France v Wales Six Nations Rugby

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France v Wales

John Inverdale presents live coverage of France v Wales in the penultimate fixture of the 2017 Six Nations, with commentary by Eddie Butler and Jonathan Davies.

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A grey and wet Parisien welcome for the hordes of Welsh fans who have


come to see their side's final match in this year's championship, and


they come both in hope and expectation. Wales of won the last


two in Paris, the last five in all, and all of us are hoping it is half


the game we saw last weekend in Cardiff.


At Friday night party. But serious. Individual battles. But could Wales


really stop Ireland? Was atonement possible? Forgiveness after


flogging? George North on the road to rediscovery. Ireland's


flogging? George North on the road two tries, ten points. Absolved.


This is a fiendishly detailed game. Enter the fray with intense Jamie


Roberts. The response of Wales to their doubters.


We are focusing on the battle for second, emotional scenes with Vern


Cotter, Wales half to finish above Scotland by getting a bonus point


win here today and France just need to win, and Everything after that


determined by what happens later on. The pitch is magnificent, talking to


some of the guys from the Welsh squad they think this is the best in


the Six Nations and the head groundsman appears to be from


Barnsley. It has stopped raising raining and the stage is set for a


great finale. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are here but we have


rugby royalty as well in the form of Conrad Smith, the great black centre


who is playing in France at the moment. I always get the sense that


a New Zealand people go huh, the Six Nations. Do you see it in a


different light? Playing here? I don't think we are that dismissive


of it. But yeah, the proximity of the nations, the support is pretty


special. It's hard to replicate in New Zealand. The Australians can


come over but the events around these games, I think the level of


the teams, aside from Italy, there is not a lot between the sides which


made for some great rugby. The most compelling match so far was Wales


against Ireland, Wales and changed for the third match in a row. Yes,


consistency normally bring success and Rob Howley stuck to his guns.


People in Wales causing for change and the introduction of young blood


but I think after last week they are justified keeping the same team.


People are not sure what to expect, both teams have shown flashes of


brilliance but they have been poor in parts as well so two inconsistent


teams. And a subplot we must mention, if people watching at home


do not know there is a huge undercurrent of discontent in French


rugby especially in pressie in rugby about the proposed measure between


Racing 92 and stored Francais, Sergio Brown easy was wearing an


armband in support of the players who have gone on strike and in


amongst all that they have to go out on the pitch today. It's very


complicated, you cannot rely on people, wealthy people putting money


in the game because of this guy goes away it is what happens to the team.


French rugby is at a turning point and maybe today will be a decider


about what is going to happen in the next few weeks. Great game for


certain individuals, a last calling card for the Lions, somebody who


perhaps at the start of this championship would not have been


going to New Zealand but now must be is Kevin Owens, winning his 50th cap


today -- Ken Owens. He has come out of nowhere, he has been superb, done


his job, hit his line-outs, 98%. Scrumming well, getting down the


park, had a superb tournament. Lewis Picamoles has been outstanding, but


he is up against Moriarty today. It's going to be a fascinating


confrontation. When you speak about Picamoles you speak about strength


and power. All the time he has the ball in hand, they carry is very


good. Lots of yards with the ball in hand, one of his strengths is he


does not go into the defender, his fitness is better and he can move


around making him a real threat. You are playing over here so you have an


insight into the French players, how much dynamism has the scrum-half


brought, Baptiste Serin? I was asking other players about him when


I first arrived, when you watch him play it is obviously wants to the


game up. I think he has done that coming into the French team, I think


he is So Yeon Ryu, he has a big future ahead of him.


George North said last week, do not forget about me and if he plays like


that again today the French backs will have to look out. He is up


against quality winger'ss. You want to see him angry, because he is such


a threat with his footwork and his pace, he has got the INAUDIBLE


. This is the loudest PA in world sport.


The players enter the fray. I should say by the way, if you are seeing


wide angled shots of the stadium there are a lot of empty seats and I


suspect that is partly because of the incident at all the airports


today which may well have stopped several Welsh bands getting here


today, and lots of bands coming into the


it's all about fine margin, what do Wales want out of this? If you


finished fifth with a loss, you would be desperately disappointed.


We want the same thing. So who wins? I will go France, they were


desperately unlucky not to win the first game against England and I


think they are playing some really good rugby.






Commentary on the penultimate game of the Six Nations 2017 comes from


Jonathan Davies, Brian Miller and Eddie Butler.


