The contract is fulfilled for the Blues who beat with the offensive bonus (39-21), Saturday, March 18 at the Stade de France, the Wales team, pocketing 5 precious points that can allow French players to win this edition of the Six Nations Tournament, if Ireland loses heavily to England in the last match of this competition.
This scenario seems very unlikely as Ireland, in the race by a Grand Slam, shines in this Tournament and should not have the opportunity to celebrate a Grand Slam at home, beating English rolled last weekend by the French.
The French, authors of a Grand Slam in the previous edition, will probably have to settle for a second place this year. The program promised to be more difficult in this 2023 edition since they had three trips to make, including in Dublin against the formidable Ireland, currently the world's leading nation. They suffered a logical defeat (32-19) that reminded them how formidable this Irish team will be at the World Cup.
Against the Welsh, the French had to wait 10 minutes to finally enter the opponent's 50 meters. After a start to the match to the advantage of the Welsh, rewarded by a try from George North in the 8th minute, the French reacted very quickly. Two minutes later, opener Romain Ntamack set fire to the Welsh defence and offered his ball to Antoine Dupont who, with a long pass, served Damian Penaud. Alone on his wing, he could quietly score the first try of the Blues, transformed by Thomas Ramos (7-7).
Radiant last week against England, the Blues had more trouble controlling this match. They struggled to contain the offensive tendencies of the Welsh, eager to end their disappointing Tournament, punctuated by a single victory in Italy, with a feat against the Blues.
The Welsh coach Warren Gatland had bet for this meeting on the experience of his old grognards, in particular by aligning the second line Alun Wyn Jones who played his 159th selection in the jersey of the XV du Poireau.
A double by Damian Penaud
The Blues took the lead in the 27th minute thanks to a penalty scored by Thomas Ramos (10-7). Two minutes later, the dominance of the French in the scrum, sanctioned by referee Nic Berry, allowed him to score 3 more points.
The domination of the Blues was accentuated over the course of the meeting, the French three-quarters showing their desire to ignite this meeting. Their efforts were matched in the 34th minute with a try by Jonathan Danty at the end of the line, converted by Thomas Ramos (20-7). An action welcomed by the public of the Stade de France who rewarded the team of France a Marseillaise.
After half-time, the French resumed the match on the same rhythm, their coach Fabien Galthié wishing to see them achieve a better second half. And his men, who had been given their jerseys on Friday by Bernard Laporte - containing to resign from the presidency of the Rugby Union after his conviction for corruption - listened to him
The French stunned the Welsh in less than five minutes: prop Uini Atonio scored a try in the 44th minute, his first in 50 caps, and Gaël Fickou also flattened the ball into the opposing goal in the 49th. With two conversions from Ramos, the Blues led 34-7.
Their large lead was reduced in the 55th minute after a try by Welshman Bradley Robberts, converted by opener Dan Biggar, a player who plays in the French league for RC Toulon. Reinvigorated Welsh who scored again in the 65th minute, Tomos Williams' try, converted by Biggar, allowing them to be only 13 points behind (34-21).
Fresher in the last quarter of an hour, the French finished this match better than their opponents, offering themselves a last try in the 78th minute scored by Damian Penaud. Thomas Ramos managed the transformation and thus signed a 100% at the foot. The Welsh, however, were responsible for closing the score of this meeting, with a last try from Rio Dyer converted by Leigh Halfpenny (41-28).
The summary of the week France 24 invites you to look back on the news that marked the week
Take international news with you everywhere! Download the France 24 app