England have been crowned champions of the first-ever Autumn Nations Cup competition, after Owen Farrell’s penalty decided an incredibly tense final against France that went to sudden-death.
The captain had the opportunity to secure the trophy with a penalty attempt early in the first half of sudden-death, yet struck the post. The suspense continued for the 2,000 fans at Twickenham, and the millions watching on from home.
However, Farrell made no mistake on his second attempt to win the match that pundits and experts predicted to be a straight-forward victory for England. France proved that they were not in the final to make up the numbers, and brought the best out of a very strong home side.
The scores were level at 19-19 after 80 minutes, thanks to the last-ditch efforts of Luke Cowan-Dickie, who rescued the match for England.
The Exeter Hooker scored in his classic Chiefs style. He grounded the ball with only seconds left to play, after a powerful rolling maul from a line-out.
Owen Farrell’s successful conversion drew England back on level terms, despite the distraction shouts and charge downs from the French players which worked to no avail.
The 2,000 fans at Twickenham certainly got their money’s worth in this nail-biter, and the doors being re-opened to supporters gained a positive reaction across social media.
Nicola Bradshaw was one of those fans, and described the emotional rollercoaster she felt, watching on at Twickenham.
“It was good to get back there and to feel like we are heading in the right direction, it wasn’t a normal atmosphere, but people were trying to have some atmosphere.”
Well done @EnglandRugby and @Twickenhamstad for the COVID safety precautions and getting the fans back but, with only 2000 there, could the celebrations have not faced the fans?? #Rugby #ENGvFRA #EnglandRugby #Twickenham pic.twitter.com/oDpOz1ktwb— Nicola Bradshaw (@NicolaBradshaw0) December 6, 2020
“It was a super relief I suppose more than anything, as well as excitement! It was really great to see them pull it together in the end.”
“To see Farrell hit the post, it was a shock! We are really happy that it all came together in the end and England got the result they wanted.”