7) 12
Tries: Thompson, Taylor Cons: Reed

France won the Women's Six Nations on points difference and denied England a Grand Slam with a hard-fought victory in a thrilling title decider in Vannes.

Lydia Thompson's try gave world champions England the lead.

France skipper Gaelle Mignot and Audrey Forlani put the hosts ahead, only for Tamara Taylor to level the scores.

But Mignot powered over again for her second try and France held on to secure the title, courtesy of their plus 78 points difference to England's 47.

England, who went into the match with four wins from four, last won the Grand Slam in 2012, which was also the last time they beat France in the Women's Six Nations.

France had lost to Wales earlier in the tournament but knew with their superior points difference that a victory would clinch the title.

England's men will seek to secure the Grand Slam when they take on France in Paris on Saturday night - they have already won the Six Nations title.

Final Women's Six Nations table
TeamPlayedWonDrawnLostPointsPts difference


England women's coach Scott Bemand: "They've done everything that was asked of them. They showed character and commitment. We tried to play to our plan against a really tough French team. We need to regroup. This group will continue to get better."

Thompson try puts England ahead

After a cagey start, Thompson wriggled through four flimsy tackles to score in the right-hand corner in the 25th minute.

France's forwards responded by powering over the line, only for the television match official to rule that England had prevented them from grounding the ball.

However, another maul from a scrum ended with hooker Mignot going over for France's first try just before the break.

French pack power proves decisive

The French forwards overpowered England again early in the second half and Forlani bundled through to put the hosts in the lead.

England's pack rallied to send second row Taylor over for a try that levelled the scores, but Amber Reed missed the conversion.

It did not matter, however, as another unstoppable French maul gave Mignot the chance to burst through and score the match-winning try.

England line-up

Starting XV: Katie Mason, Lydia Thompson, Lauren Cattell, Ceri Large, Lotte Clapp, Amber Reed, La Toya Mason; Rochelle Clark, Emma Croker, Vickii Cornborough, Emily Braund, Tamara Taylor, Harriet Millar-Mills, Izzy Noel-Smith, Sarah Hunter.

Replacements: Amy Cokayne, Heather Kerr, Bianca Dawson, Poppy Leitch, Poppy Cleall, Bianca Blackburn, Leanne Riley, Ruth Laybourn.

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