Owen Farrell believes England will only have themselves to blame after going down 24-17 to France in their opening match of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations in Paris.
The visitors failed to get on the scoreboard in the first half at the Stade de France, with Vincent Rattez, and Charles Ollivon crossing for France, as they went into the break 17 points to the good.
Ollivon then bagged his second of the afternoon to give the hosts a 24-point advantage, before England eventually got themselves going with two Jonny May tries around the hour mark.
It was too little too late for Eddie Jones’ side though, as they struggled to produce their best form in the French capital, and are left with an uphill task if they are to emerge victorious from this year’s Championship despite securing a late bonus point.
“They scored tries off of a couple of our mistakes, we probably had the ball a bit too much in our own half. We made a couple of mistakes and then they capitalised on the back of a few of them,” the England fly-half said.
“After that we couldn’t seem to get a foothold, they seemed to grow a bit in the first half, which you would do when you get a few points, but we seemed to pause.
“Second half I think we showed what we are about a bit more but then again that was probably not the way that we would want to defend.”
This was England’s first match since they tasted defeat to South Africa in the 2019 World Cup final, and they struggled to get going right from the off at Stade de France.
Rattez touched down after five minutes, before the visitors seemed to temporarily stop to allow Ollivon to score his first of the game, but Farrell was adamant there was no hangover from the disappointment in Tokyo, instead turning his attention to next week’s clash with Scotland.
“I don’t think it’s due to mental fatigue, we were unbelievably excited to get back together, this result hasn’t gone our way but we’ve got a short turnaround now to Scotland so we need to get excited about that,” he said.
“They were more aggressive from the outside and probably in the first half we fed into that a little bit in this weather, the second half was a lot better but we left ourselves a bit to do.”