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
Tough times strengthened Toomua
Matt Toomua overcame several obstacles on his way to the top, writes ALEX BROUN.
Boks missing key men
The Springboks could struggle in Australasia without several key players, writes MARK KEOHANE in Business Day.
Boks face acid test of depth
The next two Tests will reveal how strong South Africa’s depth is in the key positions of scrumhalf, blindside flank and outside centre, writes JON CARDINELLI.