Seven different clubs represented. Clear


only two tries in their first three games for France, for in the


Ken Owens pinpoint accuracy at hooker.


The Welsh backs have scored eight tries.


A few empty seats, but still a lovely place to be in mid-March at


the end of a championship. Alun Wyn Jones, the Welsh captain. Wales have


won here on their last two appearances. Jake Ball, he has had a


good season so far. The referee Didier Wayne Barnes of England. --


today. The final weekend, the last but one game of the Six Nations. Dan


Biggar bounces the ball on halfway. Justin Tipuric, Wales's leading


line-out forward. Biggar starts, high into the


Brazilian 's guide, it is a grey sky, George North gets a hand on it.


George North doing his part, the players around could not take


advantage. Wales have a decent platform, Ken Owens on the money for


most of the time, should be able to build an attacking platform here.


Overthrown, could not get it. Picamoles, France on the move. Gael


Fickou. Two tries to his name in the championship so far. Yoann Maestri,


huge second row. France back in their own half, now


into the Welsh 22. Leigh Halfpenny gets the clearance away.


Penalty advantage being played. It's a huge French pack. No advantage,


back to the penalty. Number six penalised, Sam Warburton.


Unnecessary, it was a good defensive set from Wales. France, despite


getting multiple phases were not really going anywhere.


Sam Warburton did such a good job marking CJ Stander in the last game.


The French hooker, also their captain.


Lopez for the first points of the game. Short.


The bounce of a rugby ball always tricky. Dan Biggar goes long.


Baptiste Serin. Lopez. Gael Fickou. Good pass by Gael Kakuta. To


Picamoles. Lopez. Good tackle by Justin Tipuric. But France moving


with purpose. Kevin Godel. Jonathan Davies with the knock-down.


Advantage played. Penalty for the deliberate knock-on. Suggesting that


was deliberate. But the officials are not going to review it. That was


caused by Welsh tackling, failing, France getting numbers to the next


breakdown and very quick ball. Important France hang on here. --


Wales hang on here. Do not want to go seven points down in the first


five minutes. France with this attacking line-out. Guilhem Guirado


to throw. Overthrown. Wales still have a bit of clearing up to do but


it's an excellent steal by Wales. Rhys Webb back to Dan Biggar. They


are not out of their 22 but not as close as they were to the line. Dan


Biggar unhappy about something. Good line speed by Wales but they cannot


mess one tackle. They have to move the French pack around because they


are a massive pack. They do, but they have to get some ball first.


The hooker setting up the drive. I think this is what France wanted to


do from five metres out. It is working well, Guilhem Guirado 's


coming away with it. Thunderous on the charge, Sebastien


Vahaamahina. It's the dry! -- try. Sudden change of tactics and France


open the scoring. Wales were going to be vulnerable to that. Justin


Tipuric does his job and dislodges the ball but the Welsh players


around the fringes were not quick enough to drop on it and secure


possession. From that point France were on the front foot. The midfield


wanted to get up. That's a clever kick. Well executed by France. It's


a very clever play because Leigh Halfpenny was defending on the


outside. Chipped over, good play by this man.


Two extra points safely added France in very threatening mood it would


appear. Two missed tackles. Liam Williams. Bounced off. The little


pink by Lopez, safely taken by Remi Lamerat that. George North in hot


pursuit. Not the best exit from France, Wayne Barnes has given a


scrummage. Twice George North has got up there and cause trouble on


the Welsh kick-off, good work from him. Wales with an immediate chance


to reply to the concession of the drive.


Important the Welsh front five get some stability here. Driving early.


Picamoles surveys the Welsh attacking options. Rhys Webb to feed


the scrummage. 20 metres out from the French line. Ross Moriarty does


well to pick the ball up. Spens infield.


France on the attack causing problems, and that the scrummage,


quickly taken, George North do Halfpenny. Excellent follow-up


tackle. Rhys Webb. Evans outside, Tipuric carries on. Back to Tipuric,


still there but the whistle has gone.


A good choice of option, Webb spotting the two on one. Again, the


initial Welsh player doing his job making the break. Supporting players


not quite able to make it count. There is no prop forwards there.


Half a dummy and he's away. Good play by Rhys Webb. The penalty that


was short, that seems ages ago now even though we have only played


coming up to 11 minutes. That scrummage is a problem.


Moriarty did well to pick that on a retreating basis. Eddie, you will


know about that, clumsy row of second boots on them. He did well


not only to feel the ball but to make a bit of ground which gave the


rest of the pack time to get back and secure the ball. The French


captain is the player down. Guirado looks as if he's fit to


carry on. Baptiste Serin to feed the


scrummage. A chance for Wales to make amends and put some pressure on


the French scrum. Rock solid from France. It would be


if it was fed to number 8. Penalty nearly given but instead away comes


Picamole. That's what he wants, a chance to run at the Welsh backs.


Vakatawa. Good tackle by George North on Vakatawa but France back in


the forward motion. France's number 7 such an important player, Gourdon.


If I can call. Serin. Moriarty. -- Fickou. Back to Serin. It's goon


loose. Wales have turned it over in the nick of time.


That's the boot of Rhys Webb, how pleased he'll be to see that. Seven


metres from his own line. Your Don. Biggar. Longer clearance from


Biggar. They can't afford to miss successive


tackles. The initial break is made from that and France reproduce the


ball quickly. They've got to stop the offloads as well. That's the


thing. Maestri wins. Picamole. A rare


mistake by the number 8. But so far Wales have not found the answer to


stopping Picamole. Maybe he's providing the answer by himself by


getting injured. The gin paws of Maestri.


Picamole taking his eye off the ball at the very last moment. What will


concern Sean Edwards is the fact that the Welsh line speed is good


and there are potential tackles to be made there on the French side of


the gain line, they're not being stopped at the point of contact.


It's a good place for Wales to have a scrummage, middle of the park. But


at the last scrum they gave ground. Wayne Barnes talking about


pre-engaging with that. He means you are not supposed to actually make


contact with the shoulders. It's a very fine margin. If you watch here,


I don't know if we can see... Francis three for Wales. Better for


Wales. Not better for Wales! Penalty for France.


That is the importance of the initial engagements and the initial


scrum battle because it's now in Wayne Barnes mind that but for Wales


taking the scrum down, they're likely to go backwards and it was


actually the French man who dropped first and yet the one that was on


his knees was penalised. Lopez. On target. France's lead


grows. 10-0. We've had 15 minutes and Wales have not had any


meaningful passage of play yet. They really desperately knead a period or


two to three minutes where they keep hold of the ball and at least test


the French defence because at the moment they're just having to


tackle. Biggar to restart. Fickou is back up. Poor from France. It gets


worse because Serin's been knocked flat by Vakatawa. A catalogue of


errors there. They've still got possession, but trouble for France's


scrum-half. Lopez replaces him for the moment.


With a bit of luck, George North can find one of these restarts back into


his hands. Making himself a thorough nuisance to the French on the


restarts. I think that's just after the collision. Not gone off for a


head injury assessment. Ken Owens with the throw. Important to get


this right. Alan Wyn Jones down off the top to rest Webb. Williams.


Davies. Biggar. Trying to bring George North into play. Leigh


Halfpenny. Ken Owens. Webb. Jake Ball. Justin Tipuric came


up flat and hard, gets over the advantage line. Biggar. Scott


Williams. Lopez. The ball's gone loose. Davies did well to pick the


ball up. France claim the turnover. Biggar.


Flailing arm knocked the ball on. There was a real chance for Wales


then. Wales are claiming that was a


deliberate knock-on. It's actually... He did stop the ball


getting to George North but it was the outside arm of the tackle.


Bearing in mind that the officials did not review the... We are going


to look at this one. Interesting they didn't look at the one for


France which was very similar. While we are viewing this, France have


made a change. Trying to put George North in for a try. The left arm.


George North says he knows what he's doing, his opponent. It's


Nakaitaci's arm. He makes contact, it's whether you consider it was in


the motion of trying the make a tackle or whether it was in the


disguise motion of knocking it on for me. I think it was the former.


Obviously if you are sitting at home and you're a Welsh fan, you'll


disagree with me. A change at scrum-half for France. Dupont, the


20-year-old is on for Serin. Yellow card. It's a deliberate


knock-on for us, it's in a good position but we are not certain a


try could have been scored so he goes to the bin but it's no penalty


try, OK. Ten minutes in the bin Dan Biggar is giving the ball to


leaf Halfpenny. Get three points here, still have the vast majority


of that time left to play against 14 men. Interesting that they are


saying it probably wasn't going to be a try. They were talking about


George North having overrun the ball. If we see that again from a


different angle, we'll see whether or not he had overrun the ball


because if they decided it was a deliberate knock-on, and there was


only one man free outside, then apart from that...


