England Women leave it late to complete back-to-back wins over France

PUBLISHED: 12:52 17 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:54 17 November 2019

England's Lydia Thompson sprints forward on her way to scoring England's winning try during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

England's Lydia Thompson sprints forward on her way to scoring England's winning try during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

A dramatic last-minute try from Lydia Thompson saw England to a 17-15 victory over France in Exeter.

England's Zoe Harrison arrives at the ground during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland's Zoe Harrison arrives at the ground during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

A poor clearance kick was worked to the right wing where Emily Scarratt, who passed the 500-point mark in international rugby, fed Thompson to sprint and dive over the line.

England's Emily Scarratt is tackled by France's Pauline Bourdon during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland's Emily Scarratt is tackled by France's Pauline Bourdon during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

The chance looked to have gone when Zoe Aldcroft received a yellow card but that was evened out moments later by Romane Menager's infraction.

England's Hannah Botterman (left) Sarah Bern and Marlie Packer (right) inspect the pitch before kick off during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland's Hannah Botterman (left) Sarah Bern and Marlie Packer (right) inspect the pitch before kick off during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

Earlier tries from Laure Sansus and Caroline Boujard as well as a penalty and conversion for Jessy Tremouliere had looked to allow France redemption for the defeat on home soil seven days earlier.

England head coach Scott Middleton (second left) holds a post match team talk during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland head coach Scott Middleton (second left) holds a post match team talk during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

Scarratt had kept the Red Roses, featuring former Welwyn juniors Hannah Botterman and Zoe Harrison as well as Harpenden's Sarah McKenna, in touch though with four penalties before Thompson's late winner.

England captain Sarah Hunter and team mates sign mini balls before handing them out to fans at full time during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland captain Sarah Hunter and team mates sign mini balls before handing them out to fans at full time during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

Head coach Simon Middleton said: "I got the feeling in the changing room at half-time that we were too anxious, not just with how we played but with what the situation of the game was.

England captain Sarah Hunter gives a post match team talk next to Hannah Botterman during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland captain Sarah Hunter gives a post match team talk next to Hannah Botterman during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

"I'm absolutely thrilled with the win and one of the things we've learnt to do really well is win tight games. We did it twice in the Super Series in the summer and we've done it again today.

England celebrate at full time during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland celebrate at full time during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

"When you've got a player like Lydia Thompson on the field who specialises in tries you're always in with a shout.

England celebrate at full time during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland celebrate at full time during the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

It was a good connection to score the try at the end, it looks simple but we were under massive pressure and we executed and we finished."

France's Gabrielle Vernier with the ball during the women's international match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAFrance's Gabrielle Vernier with the ball during the women's international match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

England complete their autumn series at Goldington Road in Bedford against Italy.

England captain Sarah Hunter and Hannah Botterman listen to a team talk after the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PAEngland captain Sarah Hunter and Hannah Botterman listen to a team talk after the Women's International match at Sandy Park, Exeter. Picture: MARK KERTON/PA

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