The final match of the Six Nations 2022 is going to be an explosive encounter, as the Stade de France hosts France vs England. If Ireland managed to claw a win against Scotland in the game before, then the pressure will be on France to secure the win, in order to claim the coveted title, but will England have what it takes to upset the balance and leave France out in the cold for another year? In what I already suspect is going to be a close game, let’s take a look at who will claim the honours and if France will walk away with the Grand Slam.
History of the Team’s Encounters
The rivalry between France vs England has been fierce since all the way back at the turn of the 20th century. With 108 matches having been played, there is a lot of history to analyse. Let’s take a look at how both sides have performed, to see if we can catch a glimmer of a winner at this stage.
|Wins for France||Wins for England||Tied Matches|
History seems to be telling us that England have the upper hand, going into this game, but then a lot of rugby fans and pundits will have seen that the betting odds have France as the favourites. I have a feeling that we will need to look further afield if we are to understand why this is the case.
Six Nations Standings and Results from the First Four Weeks
Looking at more recent history may provide us the insight as to why France appear to be the favourites in this match. Below, I have included the current Six Nations 2022 standings, along with the end results from all of the matches in the competition so far.
Six Nations 2022 Table
|Team||Wins||Draws||Losses||Points Difference||Bonus Try Points||Overall Points|
Six Nations 2022 Results
|France vs Italy||37-10||France|
|France vs Ireland||30-24||France|
|Scotland vs France||17-36||France|
|Wales vs France||9-13||France|
|Scotland vs England||20-17||Scotland|
|Italy vs England||0-33||England|
|England vs Wales||23-19||England|
|England vs Ireland||15-32||Ireland|
Analysis of Standings and Results
From the above results, I think we can start to get a picture of why France are seen as so strong, going into this game. An undefeated streak is no mean feat, and all plaudits have to go to the French for pulling this off. England, on the other hand, seem mediocre at best, having only pulled off two wins from four games – a drastic fall from the success of their Autumn Internationals 2021 series. Furthermore, France have not only won all of their matches, they have done so in convincing style in all but their match against Wales last week. It is therefore not hard to see why France may be coming away with at least four points in this clash of the titans.
The 16th Man and the Benefits of Playing at Home
Favourite teams playing at home in the final week of the Six Nations is always a treat for rugby fans, but the French will be doubly delighted, as this will give them the home advantage they need, to tip the balance in their favour and pull off the title win. If ever they were a time for the French to come alive and carry Les Blues all the way to the 80-minute whistle, this is the match they need to do it. Having said that, when was the last time you saw a France vs England match at the Stade de France where the atmosphere was not incredible?
Attacking Options Based on Previous Points Scorers
As rugby has evolved, it has become increasingly difficult to create new attacking plays to shock and overwhelm opponents, but the teams that have managed to convert sound theory into consistent tries and kicked points have found themselves the dominant forces in world rugby. From that perspective, I think it is important to analyse the scoring potentials of both teams, in order to see whom is more likely to walk away from this France vs England match, smiling at the scoreboard.
|Melvyn Jaminet||44||0 tries, 7 conversions, 10 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Damian Penaud||15||3 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Gabin Villière||15||3 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Gaël Fickou||10||2 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Cyril Baille||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Jonathan Danty||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Antoine Dupont||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Anthony Jelonch||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Yoram Moefana||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Paul Willemse||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Romain Ntamack||2||0 tries, 1 conversion, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Marcus Smith||63||2 tries, 4 conversions, 15 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Jamie George||10||2 tries, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Elliot Daly||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Alex Dombrandt||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
|Kyle Sinckler||5||1 try, 0 conversions, 0 penalties, 0 drop goals|
We can see a lot of difference in quality between the two teams. France lead in total points, 116 to 88; points difference, 56 to 17; number of tries, 14 to seven; number of conversions, eight to four; and players to have scored. The only redeeming factor for England is their incredible star player, Marcus Smith, who has managed to rack up a jaw-dropping 63 points from his solo efforts. Is the youngster going to be add enough by himself to keep the rest of England afloat for 80 minutes, though? Unfortunately, one swallow does not a summer make.
My Overall France vs England Match Prediction Winner: A Grand Party for a Grand Slam
I think there is a grand old party coming on Saturday, but I do not think that England fans will be the focal point of the celebrations. History may back England to do the business again, but France are currently in a league of their own. I think it is lights out for all of the other European teams in the Six Nations 2022, and France will be lifting the trophy and claiming the Grand Slam title, come the final whistle. Well done, Les Blues, and let’s hope to see more amazing action next year.
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