Anglo-French Stalemates

[photograph courtesy of Empics, via www.sportnetwork.net]
Ahead of the imminent England-France rugby skirmish, it is worth pointing out that drawn encounters between the Channel neighbours of England and France are almost as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth. This is all the more surprising, since both nations have contrived to produce their fair share of close contests. In fact there have only been seven occasions when the old enemies settled for a share of the points, and the last example of egalite was exactly thirty years ago! Let’s briefly remind ourselves of the seven draws. [All England home matches were played at Twickenham.]
2nd of February 1985: England 9 France 9
Jean-Patrick Lescarboura amazingly achieved a hat-trick of drop goals. However, his team were denied by Rob Andrew who kicked two penalties and also landed a drop goal of his own.
2nd of March 1974: France 12 England 12; at Parc des Princes
Jean-Pierre Romeu provided a penalty, a drop goal, a try, and a conversion. England had trailed 6-0 at the halfway stage. Winger David Duckham scored their only try, converted by Alan Old.
27th of February 1971: England 14 France 14
Roland Bertranne scored a try on his debut, as France bounced back from a 14-6 interval deficit. Bob Hiller scored all of England’s points, kicking three penalties and converting his own try.
25th of February 1961: England 5 France 5
Harding and Crauste recorded converted tries for England and France respectively. For the second successive year, France were ultimately denied a grand slam by their draw avec L’Angleterre.
27th of February 1960: France 3 England 3; at Colombes
Mike Weston scored the match’s only try, but his effort was cancelled out by a penalty from France’s Michel Vannier. This was the only point that either team dropped in the 1960 campaign.
28th of February 1959: England 3 France 3
Jim Hetherington and Antoine Labazuy swapped first-half penalties. The match remained deadlocked throughout the second half.
25th of February 1922: England 11 France 11
At the twelfth time of asking, the French finally denied England a win. The visitors trailed 6-0 at the interval before scoring three tries. England’s Tom Voyce also grabbed a second-half try.

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