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Saturday, February 27, 2010

France stay on track for Grand Slam with win over Wales

France stay on track for Grand Slam with win over Wales

France remain unbeaten as they held off yet another Welsh comeback last night, winning 26-20 in the Six Nations clash at the Millennium Stadium.

France led 20-0 at halftime following intercept tries by Alexis Palisson and Francois Trinh-Duc, but allowed Wales back in the game in the second half, allowing them to get within seven points and sniffing a win.

Penalties from replacement Frederic Michalak and another by Morgon Parra gave France their third successive win, despite a brilliant solo try scored at the end by Shane Williams.

Welsh coach Warren Gatland was optimistic, insisting his team are on the right track.

"If we can stop being our own worst enemies and get it right we are not far away from being a very good side. At no stage did we feel under pressure because I don't think they played a lot of rugby," he said.

"We could have thrown in the towel at half-time, but we played some fantastic rugby in the second-half and showed some great character and put ourselves in a position to win the game.

"We were the architects of our own demise. Two intercept tries were really costly. It is hugely frustrating. Our fitness was superb, and we had France on the ropes. They were out on their feet. There was only one team playing rugby, and we had 70% territory and possession in that second-half," he added.

Defence coach Shaun Edwards felt that there was a trend towards their side giving away easy intercept tries.

"To keep France to no offensive tries was a great effort. But there is no doubt people are doing their homework and have seen they can get intercepts, because more than 30% of our tries conceded over the last 18 months have come from intercepts," he said.

Posted at 10:17 am | 60 comments

Viewing 60 comments

matt February 27, 2010 12:17 pm

From a welsh man
we didnt play nowhere near good enough! well done to france.
not sure how the score line wasent more.
we need to sort it out.

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Karas February 27, 2010 12:32 pm

brilliant try from shane williams in the last minute, i love to see that man work his magic :)

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3/4 centre February 27, 2010 12:37 pm

Are you kidding matt?

I'm french and I think all french supporters are disappointed with this match. Les bleus didn't produce any game, even in the first half!!! Wales was the only team playing rugby on the field. Scotland deserved more to win at the Millenium than France... but we resisted well against welsh fire during the second half. The defense is the only satisfaction for the blue side, with the win.
Fance is looking forward to the Grand Slam now.

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David February 27, 2010 12:44 pm

I agree, for some reason Wales played all the rugby but really we tried to force it too much, and it cost us. :(

Great french defense, Well done to them i spose. Great to see Shane back on form.. even if he did throw that stupid offload.

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Anonymous February 27, 2010 12:49 pm

Is it jus tme or are there other people that got pissed off when France kicked the ball out from the restart at the end. I know it's all about winning nowadays but what happened to Sportsmanship. Also if it was deliberate, which it blatantly was, is it not a penalty from the centre of the pitch??????

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matt February 27, 2010 12:50 pm

im serious, how can it take us like 70 minutes to be able to get into a game :S we're not doing the simple things right:S and the interceptions.. shane williams one was unlucky but hooks was bad man:/

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David February 27, 2010 12:53 pm

Yeah you could call it bad unsportsmanship, to be fair the momentum was all with Wales, and France would never take that risk that cost scotland the game.

We'd of probs done the same.. Gutting to lose tho.. Just once i'd like to see my team start well and not play catchup for the whole match. Its stressful being a welsh fan sometimes. :D

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Axel February 27, 2010 1:28 pm

I have a question : why did Morgan Parra get sin binned? I really didn't get it and don't recall the commentators giving any kind of explanation.

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Murf February 27, 2010 1:28 pm

"I know it's all about winning nowadays but what happened to Sportsmanship. Also if it was deliberate, which it blatantly was, is it not a penalty from the centre of the pitch??????"

Anon,

Welcome to the professional era of rugby. But no penalty here, as kicking the ball directly or not into touch is not an offense or an infringement according to the law.

Time was over, French got the possession, they could do what they wanted to do. By default, no penalty but a scrum.

