France resoundingly beat Wales, however lose Six Nations title to Eire
Defending champion France accomplished its Six Nations marketing campaign by scoring 5 tries in an entertaining 41-28 win in opposition to Wales, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to retain the title as Eire beat England 29-16 later Saturday to clinch a Grand Slam.
France acquired the attacking bonus level it wanted to maneuver one level forward of Eire earlier than its recreation in opposition to England in Dublin. However Fabien Galthié’s aspect wanted No. 1-ranked Eire to lose with out accumulating a defensive bonus level.
Eire beat France 32-19 final month — a outcome that ended France’s 14-game successful streak and in addition shifted the momentum Eire’s manner.
So there was no Grand Slam repeat for France, however a celebration environment nonetheless prevailed on Saturday afternoon at Stade de France.
Fireworks went off after the sport to have a good time one other Six Nations the place Galthié’s aspect confirmed an abundance of attacking aptitude and thrilled rugby followers with some spectacular tries.
Prolific proper winger Damian Penaud grabbed two in opposition to the Welsh and fullback Tomas Ramos was good together with his kicking as Les Tricolores took their match attempt tally to an eye-watering 21 — in comparison with 20 for Eire.
“We could be happy with ourselves after this match, though we are able to have plenty of regrets in regards to the match in Eire,” star scrumhalf Antoine Dupont mentioned. “We really feel that our attacking potential continues to be rising.”
England was reeling from final weekend’s 53-10 win loss to No. 2-ranked France for its third heaviest defeat ever, however clearly wounded from that humiliation it performed with nice willpower even with a participant despatched off late within the first half.
Wales began strongly and took three attacking lineouts over penalties, scoring off the third when scrumhalf Rhys Webb pinged a fast go to middle George North, who went over for a transformed attempt.
It was North’s twenty third within the match’s historical past, taking him one forward of former Wales winger Shane Williams and three behind all-time file holder Brian O’Driscoll of Eire.
France’s response took simply two minutes.
Flyhalf Romain Ntamack carved a gap in midfield with elusive operating and offloaded to halves associate Dupont, who looped a medical go to Penaud on the correct wing.
The Welsh got here to play and it took France till the twenty sixth minute to steer via Ramos’ penalty.
However with the recalled Uini Atonio dominant within the scrum, one other penalty quickly adopted earlier than France stretched the Welsh line with fast passes to permit Penaud to ship middle Jonathan Danty over on the correct wing for a transformed try to a 20-7 interval lead.
Atonio’s first attempt on his fiftieth check got here 4 minutes after the restart, when he barged over the road after being arrange by the quick-thinking Dupont and Ramos. Simply 5 minutes later, France opened up Wales once more and Danty freed Ntamack to feed middle Gaël Fickou for France’s fourth attempt.
Wales’ bench lastly ended France’s 34-point run when substitute hooker Bradley Roberts burrowed over from shut vary after flanker Justin Tipuric stole possession, and substitute scrumhalf Tomos Williams acquired Wales’s third attempt with Tipuric concerned once more.
Ramos arrange Penaud’s second attempt in the correct nook late on however each gamers went lacking when Wales acquired a bonus level with a last-gasp fourth attempt from substitute winger Rio Dyer, transformed by veteran Leigh Halfpenny.
“We knew Wales can be robust, individuals had a bent to put in writing them off a bit on this match,” Ntamack mentioned. “However with the gamers they’ve and their expertise we knew it wouldn’t be simple, and also you noticed that within the first jiffy.”
No. 8 Taulupe Faletau performed his a hundredth Welsh check.
Wales received the match two years in the past, however received solely as soon as this yr — 29-17 in Rome final weekend. The Italians completed 0-5 for the wood spoon after dropping 26-14 in Scotland earlier Saturday.
France’s subsequent goal is to win the World Cup for the primary time. The three-time runner-up has a mouth-watering opener in opposition to three-time champion New Zealand at Stade de France on Sept. 8 — and the host might meet Eire in a mouth-watering quarterfinal.
Wales coach Warren Gatland mentioned earlier than the sport that as much as eight of his gamers — together with Faletau and lock Alun Wyn Jones — could have made their final Six Nations appearances as he builds for this World Cup and the subsequent.