Camille Lopez kicked a conversion in the 100th minute to hand France a 20-18 win over Wales in Paris on Saturday.
It took an unbelievable 100 minutes, but France got there in the end. The hosts spent more than 20 minutes after the hooter camped on the Wales’ tryline before Damien Chouly crossed the line and Lopez added the crucial extras.
France led 10-0 after 16 minutes at the Stade de France. At that stage, the hosts appeared to be in control of the contest and on track for an emphatic victory.
But Wales lifted their efforts at the tackle and France began to concede penalties regularly. Virimi Vakatawa was sin-binned for a cynical offence in the 19th minute, and Leigh Halfpenny kicked two penalties in the winger’s absence. A further three-pointer saw Wales trailing by a single point (10-9) at half-time.
In the 54th minute, Halfpenny nailed a penalty from 55m out to hand Wales the lead. Ten minutes later, the Wales fullback sunk a fifth goal to extend that advantage to five points.
There was some drama when Samson Lee was shown a yellow card after the full-time hooter. France threatened Wales’ tryline for 20 minutes thereafter, and eventually the visitors’ defence relented.
France – Tries: Rémi Lamerat, Damien Chouly. Conversions: Camille Lopez (2). Penalties: Lopez (2).
Wales – Penalties: Leigh Halfpenny (6).
France – 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Rémi Lamerat, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kévin Gourdon, 6 Fabien Sanconnie, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Cyril Baille.
Subs: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Eddy Ben Arous, 19 Julien Le Devedec, 20 Bernard Le Roux, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 François Trinh-Duc, 23 Yoann Huget.
Wales – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans.
Subs: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts.
Photo: Franck Fife/AFP Photo