Perhaps the match of the day, both England and France have had their fair share of lively contests in the past and over the years in all forms.
The opening stanza of the first half was all England as they dominated every facet of the game.
It took just five minutes to trouble the scorers as Ryan Hall had an easy passage to the line.
His try came off the back of an initial George Williams kick that was then batted down, spread through the hands and Hall was ready to score.
Hall then had a double inside 11 minutes, this time a quick shift through the hands that ended with the veteran winger to cruise over.
Sydney Roosters lock Victor Radley then found some space through the middle and had Luke Thompson backing up on his inside as the big prop went over to score.
Seemingly in control of the game, the English were perhaps taking their foot off the gas somewhat in the last patch of the first half.
In doing so, they allowed the French side back into the contest.
France’s first try came off the back of a deft kick from half Arthur Mourgue and he was able to win the race to the ball and score himself.
Eloi Pelissier then burrowed his way over from dummy half under the posts to make for an interesting contest heading into the second half.
The English quickly regained momentum in the second half, however, as John Bateman scooted from right to left, made a half break and found Elliott Whitehead who scored.
Some shrewd dummy half work from Andy Ackers gifted England further points as his grubber in behind found Radley to score simply.
A simple raid down the right hand side went through multiple hands before Welsby found Dom Young for his first try of the game.
Dom Young’s second try was much better as he intercepted a pass from Pelissier and raced 90m to score.
The French heart shone through, though, and they were rewarded with a third try.
Some never-say-die antics from Tony Gigot saw him evade tacklers with spins, jinks, weaves and darts, before finding Arthur Romano to score.
England coach Shaun Wane wants to see more consistency in his side ahead of the game v Greece.
“We did some really good things, we just weren’t consistent enough,” Wane said.
“We are into the Greece [game] week and we will just take it [as it comes].”
French coach Laurent Frayssinous admits that England were the better side but knows that his team pushed the England buttons in more ways than one.
“The first 30 minutes was tough for us and England put massive pressure on us, but we got back into the game which I think we can be proud of,” Frayssinous said.
“I am proud of the effort of the boys, we challenged a great England team in a few areas.”
England 42 (Hall 2, Young 2, Whitehead, Thompson, Radley; G: Sneyd 7) def. France 18 (Mourgue, Pelissier, Romano; G: Mourgue 3).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Victor Radley (ENG)
2. Dom Young (ENG)
1. Arthur Mourgue (FRA)