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Farrell proud of brave England after late comeback

Farrell proud of brave England after late comeback

Owen Farrell lifts the trophy as England are Autumn Nations Cup champions

Owen Farrell hailed England’s resilience after they battled back to beat France in sudden death and win the Autumn Nations Cup.

Les Bleus looked like holding on for a shock win when they led 19-12 in the final minute but Luke Cowan-Dickie’s try off the back of a driving maul set up Farrell’s conversion to tie it.

The England captain was uncharacteristically wayward off the tee, missing three kicks in normal time and one in sudden death, but he held his nerve to kick the winning penalty in the 95th minute.

It brings an end to a successful autumn for England, who also won the Guinness Six Nations in October.

“We probably did not come out of the blocks in the first half. We did well when we were on the back foot and kept getting me chances to win it,” he said.

“It took a while to get there but we were excellent. I am just thankful we got the win because the boys deserved it based on the second half.

“There will be stuff to work on going forwards, particularly from that first half. That will be highlighted but I thought the attitude we came out with in the second half when we were under pressure at the end was excellent.

“It was a great effort to get that try at the end. This has been a good block for us, we spent nine weeks together and we always grow when we are with each other for that amount of time.

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“It is not too long before we get back together again and we will enjoy it tonight.”

France led at half-time courtesy of a Brice Dulin try and two penalties from Matthieu Jalibert and they extended that through a further two from replacement fly-half Louis Carbonel after the break.

England struggled to breakdown France’s defence before Cowan-Dickie delivered right at the death off the back of a driving maul.

“It was a tough game, we didn’t play our best,” said England lock Maro Itoje.

“But we showed a massive amount of resilience to turn that game around. I feel good – I could have played another half without feeling too tired.

“We really had to be sharp. It was sudden death, a lapse in concentration and you can lose the game. Everyone was on the toes and you had to be on it, luckily we were.

“We didn’t play as good as we wanted to but all these things are learning experiences. The overarching message is we showed resilience.”

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