France overpower Wales in Six Nations thriller

France overpower Wales in Six Nations thriller

Romain Taofifenua scores France’s bonus-point strive regardless of strain from Wales’ Gareth Davies
Wales (17) 24
Tries: Dyer, T Williams, Roberts Cons: Costelow 2 Pens: Costelow
France (20) 45
Tries: Fickou, Le Garrec, Colombe, R Taofifenua, Lucu Cons: Ramos 4 Pens: Ramos 4

France overpowered winless Wales in an eight-try Six Nations thriller in Cardiff.

France scored tries by Gael Fickou, Nolann Le Garrec, Georges-Henri Colombe, Romain Taofifenua and Maxime Lucu, with Thomas Ramos including 20 factors.

Wales managed tries from Rio Dyer, Tomos Williams and Joe Roberts however had been outmuscled within the second half.

France scored 25 unanswered factors within the last quarter.

It was a highest factors tally for Les Bleus in Wales as Fabien Galthie’s facet bounced again from a draw with Italy, lifting themselves to fourth within the desk.

Warren Gatland’s facet, who’re rooted to the underside of the desk, now face the potential for a primary Six Nations Wooden Spoon since 2003.

This was an eleventh defeat in 12 Six Nations video games for Wales – 4 throughout this match – and a sixth successive loss to France.

Wales play Italy on the ultimate day of this yr’s Six Nations in Cardiff, whereas France host England in Lyon and Scotland journey to face leaders Ireland.

Le Garrec fills Dupont’s huge boots

Wales had misplaced their opening three Six Nations video games, with slender defeats in opposition to Scotland and England earlier than a 31-7 reverse in Dublin.

France had misplaced to Ireland and drawn with Italy, whereas claiming a scratchy victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

That combined return had created a debate about whether or not France had been in disaster, with the place of head coach Fabien Galthie additionally questioned.

This dominant efficiency ought to finish such speak that for now.

Galthie made eight modifications, deciding on three debutants in full-back Leo Barre, centre Nicolas Depoortere and lock Emmanuel Meafou.

There was a brand new half-back pairing, with Le Garrec producing a player-of-the-match efficiency and Ramos switching successfully to fly-half from full-back.

Wales had initially made 4 personnel modifications, with a further positional change from lock for captain Dafydd Jenkins, who began at blind-side flanker for the primary time in his skilled profession

Centres George North and Nick Tompkins had been controversially dropped, changed by Roberts and Owen Watkin, whereas hooker Ryan Elias was a late withdrawal due to a hamstring damage. Elliot Dee due to this fact began, main the facet out on his fiftieth cap.

Rio Dyer dives to score a try for Wales against France
Rio Dyer’s wonderful particular person break introduced him a first-half strive

Costelow and Ramos exchanged early penalties earlier than Dyer broke by the France defence for a wonderful particular person strive.

An enormous scrum offered the platform for Ramos’ second penalty, whereas the formidable France assault broke down the Wales defence as Fickou powered by an tried Costelow deal with to attain.

Wales restored the benefit virtually instantly with Watkin scything by the guests’ defence earlier than discovering scrum-half Williams who cantered over.

The hosts conceded a easy strive when Fickou burst by from an attacking scrum to put the foundations for Le Garrec to dummy his manner over.

Le Garrec’s efficiency demonstrated why he’s the person to fill the footwear of Antoine Dupont whereas he’s away with the France sevens group.

Le Garrec’s outrageous reverse move virtually resulted in a 3rd France strive because the guests led 20-17 at half-time.

Gael Fickou bundles his way over the line to score for France against Wales
Gael Fickou bundles his manner over the road to attain for France in opposition to Wales

Wales began the second half in gorgeous model, with some neat interaction between Costelow, Reffell and Williams creating the house for Roberts to cross for his first Wales strive in his second worldwide.

France modified half their pack, together with the front-row trio, as they aimed to revive their bodily benefit, and lock Thibaud Flament was denied a strive after he dropped the ball over the Wales line.

Power play

The house facet additionally made modifications, together with the introduction of fly-half Ioan Lloyd and lack of injured Reffell, which left Wales with no pure open-side flanker for the ultimate quarter.

The France onslaught continued as Wales frequently conceded penalties with Ramos decreasing the deficit to 1 level.

Wing Damien Penaud was inflicting havoc down France’s proper flank and an excellent Le Garrec pick-up continued the flowing transfer which ended with Colombe driving over.

Replacement scrum-half Gareth Davies then noticed his kick charged down by France alternative lock Taofifenua, who gathered possession to attain the bonus-point strive. Ramos’ profitable conversion ensured France had scored 17 factors in 9 minutes.

Wales handed a debut to Cardiff alternative hooker Evan Davies, who has made simply six alternative senior appearances after changing from quantity eight to the entrance row.

That simply demonstrated the stark distinction within the expertise of the 2 benches.

It was left to France alternative scrum-half Lucu to cross for the ultimate attempt to give the massive travelling contingent the ultimate cheer as chants of “Allez les bleus” reverberated across the Principality Stadium.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland: “We were up 24-23 but didn’t manage the game with turnovers and we’re disappointed with some soft points given away.

“We in all probability overplayed. When we had been down by six factors and also you’re considering simply play territory make it simple for yourselves, we harm ourselves and didn’t play effectively sufficient in that final interval.

“France put our scrum under pressure, that’s something we’ve been working hard on and we’re not there at the moment. I thought our line-out was excellent and our line speed could have been better.

“The plan was if we went a number of phases we might trigger them numerous issues and we did. But we did not assist ourselves with a number of the errors for us.”

French captain Gregory Alldritt: “We had a fantastic efficiency in the present day, we had been pissed off after Italy and wished to make France proud once more, so it is nice to do this at this stadium.

“We have a massive pack and we wanted to be tough on the collision. We have some good young players and I’m proud of them.”


Wales: Winnett; Adams, Roberts, Watkin, Dyer; Costelow, Tomos Williams; G Thomas, Dee, Assiratti, Rowlands, Beard, D Jenkins (capt), Reffell, Wainwright.

Replacements: E Lloyd, Domachowski, Lewis, Martin, Mann, G Davies, I Lloyd, Grady.

France: Barre; Penaud, Fickou, Depoortere, Bielle-Biarrey; Ramos, Le Garrec; Baille, Marchand, Atonio, Flament, Meafou, Cros, Ollivon, Alldritt (capt).

Replacements: Mauvaka, S Taofifenua, Colombe, Taofifenua, Roumat, Boudehent, Lucu, Moefana.

Match officers

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Touch judges: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Damian Schneider (Australia)

TMO: Ian Tempest (England)

With inputs from BBC

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