Rugby World Cup 2011 - England 12-19 France
England manager Martin Johnson says his side gave themselves too much to do against France
Jonny Wilkinson admits their loss is painful but expresses pride in the entire squad
Dimitri Yachvili says his side will enjoy the win over England but will have to improve in the semis
England dreams ended by inspired France
France ended England's Rugby World Cup campaign with a 19-12 upset win in their quarter-final at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday night.
It was the third time England - the 2003 world champions - had lost in the last eight of the World Cup, following defeats to Wales in 1987 and to South Africa in 1999.
Les Bleus played with a degree of freedom that had not seemed possible in their more restrictive performances, especially against New Zealand and Tonga, in the pool matches.
They were also more disciplined, not allowing the England kickers a single penalty attempt at goal.
Vincent Clerc and Maxime Medard scored first-half tries for France to set them on their way to a 16-0 lead at half-time, before England fought back through Ben Foden in the 54th minute.
Mark Cueto then crossed with just four minutes remaining to give England some slight hope but France held on to set up a semi-final clash with Wales, who beat Ireland earlier in the day, in Auckland next Saturday.
It was indicative of France's dominance that England flanker and captain Lewis Moody was substituted in the 60th minute. Wing Chris Ashton did not get enough ball to be a threat while the tight forwards were unable to gain an ascendancy over the French pack.
The French backs owed plenty to hard running by centre Aurelien Rougerie and fullback Medard, whose subtle running made him dangerous.
England's ill-discipline early in tackled ball situations and scrummaging saw them concede too many penalties, with French halfback Dimitri Yachvili converting two of them into points.
Yachvili was in everything, calling the shots and leading England a merry dance during the first half. After conceding a scrum penalty, France stole the lineout, moved the ball to the centre field where fly-half Morgan Parra completed a double-round move.
That gave Clerc space down the left and he raced toward the line, seeming to be held in a tackle only to corkscrew his way out of it and score the try.
Again England's poor discipline cost them dearly after lazy running by lock Louis Deacon allowed France to kick deep into England's 22m area.
England, in attempting to defend, conceded two advantages and from the second a long pass by Yachvili found wing Alexis Palisson and just as he was nabbed by the cover he flung an inside pass to Medard, who crossed to take France out to 16-0 half-an-hour into the game.
England threw everything into a final assault before half-time but two mistakes, on either side of the field, on the end of long passes denied them their chances.
The second half meandered along until Ben Youngs injected some momentum by quickly tapping a penalty and accelerating through the French defences. In the phase play afterwards it was Foden who found space to cross in the 54th minute with Jonny Wilkinson adding the conversion.
France were scoreless in the second half until the 72nd minute when replacement fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc landed a dropped goal after an extensive period of French pressure.
Wing Cueto crossed in the 76th minute for a late consolation try to England.
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