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Saturday Feb 2, 2019

France blow 16 point lead to hand Wales opening win of 2019 6 Nations

France blow 16 point lead to hand Wales opening win of 2019 6 Nations

Wales kicked off their 2019 6 Nations campaign with a dramatic 24-19 victory over an abject France in Paris on the opening night of the tournament, despite the hosts holding a 16-0 advantage at half-time.

Jacques Brunel’s French side finally converted promise into points during a spellbinding opening period, dominating the game and scoring tries through Louis Picamoles (after five minutes) and Yoann Huget at the end of the first quarter.

Camille Lopez’s superb drop goal on the stroke of half-time extended the lead but France should have been well clear had it not been for a shocking performance from the kicking tee.

Scrum-half Morgan Parra missed both conversions and a penalty, while Lopez was also off target with his first effort.

Still, the home side led 16-0 at the break as Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe was also poor from the tee in the opening 40 minutes.

Then the comeback began, courtesy of none other than the French themselves. A horrendous mistake from Huget when trying to secure the ball over his own line gifted George North the first of his two scores.

The second was another gift, this time against the run of play as second-row Sébastien Vahaamahina lobbed a long pass meant for Huget, which left North streaking clear for the line.

It was an inexplicable decision since France had just re-taken the lead courtesy of another Lopez penalty. Deep in the Wales half and 19-17 ahead, the hosts had no reason to push the play in the way they did.

Replacement Dan Biggar slotted the extras and Wales held on in tricky wet conditions to grind out an unexpected victory.


  • dai154
    9:27 AM 04/02/2019

    I think the reporting on this game seems to focus slightly on the wrong things, First half , yes the French didn't make any mistakes, but Wales were terrible, no shape, over cooking everything, pedestian at best at the break down, there was no pressure applied to the French side, which in turn allowed them to look good and dues to French pressure on a stuggling Welsh side earned them a couple of easy tries.  In the second half, Wales definately started to gain form and applied a lot of pressure, hence the two tries came from pressure and forced mistakes (like the French tries came from Welsh mistakes also).  True they should not have made those mistakes but it should at least be pointed out that it was due to exteme pressure and not just massively gifted as though Wales did nothing to deserve the tries.

  • frenchie
    1:16 PM 02/02/2019
    Top Comment

    Yes the French team gave the Welsh many points (4 missed kicks, 2 tries) BUT let's not forget the 2 disallowed Welsh tries and how it seems easy for the Welsh to break the defense...I also think the coaching was bad and that the subs came way too early: why sending Parra, Fofana, Picamoles on the bench that early. They seemed to be the best on the field. And you also change your captain, Penaud...Big question on N'Tamack and Willemse who didn't bring anything. Why keeping them so long?Any positive? The 1st half: possession, kicking, defense, no handling errors, fast balls.Please keep this for 80 min and we've got a team.


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France blow 16 point lead to hand Wales opening win of 2019 6 Nations | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos