Six Nations: Wales finish second with narrow 14-13 win over France

Marco Green
March 17, 2018

WALES edged past France to finish second behind Six Nations champions Ireland.

But a combination of Welsh resilience and French profligacy meant the game ultimately went Wales' way, leaving France still without a win in Cardiff since 2010. Sometimes you will take an ugly victory over the performance. "We turned up today and it was all about winning", Wales coach Warren Gatland said.

"The performance was not the most important thing".

But the entertaining helter-skelter start couldn't last forever as both sides tightened up their defences and frustratingly became more conservative in attack.

But both teams have also shown bright patches and if they both perform to their potential, this could be a really fine game of rugby. It did and Alun Wyn Jones collected, Scott Williams kicked it forward and Trinh-Duc was deceived by the bounce.

Leigh Halfpenny added the extras before slotting a penalty as Wales took control.

France meanwhile lost on the opening day, stunned by an 83rd-minute drop-goal by Johnny Sexton in Paris to secure a 15-13 win.

The visitors hit back when Fickou, who started a nice collective move, ended it with a try after Machenaud, who converted, and Trinh-Duc played quickly to send him over.

Les Bleus, however, suffered a setback when flanker Yacouba Camara, one of their best players in the championship, was replaced by Mathieu Babillot after hurting his left knee.

Halfpenny and Maxime Machenaud exchanged penalties either side of halftime, before the French monopolized possession in the final half hour only to come up against a wall of red.

Wales were penalised for coming in at the side of the resulting ruck, but Trinh-Duc - with Machenaud having been substituted - missed a sitter of a penalty to sum up his less than average afternoon on the paddock.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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