WATCH: Double red card for horror tip tackle ends France Under-20s' Grand Slam hopes against England
England Under-20s put paid to France's Grand Slam ambitions with a 22-6 victory in Beziers on Friday night in a match overshadowed by an extraordinary double red card incident when the hosts' replacement second row Pierre-Henri Azagoh and replacement prop Hassane Kolingar were sent off for a dangerous tip tackle on Fraser Dingwall.
Romain Ntamack had put France ahead with a penalty but they were progressively weakened when centre Arthur Vincent and captain Killian Géraci limped off injured. Tom Hardwick levelled the scores soon afterwards and England took the lead when captain Ben Earl broke slickly and moved the ball out to Cameron Redpath on the wing to go over in the corner. Hardwick's conversion gave the visitors a 10-3 half-time lead.
In the second half France lost a third player to injury, the wing Iban Etcheverry, but fought back with great tenacity and Earl was forced into the sin bin when he disrupted a maul five metres from the England line.
England stood firm with 14 men but after the England captain returned, the two sides traded penalties before Hardwick extended the away side's advantage to 10 points by kicking a penalty from 35 metres.
It was after England had established that relatively convincing lead that Azagoh and Kolingar picked Dingwall up by his legs and tip tackled him, earning both red cards and possible long-term bans.
Quitte à perdre le match autant le faire avec style. Double carton rouge. La France toujours dans l'innovation. pic.twitter.com/jtFH4M7nEA— greub (@greub1) March 9, 2018
Hardwick kicked the ensuing penalty and another to give England a decisive victory that gives them parity with France on 15 points at the top of the table with a game each to play - England at home against Ireland, France away in Wales next Friday.