Hall to the fore in England romp
11th November 2012
Winger Ryan Hall grabbed four tries as England cruised to an impressive 48-4 victory over France in the final of the autumn international series at the Salford City Stadium.
England ran in eight tries and skipper Kevin Sinfield kicked all eight conversions as they took their points tally to 172 in their three matches to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Great Britain's last World Cup triumph.
The hosts were leading 48-0 until winger Mathias Pala scored a last-minute consolation try for the French to provide a minor irritation for England coach Steve McNamara on his side's last full international before the 2013 World Cup next October.
That is when the real business will start for McNamara's men but they can look back on their autumn programme as a job well done.
McNamara will be especially delighted with the renewed half-back pairing of Sinfield and Rangi Chase, who won his place back at the expense of Richie Myler, while loose forward Sean O'Loughlin, who missed last week's game with a hamstring injury, also marked his return with an impressive showing.
Hall claimed the individual honours with his scoring heroics which took his tally to 13 tries in 15 appearances and took him past a former Leeds Rhinos winger, Mark Calderwood, into joint second place in England's all-time list.
Full-back Sam Tomkins, who went ahead of previous record-holder Alf Ellaby a week ago, scored two more to take his total to 16 in 15 appearances and extend his lead at the top.
With six part-timers in their line-up, it was always likely to be a case of damage limitation for France following their 44-6 defeat in Hull eight days earlier.
The return from injury of Jamal Fakir was meant to bolster the injury-hit French but he initially lasted only 13 minutes and, although he was able to return, looked well short of match fitness.
The kick-off was delayed because of the televised tennis but England quickly made up the time, Hall opening the scoring after eight minutes with his first try, the 150th of his career, courtesy of Tomkins' floated pass.
Sinfield and Chase were also involved in the move, as they were with England's other two first-half tries.
They combined to get Tomkins dummying his way over on 24 minutes and enabled O'Loughlin to work Hall over for his second thanks to another cut-out pass that exposed the defensive weaknesses in the French threequarter line.
France had their moments in the first half, particularly through the promptings of hard-working half-back William Barthau, but England's defence was superb.
The hosts lost veteran prop Adrian Morley within 90 seconds of the restart, following a clash of heads with team-mate Gareth Ellis, but found an extra gear in the second half.
Ellis' long pass enabled right winger Josh Charnley to go over for his fifth try in just two appearances while Chase's cut-out pass got Hall over for his hat-trick on 46 minutes.
Tomkins then provided another demonstration of his clinical finishing to claim his second try before working Hall over for his fourth in glorious fashion.
Chase began the length-of-the-field move by collecting Thomas Bosc's grubber kick on his own line and Tomkins supported him before supplying the final pass to Rob Burrow.