Talking of Sportmanship, wasn't the first Wales try coming from an obvious forward pass ? Didn't hear anybody on that topic.

All fair to Wales, they gave us a pleasant second half, pity they didn't play with this mood the all game.

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Anonymous February 27, 2010 1:45 pm

What a finish from williams!!
That guy is a rugby legend.

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Calon Lan February 27, 2010 1:51 pm

Really good French defence but there was no sign of the attacking side that beat Ireland two weeks ago.

There was plenty of attacking from the Welsh but they allowed three or four tries to go astray due to amateurish mistakes all over the pitch.

Just like the Wales v England match I can help but feel it was a matter of Wales losing rather than the other team winning.

Another fantastic try by Shane Williams who seems to back approaching form this year.

I'm absolutely disgusted by a few French voices shouting during the minutes silence for Bradley Davies' mother. People can boo and jeer as much as they please when people are taking kicks, that's a part of the game but doing it at the time they did achieves nothing and should not be tolerated! I would have had them thrown out of the stadium.

I felt ashamed and disgusted to be a rugby when that happened and those few French voices!

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Anonymous February 27, 2010 2:18 pm

Fack teh Whales!

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3/4 centre February 27, 2010 2:26 pm

Calon lan, how can you say that the boo came from french supporters? Sorry but it could be a drunk man who wanted to be remarked by his friend or this kind of asshole, as it could be a french idiot.

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jpm February 27, 2010 2:51 pm

I don't think minutes silences should be held for relatives of players.....it's just getting absurd. I have neve seen that happen at a sporting event.

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Anonymous February 27, 2010 2:58 pm

"I don't think minutes silences should be held for relatives of players.....it's just getting absurd. I have neve seen that happen at a sporting event."

You're a cunt, the guy was playing just a few days after his mother had died.

And for your information it's happened on numerous occasions in football which is a much bigger and more professional sport. The most recent occasion was Jack Collison playing for West Ham just days after his father died in a motorcycle accident on the way to the previous match.

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Calon Lan February 27, 2010 3:07 pm

3/4 centre said...
Calon lan, how can you say that the boo came from french supporters? Sorry but it could be a drunk man who wanted to be remarked by his friend or this kind of asshole, as it could be a french idiot.
It could of course been idiots wearing any coloured shirts and it 's as inexcusable wherever they were from.

They were shouting in French and I'm willing to take a gamble and rule out the chances that it came from a visiting party of Canadian's attending the conference centre so that narrows it down somewhat.

Of course, there's no guarantee that it was a few of what were an otherwise brilliant French crowd who were shouting in French. At least those idiots were shut up by other French supporters in the crowd.

There's been comments elsewhere that they didn't understand what was happening at the time which is strange as it was announced in French and I can't really think of what else they thought could be happening.

If it was anything to do with me after they would have been straight out of the stadium after it happened and deported. No questions, straight out!

There's really no place for that sort of behaviour in rugby whatever nationality the person it's for is.

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Anonymous February 27, 2010 3:53 pm

RD you should try yo look for the video of a great spear tackle un the vodacom cup match, between the pampas xv and eastern province. it was mas made by pampas number 3 and he was given a yellow card

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Ben February 27, 2010 4:39 pm

It was an entertaining and very weird match. France controlled the game, welsh were a bit messy in their attacks.Congrats to french, they seem on their highways towards the grand slam.

But weird on few things:
2 interception tries from the french and it is not their speciality. i think it's due to their "attacking" defence during the 1st half

Weird as the 20 minutes absence of the french after the half time. Lievremont said "it was still a mystery to resolve"

Weird as, the fantastic reactions of the welsh these last 3 games?

Weird like the yellow card to morgan parra, what did he do? The commenbtators on french tv couldn't argue..?

Weird like the curious reffering from K.Kaplan, he never penalised the "attacking" team in the rucks

And weird as the 2 incredible wrong kicks of Lee Byrne, it may cost them a better result..

