England’s Emily Scarratt holds nerve to beat France with late penalty

The England centre Emily Scarratt scored a penalty in the closing moments as the world’s top-ranked women’s team battled to a 25-23 victory over France at Twickenham in the second of their two November internationals.

The Red Roses came into the game having won 10 of their last 11 meetings with France, including last weekend’s 33-10 win in Grenoble, but began slowly as the visitors scored tries through Émeline Gros and Cyrielle Banet to lead 15-5 at the break.

With Banet sent to the sin-bin for a yellow card following the restart, England scored a try through Lark Davies to cut the deficit to five points but Caroline Drouin made it 18-10 for France with a penalty.

Emily Scarratt kicks her last-minute penalty to give England victory against France

Emily Scarratt kicks her last-minute penalty to give England victory against France. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Observer

Banet crossed the line again to swell France’s lead to 23-10 before Poppy Cleall and then Ellie Kildunne scored tries to drag the Six Nations champions back into the contest.

England trailed 22-23 and were awarded a penalty in the final minute. Scarratt, one of several to enter the game on the hour mark, made no mistake to seal the victory for Simon Middleton’s team. England had stayed patient as the clock went red, going through the phases until the referee’s arm went up about 15 yards from the line and Scarratt, the world player of the year, made no mistake from the right of the posts.

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England and France are scheduled to face off in next year’s World Cup in New Zealand after being drawn in the same pool.

The Guardian

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