England win sets up Wembley date with the Kiwis
England 34, France 6
At the DW Stadium
England sealed their passage to the semi-finals of Rugby League World Cup 2013 with a comfortable win over France as Sam Tomkins signed off his career at the DW Stadium by collecting the man of the match award.
France capitalised on a slow start by England to score the opening try of the game through Vincent Duport, before England hit back with two tries apiece from Josh Charnley and Ryan Hall to send the hosts in at half time 22-6 ahead.
They added two more tries in the second half through Sean O'Loughlin and Brett Ferres, with Tomkins marring his performance by being sent to the sin bin late in the game for a professional foul.
Despite coming into the game as underdogs, France took an early lead through Duport as Ben Westwood and Kallum Watkins failed to prevent the centre from driving over the line, before Thomas Bosc added the extras.
England came close to scoring as Sinfield's cross kick found Hall, but the Leeds winger was stopped a couple of metres short of the line.
However, they began to get into their stride, Tomkins embarking on a mazy run before finding Charnley who was presented with a simple finis. Sinfield levelled the scores with the conversion.
England were then awarded a penalty which they made full use of when Rangi Chase cut inside only to see his run halted by a high tackle by the covering Eloi Pelissier.
Tomkins was in the thick of the action following the penalty and he found Hall out wide who went over to regain his place as the tournament's leading try scorer.
From this point, England were in full control and French indiscipline was beginning to prove costly. Charnley added a second try to his tally shortly after the visitors conceded another penalty, with Kallum Watkins this time putting the Wigan winger over.
England strengthened their position following a darting run from Roby at dummy half. Eventually the ball worked its way out to Leroy Cudjoe, who put Hall over for his eighth try of the tournament.
A forward pass then put England under the cosh just 15 metres from their own line, however resolute defending, particularly from Watkins, kept the home side’s 16 point lead intact at the break.
England survived a French attack early in the second half before they went further ahead. A high kick to the corner by Chase was knocked back before O'Loughlin who went over, his try only confirmed after lengthy deliberation by the video referee.
Handling errors from Watkins and Chase gave France an extended period of possession inside the England 20, but strong defensive sets successfully kept France at bay.
Charnley looked set to claim a hat-trick with 10 minutes remaining, but a poor pass from Watkins near the corner thwarted the winger.
As England threatened to add a fifth try, a Tomkins pass was picked off by Cardace, who set sail for the England line, but he was cut down by an excellent tackle from Ferres. Tomkins's final action in front of the DW crowd was to be sent to the sin bin for holding down the French winger.
Ferres sealed the victory when he broke through the French defence and was awarded a try after deliberation from the video referee.
1 Sam Tomkins
2 Josh Charnley
3 Kallum Watkins
4 Leroy Cudjoe
5 Ryan Hall
6 Rangi Chase
7 Kevin Sinfield
8 James Graham
9 Michael McIlorum
10 Chris Hill
11 Sam Burgess
12 Ben Westwood
13 Sean O’Loughlin
14 James Roby
15 George Burgess
16 Brett Ferres
17 Liam Farrell
1 Morgan Escare
2 Damien Cardace
3 Jean-Philippe Baile
4 Vincent Duport
5 Clint Greenshields
6 Thomas Bosc
7 William Barthau
8 Jamal Fakir
9 Kane Bentley
10 Remi Casty
11 Olivier Elima
12 Sebastian Raguin
13 Gregory Mounis
14 Eloi Pelissier
15 Younes Khattabi
16 Antoni Maria
17 Mickael Simon
Referee: Ashley Klein
England 34 Tries: Charnley 2, Hall 2, O'Loughlin, Ferres Goals: Sinfield 5
France 6 Try: Duport. Goals: Bosc