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Anonymous February 27, 2010 5:50 pm

'Is it jus tme or are there other people that got pissed off when France kicked the ball out from the restart at the end. I know it's all about winning nowadays but what happened to Sportsmanship. Also if it was deliberate, which it blatantly was, is it not a penalty from the centre of the pitch??????'

like someone stated, they be daft to give wales the chance like scotland gave them...

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dezzy February 27, 2010 5:59 pm

great french defense!

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Flooz February 27, 2010 6:08 pm

"I know it's all about winning nowadays but what happened to Sportsmanship."

funny allusion :) U mean should have taken the risk to give an other chance to the welsh..? They just simply played tactical, throwing the ball in touch with a bounce.

Back to the match, it was quite entertaining: France defended very well during the 40 first minutes, always putting pressure on the welsh. Their interceptions were the prefect result. Red devils gave a very positive answer during 20 minutes. But their attacks was a bit messy.

Wales could have done better if they didn't play "in reaction. Gatland said they killed themselves..
Well, hm, ok, so he prefer to suicide his team than reckon the quality of the opposition..?

A word on the referring, i think french and welsh were pretty astonished by J.Kaplan. Very severe on little fouls and very liberal with the advantages (the result of the 2 welsh tries)

If France keep their incredible defence and be concentrate and more lethal during 80 minutes, they'll be invincible...

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kevdetoulouse February 27, 2010 7:25 pm

"I know it's all about winning nowadays but what happened to Sportsmanship. Also if it was deliberate, which it blatantly was, is it not a penalty from the centre of the pitch??????"

HEHEHE YEAH! AND A PENALTY TRY!EVERYBODY DOES THE SAME BUT FRANCE HAD TO GIVE BACK THE BALL IN THE LAST MINUTE TO THE WELSH-LAST-MINUTE PITTBULLS!
YOU'RE REAL FUNNY

"I'm absolutely disgusted by a few French voices shouting during the minutes silence for Bradley Davies' mother."

PUT YOURSELF TOGETHER MAN! ASSHOLES DON'T HAVE COLOURS! THEY CAN BE WELSH, FRENCH OR JAPANESE!

THE FUNNY THING ABOUT THESE COMMENTS IS THAT I FEEL THAT FRUSTRATION IS SLOWLY LEADING TO HATE TOWARDS THE FRENCH.

WELL SORRY BOYZ... MIGHT HATE US MORE IN A FEW WEEKS...

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Nico February 27, 2010 7:56 pm

Not particularly impressed by the French attack, to say the least. Wales couldn't quite put it together though and, to me, France deserved to win, despite not being the most entertaining team.

Is it just me or Warren Gatland is really an arse? Not criticizing the coach here but the man. Whatever the outcome of a game, his team is always the best and the should have won!!!! Geez, he was even praising Wales after the pathetic display against Scotland and their questionable win.

Bloody irritating to a non-Welsh. To me, it far exceeds self-motivation and it is downright arrogant. How is he perceived in Wales with this kind of talk? Welsh friends around?

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Maximus February 27, 2010 8:29 pm

I'm partly disappointed and pleased.

Disappointed because the French never really played rugby, let's be honest. A tremendous defense but they didn't find any solution to break the Welsh defense, that's what bothers me the most. (well, of course, you can't find solution to break lines when you don't have ball possession)

But I'm pleased because they used to lose these sorts of matches and their tries are mere interceptions, ok, but provoked by an aggressive intelligent defense.

The ref was anything but consistent, one half for each team. Chabal gaining the ball standing in a ruck while Welsh are contesting lying on the ground, penalty against Chabal. Good one.

Classy try by Shane Williams but he gets space at the beginning of his race because everybody stopped running, there was a hell of a knock on.

Let's try to play AND WIN against Italia.

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Calon Lan February 27, 2010 9:05 pm

kevdetoulouse
PUT YOURSELF TOGETHER MAN! ASSHOLES DON'T HAVE COLOURS! THEY CAN BE WELSH, FRENCH OR JAPANESE!

