George North scored a solitary try for Wales as they clinched a 19-10 win over France in Friday’s Six Nations clash in Cardiff. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
This was simply a case of mission accomplished for Wales. In a largely uninspiring clash, the hosts calmly controlled proceedings to claim an important result against a French side that were outplayed in almost every department.
During a predominantly pedestrian first half, neither side was able to create much in the way of meaningful attack, although Wales certainly had the better of the exchanges.
Flyhalf Dan Biggar slotted two penalties to provide Wales with some reward for their first-half endeavours, while opposite number Jules Plisson responded with a three-pointer of his own before the break.
Biggar edged Wales further ahead when he slotted a penalty soon after the restart, with the hosts then finally taking control of the clash as winger George North scored a fortuitous try to help open up a 13-point lead.
The score seemed to finally spark France into life, but they failed to take advantage of an extended period of pressure, and a 66th-minute penalty from Biggar opened up a decisive 19-3 lead for Wales.
Guilhem Guirado scored a consolation try for France in the latter stages of the clash, but it was too little, too late.
Wales – Try: George North. Conversion: Dan Biggar. Penalties: Biggar (4).
France – Try: Guilhem Guirado. Conversion: François Trinh-Duc. Penalty: Jules Plisson.
Wales – 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Rob Evans.
Subs: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Tom Francis, Jake Ball, Justin Tipuric, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Anscombe.
France – 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Virimi Vakatawa, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Antoine Burban, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Subs: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Vincent Pelo, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 François Trinh-Duc, 23 Gaël Fickou.
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images