France finished the U18 Six Nations Festival undefeated as they powered past England at Kingsholm with a wonderful display
Prior to the match England had beaten both Wales and Ireland while France had downed Ireland and Italy, but it was the visitors who started the stronger as No.8 Killian Tixeront strode over.
Tom Curtis kicked England back into the game and Jude Williams added a try before Maxime Baudonne and Paul Mallez responded for France.
In the second half Curtis kicked two further penalties but late tries for Tixeront, scrum-half Nolan Le Garrec and replacement Maxence Darthou sealed the 40-19 result.
France started well and got the game’s opening try six minutes in when powerful No.8 Tixeront rode a pair of tackles to barge his way over the line.
The conversion was kicked and England fought their way upfield to allow fly-half Curtis to get his side on the board with a penalty.
The Sale Sharks youngster repeated the trick to cut the deficit to 7-6 and then wing Williams put his side ahead as he raced away down the left with searing speed.
France re-took the lead after a spell of pressure saw blindside flanker Baudonne capitalise on a break to saunter over the line.
Prop Mallez added a third from short distance as France led 21-13 at the break but Curtis cut that by three within minutes of the restart.
They fly-half added another three-pointer as their opponents led 21-19 for an extended period, the England defence holding firm until the final minutes when Tixeront threw a superb dummy before diving into the corner.
France’s sixth came as Le Garrec ran an excellent support line to get in down the left, with replacement Darthou darting over and celebrating wildly with the result already in the bag.