I actually mentioned several times that it wasn't a whole nation that was responsible for what happened.

I believe I also complimented the rest of the visiting crowd for their behaviour yesterday.

As I clearly mentioned a couple of times, nationality has nothing at all to do with what happened.

Idiots live in all countries just as people who don't read posts that they are replying to and then type their replies in CAPITALS do.

1) The French people I know personally are fantastic.
2) The French people in my family are also fantastic.
3) My French wife is without a doubt the best damn thing on the planet!!

All of those good things are nothing to do with nationality though, it's irrelevant to how I feel about people.

I certainly don't feel frustrated by what's happened, I feel more disappointed that there are people who have no respect for others when they are having a difficult time.

I appreciate that you're happy for France to finally be winning something as it's been a while. Fair play to them and to their fans for having three victories out of three.

They have played well in the previous two games which I've mentioned on more than one occasion on here and I still have them down as the favourites to win this championship but they are going to need to improve on how they played yesterday if they want to win a Grand Slam.

I'm not so sure that it's appropriate to be so boastful about yesterday's victory when your team played so badly and had so much help from the Welsh team.

A victory will always be a victory and should be celebrated as such but with victory there should also be understanding of the smaller victories and failures within it.

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Nico February 27, 2010 9:50 pm

@Calon Lan:
On the French side, nothing to boast about yesterday's victory indeed (players and coaches are the first to admit it). Just pointing out here that not all French supporters believe in a anti-French conspiracy and hate, as kevdetoulouse. :-)

@kevdetoulouse: chill out, son.

Looking forward to Ireland-Wales in a fortnight and France-England a week later!

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3/4 centre February 27, 2010 10:12 pm

agree with you, calon lan!

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Flooz February 28, 2010 12:33 am

I didn't heard about the yells during the minute in honour to Davis mother. If it's the case, it's a shame...

I agree with few comments about warren gatland. He always seems to have answer to everything:
Wales lost against england because of AW Jones sin bin
Wales won against scotland because of their soul (without mentioning the 2 sin bin of the opposition)
Wales lost vs France, but they play rugby and french didn't...
Gatland should really grow up...

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Anonymous February 28, 2010 12:34 am

Calon Lan, how can you say "they were shouting in french" ???! You really did understand what they were yelling and in which tong??? Wow man hats off cause personnaly i didn't understand a word they were yelling, i couldn't even say if it was french or english...

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Phil February 28, 2010 12:36 am

Shane williams try was fantastic but it must be said that a large part of french players stopped to play because they were waiting from the whistle...

Williams scored the same type of weird try vs argentina in november...

a perfect example that u must continue to play despite the appearance :)

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Gman February 28, 2010 12:37 am

I love the comments of the Welsh coach... At no time did we feel under pressure... 0-20 at half time... I mean, really?

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CALI February 28, 2010 12:46 am

Gman totally agree ;)

We lost against england because AW Jones was sin binned. Well, how can france have won with parra out during 10 minutes?

mathematics sometimes lie sir...

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quis February 28, 2010 12:49 am

i fucking hate the french team sometimes, they can get so arrogant.

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Anonymous February 28, 2010 1:45 am

@quis - grow up kid. just look at comments and tell me if there is any kind of arrogance. open your eyes and just shut up 'cause u dont't know what u're takin' about about. have a good night boy

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jones February 28, 2010 1:52 am

i totally agree with the little french guy flooz : gatland should stop to talk about welsh soul like if it was his own.

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Calon Lan February 28, 2010 2:42 am

Anonymous said...
Calon Lan, how can you say "they were shouting in french" ???! You really did understand what they were yelling and in which tong??? Wow man hats off cause personnaly i didn't understand a word they were yelling, i couldn't even say if it was french or english...

No need to take your hat off to me, it took no effort at all to understand what language they were using as I'm not exactly a stranger to the language and because we were sitting so close to them.

