French renaissance ends England
Julien Bonnaire of France is tackled by Toby Flood of England during quarter final two of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between England and France at Eden Park on October 8, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.
France bounced back from last week's humiliation to stun England at Eden Park, winning 19-12 to advance to the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-finals.
England were second best as they could not make it three finals in a row, while les Bleus deservedly march on to face Wales next week.
First-half tries from Vincent Clerc and Maxime Medard ultimately gave France a 16-0 cushion that England could not claw their way back from.
Man of the match: Plenty of heart was shown by France - even when the going was tough - and no one epitomised that more than Julien Bonnaire. The flank tackled all night for his country, putting in key hits to halt England gaining any sustainable momentum.
Thierry Dusautoir of France tries to find his way through the England defense during quarter final two of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between England and France at Eden Park on October 8, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.
France secure semi spot with flair and power
Imanol Harinordoquy gave a barnstorming display to earn the man-of-the-match award as France reached the Rugby World Cup semi-finals with a 19-12 win against England on Saturday.
Les Bleus avoided a third straight RWC loss to England with a classic performance that married France's twin traditions of backline flair and forward power.
Number 8 Harinordoquy and back-row colleagues Thierry Dusautoir and Julien Bonnaire bossed their English counterparts and gave creative players Jonny Wilkinson and Toby Flood a torrid time.
This dominance ensured England were unable to gain a toehold in the match until it was too late.
It was England’s lack of discipline that allowed France to build the platform on which they secured their half-time lead.
In only his third match at fly half for Les Bleus, Morgan Parra pulled the strings to great effect and played a hand in both of his side's tries.
The result made a mockery of claims the French were a side riddled with divisions and in disarray after losing heavily to New Zealand and surprisingly to Tonga in their final two pool matches.
with game video:
Toby Flood of England is tackled by Pascal Pape (top) and Jean-Baptiste Poux of France and during quarter final two of the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup between England and France at Eden Park on October 8, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.**
France v Wales