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Saturday Feb 22, 2014

Wales bounce back with strong win over France in Cardiff

Wales bounce back with strong win over France in Cardiff
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Wales’s Six Nations campaign is back on track after they scored two tries to beat France 27-6 on Friday night. The defending champions ended France’s unbeaten run in the tournament and bounced back from their own disappointing loss two weeks ago.

George North, starting at centre for the first time in a Test match, scored Wales’ opening try before camptain Sam Warburton powered over in the second half. Referring to the loss to Ireland, Warburton said that this was exactly the response he wanted from his side.

Coach Warren Gatland added that they are back in contention (for a third successive title).

“I am often grumpy with these guys, but I am happy with that. The performance against Ireland wasn’t good enough. We let ourselves down in Dublin. They responded well, with a good performance and a fantastic result,” he said.

“The atmosphere was sensational and the players responded brilliantly to the pressure we put on them. I’m a great believer in giving players a chance to redeem themselves, and I think that’s definitely what happened.

“When you’re involved in a game that doesn’t go your way, you want the chance to go out there and put things right. We have got a big game at Twickenham in a couple of weeks, but hopefully today will be a platform for that,” he added.

Note: Below are updated extended highlights from the match

46 Comments

  • 9:16 AM 28/02/2014

    Dumb*

    Reply
  • 9:14 AM 28/02/2014

    Two wrongs don't make a right Frenchie. In my opinion; PSA call to drop Picamoles was the right shout (to keep respect in rugby whatever the cost) but also I agree that Parra is just a childish dick and shouldn't be picked after the headbutt incident. (I thought PSA picked Parra because Dousain was injured and all this was before the headbutting? Because how could PSA pick Parra seen as he has been banned? Genuine question). But France at the moment have got a big problem with respect even amongst their team. Pape the captain had a right go at Bonneval when Pape cocked up and threw the ball into touch. Parra's headbutt (people were saying a couple of weeks ago that Parra would make a good captain!!!) and Picamoles clapping. I don't know what the yellow card was for, France were giving a lot of penatlies away but maybe it was a bad shout from the ref, but that happens. THAT IS NOT AN EXCUSE TO DISRESPECT THE REF. If someone asks me, "what do I like so much about rugby?" The first thing I always anwser is "The fact a 5ft ref can tell two 6ft10 players to stop acting like children, and that the players respect the ref" The next thing I would probably say is "The team spirit, that you put your body on the line for the other 14 out there" France cocked up on both of them (those arguments) during this match for me; Picamoles clapping and Pape shouting at Bonneval. France have some brilliant world class players (Fofana, Mas, Nyanga) I think they need to bring youngsters into the team such as Tolofua from Toulouse, Fickou..etc so they get as much experience as they can before the world cup. And I do think that people like Pape, Mas and Picamoles could set a good example for them, but at the moment theyre not in the right mind set. Also PSA has stress problems so don't be childish and call him Dumd. But he speaks a lot clearer when he speaks in english, it's like his stress goes away, (maybe thats because he loves being interviewed by Gaby Logan!).

    Reply
  • frenchie
    8:14 PM 27/02/2014

    @ DrG : I saw the head butt and I agree with you. But if you talk about "principle" and think that a coach should punish his player for showing disrespect by clapping at the ref, it is for me moronic for the same coach to welcome bak a player who tried to head butt his opponent. Nowhere has Picamoles shown a aggressive behaviour towards Rolland and we are far from what you described on the football pitch. For me the coach should have warned Picamoles in private like he did with Vahamaina; put him on the bench. Saint Andre is sending the wrong message; again. He's dumb; don't know if you speak French but hearing him speak is painful. And yes...if Picamoles was a bad player I wouldn't mind so much but we need him!

    Reply
  • drg
    10:14 PM 26/02/2014

    Frenchie, I'm not sure if you saw the incident but the head butt was nothing really.. I posted a link to it above. As for the gesture, I suppose you're right, it wasn't that nasty, but it is probably more of a principle thing. We DON'T want the game to head towards soccer where referee's are pushed and pulled around the pitch, surrounded and shouted at by over paid pansies. I respect the fact that Picamoles must have been extremely frustrated, but over the years we've seen plenty of players who are at boiling point still showing respect to the referee, so why change it now.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:35 PM 26/02/2014

    Actually referee's should be given another card - although the colour won't matter as it will be a talking card and will just have a selection of Nigel Owens quotes to use as needed.

