Before the last match of the 5th and last day, in Dublin (18:00), the Blues (1st, 20 points, +61) took first place in the 2023 Tournament, just ahead of Ireland (2nd, 19 pts, +66).

Fabien Galthié's men will keep it if England creates the surprise by winning largely against the XV of the Trèfle, N°1 world nation.

A week after a historic defeat at Twickenham (53-10), the XV de la Rose owes a flower to the Blues.

But, to continue to dream six months of the World Cup at home (September 8-October 28), Antoine Dupont's teammates have fulfilled their part of the contract by passing five tries to the Welsh.

Damian Penaud (10th, 76th), Jonathan Danty (34th), Uini Atonio (44th) and Gaël Fickou (49th) allowed the France to offer themselves this bonus point that could make the difference.

Full-back Thomas Ramos also stood out by becoming the best French director of the Six Nations Tournament in a single edition with 84 points, including sixteen against the XV du Poireau. He did better than former Clermont player Gérald Merceron, who scored 80 points in the 2002 Grand Slam.

But all this will be secondary if Ireland continue their inexorable march towards the fourth Grand Slam in their history.

Ramos and Penaud in history

They can now sit in front of their television screen to watch Ireland-England with a sense of accomplishment, and reflect on their successful performance.

Right prop Uini Atonio (right) scores his first try for France despite the presence of Welshman Louis Rees-Zammit (left) during Les Bleus' 41-28 victory on the final day of the 2023 Six Nations Tournament on March 18 at the Stade de France in northern Paris © FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Starting with reacting perfectly to the Welsh pressure and George North's quick try (8th).

A few months before the World Cup at home, the Habs have proven that they have chest and rebounding abilities. They had shown it by beating Scotland (32-21) in style after a complicated start in Italy (29-24) and a heavy defeat in Ireland (32-19).

They turned into a steamroller to crush a Welsh team still sick but who were as catchy as they were surprising at the Stade de France.

Little by little, the Blues built their success, relying first on their backs, in the first place the implacable winger Damian Penaud, who scored his twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth international tries and thus joined Philippe Bernat-Salles and Emile Ntamack in the fifth rank of French scorers.

They then let their forward speak, Uini Atonio in the lead, author of his first try with the Blues for his fiftieth selection.

With the game well under control and the ball in hand, carried by a gala François Cros (18 tackles), they only had to manage to get the decisive offensive bonus point.

And even the traditional French air hole, sanctioned by two more tries from Bradley Roberts (56th) and Tomos Williams (65th), did not seem able to thwart the French plans.

The blue machine is well oiled and thus ends the Tournament in style, well launched towards its World Cup.

© 2023 AFP