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How did the French react to their record Six Nations win over England?

Whether in newspapers or online, there was much joy over France’s 53-10 victory over England in the Six Nations rugby tournament

France’s 53-10 over England was the first French victory in the Six Nations at Twickenham for 18 years Pic: Paolo Bona / Shutterstock

France’s 53-10 over England was the first French victory in the Six Nations at Twickenham for 18 years.
It was also France’s largest victory in the tournament and England’s biggest defeat at their home ground. 

Read more: French rugby terms to know ahead of Le Crunch with England

Here The Connexion rounds up the reaction in France to the humiliation inflicted on their cross-Channel rivals.  

French press marvel over record win 

Unsurprising after a record win, the French press was very complimentary. 

‘God save the kings!’ wrote French sports daily l’Equipe, underlining France’s historic victory but also recognising the desperate plight of English rugby.

‘Rois d’Angleterre’ (‘Kings of England’) headlined Le Parisien, while Var-Matin, a local newspaper in southern France, went for ‘Une claque pour l’histoire’ (‘A slap for history’)

Midi Olympique had “Kiffenham”, a play-on-words, combining Twickenham and the French word from the Arabic kiff (to love, to like.)

Newspapers used classic French rugby imagery such as its rooster emblem, including Var Matin, which inked that France a remis le coq au milieu de la basse-cour (put the rooster back onto the barn). That is a reference to  the French expression remettre l'église au centre du village (putting things back to normal.)

Le Journal du Dimanche said France’s rugby stars ‘walked on water’, adding the victory at Twickenham – the first there in 18 years in the Six Nations – will stay in the history books for a long time.

Similar reaction online

French Twitter struck a similar chord to the back pages. 

‘On a marché sur les Anglais’ (‘We walked on the English’) tweeted Neurchi de rugby in a reference to ‘On a marché sur la lune’ (‘We walked on the moon’ or the official translation ‘Explorers on the moon’), a famous Tintin comic book by Hergé.  

Another user published a poster-like advert with a rooster on top of a rosbif (roast beef), the nickname the French use for the English.

Others published footage of the game, often Thibaud Flament’s second try or -- more cruelly – videos of English supporters leaving the stadium before the end of the game.

Pierre-Antoine Damecour, a TV host for l’Equipe TV, tweeted the moment French supporters chanted “sorry good game” at English supporters as they were leaving.

Benoît Hamon, once the Socialist Party’s candidate for the French presidency, said he was speechless. He flagged the 53-10 scoreline, but also the 42-7 victory of France’s U20 rugby team over the English. 

France now heads into its final Six Nations game against Wales at the Stade de France on Saturday (March 18). Ireland will face England, knowing victory will secure them the Grand Slam.

Read also

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