    Reply
  • drg
    12:33 PM 26/02/2014

    Parra red card incident a few days ago for anyone interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_wfXFZXP90 For the record I think both cards given were ridiculous especially Rangers.. Parra could be argued that the letter of the law says...blahblahblah.. I feel that it could be dealt with using the old Nigel Owens precedent of 'You're both acting very immature!'

    Reply
  • stroudos
    6:28 PM 25/02/2014

    My French is not as good as it was but he was definitely making a specific point about the scrum, so personally I would say that's acceptable and he did speak politely. But, if I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure Rollers told him to do one anyway, (politely too, something along similar lines to "talk to your captain").

    Reply
  • drg
    1:46 PM 25/02/2014

    I think as a front row player he can have a quick word with the referee regarding the front row, whether or not the referee chooses to engage in conversation with him is another matter, some referee's will, others will say 'talk to your captain'.. Plus it depends whether blondie was talking in a civil manner... Doesn't matter either way, I don't think a single scrum was completed...

    Reply
  • drg
    1:43 PM 25/02/2014

    ..haha, yes quite a convenient fixture for Picamoles to sit in the corner and think about what he has done...

    Reply
  • drg
    1:41 PM 25/02/2014

    I do agree with you there, I suppose you can turn your back and go 'lalalalala' if someones talking to you, but if they pat you on the head after something has been given against you, it's far harder to ignore. That is horrible about that opposing coach, glad to see him banned. I think there is plenty room for sledging, but I'd much prefer to see it come from players having a quick word with each other in the scrums, rucks, lineouts, mauls etc than from the sidelines.. Actually a couple examples. I remember we were having a brilliant season (and actually got promoted at the end) and during one game with a near bottom of the league team the ball was passed (very nicely) to our winger who for some reason ended up juggling it and knocking it on, to which one of the bench of the opposition laughed loud and yelled 'they can't even get wingers to catch the ball in this team' - I think the reply given by the winger was more or less '..and you can't even get a starting position in your team'. It was brilliant to hear but I did feel like sledging is better done under your breath so only you and the guy your trying to wind up hear it.

    Reply
  • stroudos
    1:03 PM 25/02/2014

    Have you seen - Saint-Andre's dropped the bastard. What an absolutely fantastic call, and a brilliant reminder that rugby is an awesome sport. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/international/six-nations-2014-france-drop-louis-picamoles-for-referee-gesture--and-will-be-without-wesley-fofana-and-yannick-nyanga-9150285.html

    Reply
  • mastersa
    11:51 PM 24/02/2014

    And now there are 4. The Welsh to go to Twickers for a Muscle Fest. The Irish who invite Italy over for a game of cricket and the Scots with their ' at least we have won one' attitude versus the artist formally know as France with their 'Merd we are lucky to have won one' attitude. It shapen up to be a cracker.

    Reply
  • 6:10 PM 24/02/2014

    Yep but I ment the french should have started Fickou before the welsh game. But he should start sooner rather than later. Theyre not going forward with bastareaud. Also dont give a sh** I still wouldn't have Pape as captain now after he had such a go at one of his players (the winger).

    Reply
  • matt
    5:18 PM 24/02/2014

    Fair enough, I'd need to have another look at that scrum to refresh my memory, but I remember the ball being in the second rows feet.

    Reply
  • reality
    5:11 PM 24/02/2014

    I remember him chucking the ball into touch and I remember how stupid I thought he looked complaining to someone else for something that was obviously his own mistake. Having a captain who can't take responsibility for his own actions isn't exactly inspirational.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:27 PM 24/02/2014

    The first try I definitely cannot see fault with. The 'push' was nothing, as you said the French player actually got the ball (so the push could have been beneficial!) and it was his own clumsy team mate that smashed the ball out of his grip. As you said the Warburton try is a funny one, I don't know what the ruling can be on that, if there is a ruling at all? I said above, I feel that Warburton 'placed AND rolled' rather than 'placed THEN rolled'... I felt both teams were dire and painful to watch, but the best/right team won, and it was a key win for Wales.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:22 PM 24/02/2014

    Regarding the Farrel no card and Pape yes card thing - It is Rolland we're talking about, I'm not suggesting he had it out for the French, but he is a card happy referee...

    Reply
  • drg
    1:18 PM 24/02/2014

    I actually didn't think the French beat England through JUST luck, I thought they had an element of luck on their side but also good skill and they did the usual French thing of playing 90 minute rugby in an 80 minute game... when everyone switches off at 79 minutes, the French are still puffing about thinking they have another 11 minutes to go. I actually thought the better team won that day - but I am aware I am not necessarily in a majority group with that view. Krip you said: 'Not to mention your fullback retrieves the ball before it`s put behind the line... definitely not a 50-50 call.' behind the line does not matter, on the line is a try, so it only needs to scrape the line to be a try, after that nothing matters. Every rugby stadium is difficult to go to as an away player. Murrayfield for some reason these days resorts to booing the hell out the kicker, Aviva (shudder! - Should be Landsdowne!!!) stadium is pretty immense if you get the Irish crowd going, Twickenham - England HQ, you think that is more friendly than the Welsh stadium? Especially to a French team? And Stadio Flaminio, different scene altogether. The French players have to be used to playing in a hostile environment, French domestic rugby is no tickling contest in the opposition stadium! I actually think the problems lie in domestic rugby and the influx of 'foreign players'. So many teams, so many positions, so many different partnerships, French international team reminds me of a barbarians team - coming together to play a few games, then off we go back to our day jobs. The only thing French seem to be doing consistently is being the most inconsistent team known to mankind.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:05 PM 24/02/2014

    Actually Matt, I disagree with you there, at least in the context of the particular scrum we're referring to. I believe the ball stayed very central in the scrum for a good few seconds before it was probably a case of 'oh shit, we're not going anywhere, I better hook it' came into Hartley's mind (it was Hartley yes?). If he had hooked the ball instantly or at least got his timing right with the scrum half they wouldn't have had to go to plan B which was his scrambled hack at the ball.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:01 PM 24/02/2014

    I agree with you there Moo, btw, what is your stance on aiming to wind up a player without physical contact?

    Reply
  • 9:34 AM 24/02/2014

    The frenhc team don't go into game with the right mentality ATM, maybe its because theyve got an arrogant wanker and thug of a captain. Fickou should start with Fofana.

    Reply
  • 9:26 AM 24/02/2014

    I think hookers are still more like flankers around the pitch than props, when theyre not getting any closer to props. The whole game is getting more athletic (apart from Matt stevens XD) and if you look at the 6 nations hookers: Szarseski, Hartley, Youngs, Hibbard, Ford, Kayser and they put in loads of tackles and can run well with the ball. The scrums have got safer without the engage impact, but I don't think anyone knows whats going on. If you look at England Ireland, england didnt hook, and the scrums looked like a right mess, but then Ireland had a coule of brilliant scrums so maybe ENG were just poor? I think they should always just hook the ball really hard right away and try and push enough to not get smashed before they get the ball out. If you dont hook, there is no point in having a scrum for your team.

    Reply
  • pipo
    1:41 AM 24/02/2014

    PLEASE HELP! Where can I see this (full) game online? I can't find it on youtube whereas Eng-Ire and Italy- Sco are already there. Thank you very much in advance.