I certainly wouldn't have been able to hold a conversation with them in French as my French is very, very basic at the moment.

I'm surprised the language being used wasn't obvious to all in the stadium as everybody who wasn't shouting out really loudly in French was obeying the one minute silence as was requested of them.

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Calon Lan February 28, 2010 2:45 am

My English is even more basic than my French if the mistakes in my post above are anything to go by!! :0)

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Anonymous February 28, 2010 5:03 am

What a try by Shane....it reminds me Maradona's goal against England in Mexico '86

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Maximus February 28, 2010 9:30 am

Completely off topic but I feel it worth mentioning: Alexis Palisson said he had been pleased with the behaviour of Flannery who called him later on to say he was sorry and didn't know what had crossed his mind on the spur of the moment. The guy knows how to repent.

Back to the topic, excellent performance by the French when they were 14 vs 15. Again, we used to lose with this scenario.

Calon Lan & Co, I watched the match on TV and, even though it's still shameful, I heard no shouts at all during this minute of silence.

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Anonymous February 28, 2010 12:16 pm

What coverage of the game were you watching Maximus? On bbc the shouts were loud and clear, although i must confess that on tv the language was not apparent.

From a welshman, i felt the french did just enough to win but still disappointing to lose. The french seemed to completely switch off in the second half.

Wouldn't suprise me if they got the grand slam now and good luck to them.

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Oli February 28, 2010 12:28 pm

"To keep France to no offensive tries was a great effort"

Lol, biggest loser's satisfaction i have heard in a while

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Anonymous February 28, 2010 1:08 pm

French tries are interceptions... But the last pass in the first welsh try is totally a forward pass, and on S.Williams try, french players stopped to play!

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Maximus February 28, 2010 1:28 pm

Honestly i don't remember hearing people shouting... I watched it on France2 but I think it was bbc covering it.
Mind that I'm not trying to defend them since brainless French going abroad and behaving as if they owned the place belong to the top of my most hated persons list. I hate them even more if they can't shut the hell up for a minute at a rugby match. Even if they're drunk.

Back to the topic again, nobody's got the feeling that in second half the ref acted as if he had thought "well, now, I'm for Wales"? (for good or bad reason, it's not my question, I'm just asking about the clear cut change of refereeing)

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Anonymous February 28, 2010 1:52 pm

Even if we played poorly against Wales (13 injured players is a lot and can explain the lack of efficiency), i don't forget how well we played against Ireland. And basically we did beat the two best teams of the 6N so far, so everything is fine for the moment, i'm happy with that.

Well done Wales for that fantastic 2nd half

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Gavin February 28, 2010 2:05 pm

Maximus -

I'm glad Flannery called Palisson - he certainly deserved an apology for that crazy kick. I have not seen the video but I have heard that Flannery was hit on the head about a minute before this incident - perhaps his brain wasn't working very well at the time.

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David February 28, 2010 3:59 pm

For those asking i think para was just the unlucky player, under alot of pressure they were warned and warned to stop infringing. Had to be him.

Didn't matter tho, they were too good.

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Gavin February 28, 2010 5:07 pm

I think Parra was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on in the movement before the Welsh try. Not 100% sure, but that's what the commentators said.

France should win the 6 nations now - they are definitely the best team this year. I'll be cheering for them in the World Cup when Ireland get knocked out :)

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The Caped Crusader February 28, 2010 11:06 pm

I personally thought that france got lucky from wales's mistakes. its unfortunate for wales because there a good side and i really thought they would have got a score before half time. fair play to them though for putting up a fight in the second half! shane williams try was unreal he has the skill to change a game with one score :) overall it was a good match to watch

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The Caped Crusader February 28, 2010 11:06 pm

I personally thought that france got lucky from wales's mistakes. its unfortunate for wales because there a good side and i really thought they would have got a score before half time. fair play to them though for putting up a fight in the second half! shane williams try was unreal he has the skill to change a game with one score :) overall it was a good match to watch

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Gman March 01, 2010 2:33 am

Quis... Come on. Wales is my second favourite team, Shane Williams my second favourite player. France won Wales lost, no biggie. No need for racism

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kevdetoulouse March 01, 2010 3:13 am

Hey Calon Lan,

What I wanted to tell u is that there was no point of precising the nationality of these fuckers. But I got that it wasn't the intention...

