"Incredibly harsh" - Ugo Monye slams referee decision that cost England the win against France - Ruck

“Incredibly harsh” – Ugo Monye slams referee decision that cost England the win against France

Uproar ensued as former England star Ugo Monye expressed his dismay over the contentious penalty calls made against Steve Borthwick’s squad in the dying moments.

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France emerged triumphant in a heart-stopping showdown against England in Lyon, sealing a second-place finish in the 2024 Six Nations standings. The decisive moment came when Thomas Ramos delivered a jaw-dropping winning penalty from the halfway line.

Establishing a commanding 16-3 lead on their home turf, the French side seemed poised for victory before England staged a remarkable comeback. Ollie Lawrence’s crucial tries before and after halftime shifted the momentum in England’s favor.

Despite Marcus Smith extending England’s lead, France mounted a fierce counterattack, with Leo Barre and Gael Fickou narrowing the deficit. The match swung back and forth in a thrilling display of skill and determination.

In a breathtaking twist, Tommy Freeman’s late try appeared to secure the win for England, bolstered by George Ford’s successful conversion. However, Ramos had the final say, sealing victory with a nerve-racking kick from close to halfway. Yet, it was the controversial penalty leading to Ramos’ kick that ignited intense debate among pundits in the ITV studio.

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England player ratings vs France:

15. George Furbank – 5

Unfortunate to depart as early as he did, as he injured his calf muscle and departed after seven minutes. (Off for Marcus Smith, 7).

14. Tommy Freeman – 7

Too high off the line with the early blitz defence, as Gael Fickou sends the ball through his legs to Freeman’s surprise. Brilliant early runs, as he searches up to the French gain-line. Almost handed Alex Mitchell and assist, but his 48th minute offload didn’t go to hands. Thought that he was away with a break at 69 minutes, but the assistant referee called the play back for a deliberate knock on. Great finish in the corner, as he silenced Lyon with his 74th minute try.

13. Henry Slade – 6.5

Strong searching run at eight minutes, as he broke the gain-line and asked questions of Cyril Baille. Sent a silky pass to Ollie Lawrence, as England crossed over just before the half-time break, a strong assist on the 40th minute. Withdrawn for the returning Manu Tuilagi, as England fought power with power. (Off 60- Tuilagi)

12. Ollie Lawrence – 8

Good tackling from the off as France look to hit up the centre channels. Thumping collision with Damian Penaud, as the two collide after five minutes. Ran a brilliant line to score on the stroke of half-time, and breathe life into England’s game. Started the second half on fire, as he powered over from close range to score once again.

11. Elliot Daly – 6.5

Back in to the starting line-up as Manny Feyi-Waboso is out with a concussion. Claimed the high balls confidently, but swamped when trying to stretch his legs. Returned the favour with good kick chase and well timed tackles on the receivers. Vocal on the touchlines, as the assistant referee handed a line-out to France.

10. George Ford – 7.5

Not afraid to calm things down, and called for the first mark of the match with the play at an immense rate. Slotted the opening points of the match, and did well to bring down a full-pace Charles Ollivon, as he grounded the flanker at 30 minutes. Demanded more from his team, as France began to take control after the hour mark. Quick hands to Smith, to set up Freeman’s late try, before nailing the conversion from the corner.

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