    Reply
  • tapperjones
    12:18 AM 24/02/2014

    I'm Welsh so I don't claim to be unbiased. This is my perspective: I think generally it was a poor game. France were god awful yes, and it's fair to say Wales were not spectacular. The yellow for Picamoles was definitely unfair, but overall I'd say it was probably referred fairly as rugby goes (the ref always makes a mistake or two). Say what you want about the scrums but Wales looked stronger and in Rolland's defence he carded both sides not just France. I'd concede that Wales were also VERY lucky in a lot of areas, but you create your own luck don't you? I understand that the two Welsh tries were fairly controversial. However, for me North's was fine as there wasn't really enough of a push (plus, the ball was collected regardless; it was dropped when the player hit the floor and knocked into his own team mate). The second try admittedly I'm less sure about. I don't know the rule on 'rolling' the ball, but I think France should look at Picamoles' try the other week before they claim it was unfair. We're splitting hairs here and you've got to give the attacking team a reasonable advantage. I don't see how rolling (without knocking on) is any different from a legal extra movement. Even if both tries were disallowed and Picamoles wasn't sent off I still think France would still have lost the game. France's kicking was also woeful for international level. You can't blame anybody but yourself with a 21 point margin. Regardless of all that, Wales could only play what was in front of them. Considering their performance against Ireland, a 27-6 win against the only undefeated team left is still impressive. Credit where it's due.

    Reply
  • matt
    11:01 PM 23/02/2014

    In my mind the warburton try is fine because he hit the floor, and then placed the ball. And as far as I understand the rules you are perfectly entitled to place the ball once you've landed in any direction you want, so long as it is immediate. The fact that he hit the floor with the ball out in front of him and then placed it 2 inches further is irrelevant detail.

    Reply
  • matt
    10:59 PM 23/02/2014

    I thought that particular Brian Moore comment was idiotic. England had hooked the ball, but were being driven backwards and then fragmented. And that is a problem that is increasingly occurring because the attacking hooker has to hook, and therefore there are only 7 players pushing. So it is actually a problem that occurs when hookers do hook. It is the exact opposite of what he was saying.

    Reply
  • drg
    9:10 PM 23/02/2014

    Sometimes I think with all these alterations all the damn time most of the front rows can't work out the scrums either. I really enjoyed the commentary from Brian Moore on the England v Ireland game with his 'thats what happens when hookers don't hook' comments. I think scrums in generally have become so different from what they once were. When I was at school we had a good solid scrum most of the time, but there were times we were penalised for driving more than a metre - which at the time is illegal in junior rugby (and perhaps still is?) but the ball was always hooked!!!!! ALWAYS!!! I was actually praised for my hooking abilities on our own scrum and the opposition scrum (now being 6'6" I stay away from the front rows (silly place to be!) But nowadays there is no hooking battles of old, teams require the biggest heaviest and strongest front rows to help 'walk over' the ball. I used to recall watching professional hookers in international matches running around like part of the back row, stocky fellows - slighter than the props, but quick, roaring around the field - look at Keith Wood... Now hookers are like a bloody 3rd prop!

    Reply
  • jeri
    7:30 PM 23/02/2014

    A cheeky tap for getting the upper hand in a physical competition is as gentleman as you can get. Not sure if the French player interpreted it as a having a feint at eye gouging.

    Reply
  • fatprop
    5:14 PM 23/02/2014

    Rolland isn't the only ref who cant work out the scrum but my god he gets it wrong 8/10 times. I saw one with Jenkins and Mas, Jenkins was pretty much kissing his own boots and then mas just fell on his stomach because the pressure being applied to the welsh pack and he gives wales a penalty !?

    Reply
  • facepalm
    4:10 PM 23/02/2014

    I didn't quite manage catch why he got carded (Italian commentary). Was it for a ruck infringement? Retaliating to the petty head patting? Either way I didn't like the clapping at all.

    Reply
  • drg
    3:28 PM 23/02/2014

    ...amen to that! Although about Warbs rolling the ball, not sure, because he was still in control of the ball..so is that a knock on? I am not saying one way or the other, but I still maintain it looks more like a 'place and roll' than a 'place THEN roll'...

    Reply
  • sportsfan1
    2:38 PM 23/02/2014

    Yeah I thought Rolland had a terrible game. I don't think he has a clue about the scrum? i think he just guesses? For me the Warburton try was not a try, surely rolling the ball forward is a knock on? again for me Wales were not that great. One lucky try from a french mistake and another that shouldn't have been given and a lot of penalties from scrums that maybe shouldn't have been? I admit Wales were the better team but I don't think the performance was as good as people are making out.