I just feel the general tone of british irish fellas gets quite violent as the French win (not on RD especially)

Btw, my mum's irish, my dad spanish and my girlfriend mexican. Let me tell you it can be tough sometimes at home!;)

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kevdetoulouse March 01, 2010 3:17 am

Ah et Nico (J'avais pas vu)

t'inquiete pitchoun, chuis pas enerv pour deux sous ;)

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Nico March 01, 2010 9:04 am

@ kevdetoulouse:
tu me rassures alors. :-)

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AskelKana March 01, 2010 2:27 pm

I thought Kaplan was terrible. Though to be fair, he was consistently so: first favouring France, then Wales in the 2nd half. Indeed the French didn't really play rugby, and Edwards' comment about no offensive tries is valid. Wales' defence was very tight too.

Hook was downright awful: he seemed to be wearing oven gloves, his passing was that bad.

BTW, Parra was sin-binned for slapping down the ball (aka deliberate knock-on?)

No point moaning about the forward pass for Wales' 1st try, as the French had plenty of those too (fwd-passes, that is).

My final observation is that I think Ireland made France look better than they are: I, for one, was expecting a less impressive performance, and was spot on with that.

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mat March 01, 2010 2:28 pm

AXEL
Parra was binned cause he was on the ground offside at the ruck and slapped the ball away, but the ref played advantage and halfpenny scored, he was shown the card after the try, thats why you didn't see it, the game went on and it was not shown on tv.
It was certainly a yellow card on its own, but the ref had already warned france twice, someone should have gone earlier when they collapsed the maul in their 22 after being warned.

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Fucking Frenchman March 01, 2010 10:52 pm

"They won but actually we were the best "... Gatland is French !!!

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Frankie March 02, 2010 2:21 pm

Re teh shouts during the minute of silence:
I'm French and was in the stadium with welsh mates. None of us undertsood what was said over the tannoy and only realised there must be a minute of silence when the crowd gradually quietend down. I think this was the same for everyone around us.
There defo were shouts at the beginning but we were unable to understand the language/what was said..
The tannoy announcements were unintelligible to us during the entire game... we weren't even pi$$ed.
Good game to watch! :)

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Alexander March 03, 2010 2:26 am

For God's sake all you narrow minded pricks, a few drunk men don't represent the entire French nation!! The French are one of the few nations who take defeat graciously in the rugby world (See France All Blacks game comments for reference).

Plus, is it me or is Warren Gatland lacking a little humbleness and respect for other nations. Couldn't say a decent word of praise for the French!!

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Javi March 03, 2010 6:17 am

Shane Williams is probably my favorite winger to watch. That being said, his classy try may have got me animated and cheering but it didn't make up the for the fact that he gifted one to France.

Unfortunate, too, since so often, it's those little flicks where he keeps the ball in play that end up looking skillful. This time, it didn't work out.

Oh well, now I just sit back and wonder if anyone can stop France at this point.

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Murf March 03, 2010 12:09 pm

Alexander,

Indeed the French take defeat graciously especially if the All Black are involved because they admire them.

Last year, they were trashed by the English and guess what, they were not moaning about details, referee or something else. In fact they praised the way the English played. I don't think everybody could do the same in the Home Nations.

But there was another example last year, after their defeat against Ireland at Croke Park, they complained a bit about the referee as he was, according to them, only penalizing one side for infringements the both teams made.

And above everything else, they're hard on their own team, I looked to their comments of the last game, almost of them were complaining about the way France played. Hard to please is the way to describe them.

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