Wales frustrate France in Cardiff
- 21 Feb 2014
Wales scored two tries and punished France through the boot of Leigh Halfpenny to keep their title hopes alive with a 27-6 win at Millennium Stadium on Friday.
Unlike their performance against Ireland a fortnight ago, the Welsh pack came to the party, dominating the contact zones and shutting down all French attacks.
Wales led 20-6 at the interval thanks to an opportunistic try from George North, five penalties from Halfpenny, some interesting refereeing from Alain Rolland and a few howlers from Jean-Marc Doussain.
It was a dominant opening 40 minutes from the defending champions, who hardly allowed the French into their 22.
The second half saw just a single score, but skipper Sam Warburton's try sealed the win that reignites the Wales' hopes of claiming a third consecutive title.
Wales – Tries: Sam Warburton, George North. Conversion: Leigh Halfpenny. Penalties: Halfpenny (5).
France – Penalties: Jean-Marc Doussain, Jules Plisson.
Wales – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 George North, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Subs: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 James Hook.
France – 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Hugo Bonneval, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri 4 Pascal Papé (c), 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Subs: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Vincent Debaty, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Gaël Fickou.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images
Back Bulls to beat Force
Where you should put your money in Super Rugby this weekend, according to MARK KEOHANE.
Brain must complement brawn
Poor decision-making was at the heart of a disappointing weekend for South African rugby, writes JON CARDINELLI.
‘SA ball skills are poor’
What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about Saturday's matches at Kings Park and Newlands.