    Reply
  • felipeg
    2:33 PM 23/02/2014

    Watching the highlights again... First welsh try shouldn't happen even tough its perfectly valid. Just the opposite for the second. Its well deserved but clearly 2 times. Dont see why Picamoles is called an arrogant dick higher. The welsh on the other hand patting Picamoles'head... hate to see that. And Picamoles reaction to beeing unfairly sent off doesn't seems that bad at all. I can undersand how bitter he must feel.

    Reply
  • felipeg
    2:21 PM 23/02/2014

    Not french either and i completely agree. Really bad game. Wales wasnt that good, France just sucked. And Rolland too. I thought the french newspaper would be full of comments about Rolland. Nothing. The BBC on the other hand said something about the ref's weird calls regarding scrums and Picamoles. I dont recall any straight launch by Wales in line-out. Still the only time Rolland blowed his whistle was when the ball went toward the french. Not a fan of conspiracy theories, but with all the fuss about welsh rugby being so desperate to get an audience on TV...(did you see thoses articles saying soccer would overcome rugby in Wales?) Well this result comes right on time.

    Reply
  • drg
    1:47 PM 23/02/2014

    Oh yeh, to add, Rolland being very card happy again...

    Reply
  • 45678
    12:50 PM 23/02/2014

    The best team in the world again apparently

    Reply
  • drg
    1:11 AM 23/02/2014

    Yeh I think I recall it was sort of 'place and roll' rather than 'place then roll' if that makes sense..

    Reply
  • danknapp
    11:00 PM 22/02/2014

    He didn't deserve the yellow, but I wish he'd got a red card for the dissent. That sort of childish nonsense doesn't belong on a pitch. (And yes, I know a red would be harsh, but I would still like to see it)

    Reply
  • 10:55 PM 22/02/2014

    Don't know the rule on rolling the ball, but it was with the same momentum so I think it should be allowed

    Reply
  • guy
    10:19 PM 22/02/2014

    Impressed by Wales, not too impressed by the French and their soccer-like antics towards the officials. They might have been frustrated by some of the calls (and by their own inability to do anything usefull with the ball) but that just doesn't justify that kind of behaviour.

    Reply
  • 10:04 PM 22/02/2014

    Yeah it's because they've got arrogant dicks leading the team (Pape, Maestri,Picamoles) when the actual good players don't get a shout (Fickou and Fofana)

    Reply
  • 9:56 PM 22/02/2014

    Don't want to go on too much about the welsh but they are world class. A team that has been and is building and getting stronger. Warburton is a brilliant captain. And everyone gave it their all.

    Reply
  • fatprop
    9:55 PM 22/02/2014

    This is a weird match to take anything from because only one team turned up. I think France had the mentality that they can lose one game and still win the championship, and on a Friday night in wales they just could not be bothered. The moment the first try goes over they just did not give a **** and it was over. But fair play wales they just battered through and put the points on the board.

    Reply
  • finedisregard
    5:24 PM 22/02/2014

    Why did Picamoles get a yellow, hands in? And what's up with these jerks patting him on the head? Very unsportsmanlike.

    Reply
  • kanpai
    4:14 PM 22/02/2014

    And I forgot : really great match by Warburton, he was everywhere and a real pain in the *** for french side.

    Reply
  • kanpai
    4:11 PM 22/02/2014

    As a French fan, i'm really disappointed by our performance. The first half was catastrophic, with no creativity, no intelligence, no discipline (and no luck too ^^). Next half was slightly better, but the score gap was too important and we didn't manage to score (so close sometimes, but not enough). I think we were too satisfied by our two home wins, and by the bad performance of Wales against Ireland. The good thing is that players will realize they need to stay focus for every game. Kudos to the Welsh, great fighting spirit and great ambiance. But there is still a lot of work, i think that any good team who play more than one half would have won yesterday : there were lots of gap in defense and a better use of the foot could lead to really dangerous actions ( french did it just once, Why !?!?!?!).

    Reply


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