Here is Leigh Halfpenny. He's used up almost a minute of the ten


preparing for this kick. It's good by Leigh Halfpenny. He


stood his ground to check its flight but reward for Leigh Halfpenny in


the travelling Welsh fans -- and the travelling Welsh fans. They're on


the board. Whether or not it's taken anything off the clock, it's not


really a point, it's psychological for Wales who've recorded a score


when they have been desperately defending. They are on the score


board now and have the remainder of eight minutes or so to play against


14 men and they need to make that count. Liam Williams. Jumps under


pressure. Nakaitaci was about five metres in


front. Rhys Webb going nowhere. Not made a lot of ground, but


they'll have the throw-in. You wonder, professional players know


that world rugby and all the elite referees are very, very hot when you


take a player above the horizontal. They're always going to penalise it


and choose to do that, just don't. Alan Wyn Jones wins the lineout.


The Welsh captain, the target so far in the lineout. Successful. Very


successful. Marching France backwards. Rhys Webb from Ken Owens.


Liam Williams in possession. First run for the winger. Jake Ball.


Moriarty. Scott Williams behind Jonathan Davies who has to check.


Lopez with the tackle. Biggar to Leigh Halfpenny. Lamerat makes life


difficult for him. He steals the ball. Davies is back. Chance of a


counterattack here. A real chance. Up to the half way line. Scott


Williams gets Liam Williams away. Rhys Webb. Rob Evans.


Dan Biggar. France's tackling is solid. Scott Williams again. He's


lost the ball again. France turning Wales over three or four times in


this half. Maestri. Dupont, the new scrum-half.


Different approach from Dan Biggar. Warburton with the tackle. France


though back in possession. Liam Williams. Able to get away and twist


and turn and eventually, he's forced out.


A couple of points there. Wales doing some purposeful play by not


looking after the ball and contact twice in a row. If you are going to


use that tactic of the ball going in the air, the chase has to be better.


The initial Welsh tackler getting in there, but not enough support in


allowing France to get or the layer on the floor. Rhys Webb does a bit


of digging for the ball from the line-out. Looks as if Serin is going


to come back on. Guirado dropped the ball. Wales


claiming a bit more, just a knock-on says Barnes.


All this time, it's been eaten away out of the ten minutes advantage


that Wales had. They were a man up. Wales really need to get a score of


some sort within the remaining three minutes. Webb gets the ball away


from the scrummage. Biggar, change of tactic, drills it towards North


who takes it well. Laugh pen write tries to get the pass away. Jonathan


Davies gets a hand to it. Danger, picked up by France. $Dulin forces


himself to the ground. We've lost Jonathan because of his


voice. Martin, your impression so far of the Welsh performance?


Totally blown away for the first 15 minutes. They couldnd hand it will


physicality of the French. They got back into the game. They seem to be


having gaps in the French defence. Big kick for Leigh Halfpenny here.


If they can get it back to 10-6, it will be good after being on the back


foot for the first 20 minutes. Fabulous strike by Leigh Halfpenny.


Beautiful penalty. It was a long way and Halfpenny has success think put


Wales up to six points -- successfully put Wales up six


points. Wales have taken advantage of that.


They've got the score. They are now in an unconverted try. Bearing in


mind, the first 15 minutes they were very much on the back foot. They've


now stabilised the situation. Liam Williams. Nakaitaci. Warburton.


Jonathan Davies. Jake Ball again. Busy carrier in


this opening half hour. Dulin. Advantage Wales. It's the


French full back's kick going out. That unforced error is a real gift


for Wales because it gives them a lineout within the French territory.


Couple of times Wales have been moving the ball, it's been stopped


by passes that haven't been in front of the man. They turn and it kills


the momentum. Tipuric. Moriarty comes into the midfield. Fickou with


the tackle. Wales keep possession. Ken Owens. Dan Biggar did well to


ride the tackle and France again with a player left on the ground.


Lopez. Good slip out of the tackle by Rob Evans, the prop. Whoops. Jake


Ball does well to get the ball to Biggar. Scott Williams. Jonathan


Davies. Liam Williams. Moriarty outside him. Moriarty claimed he was


taken out off the ball. Somebody has to play scrum-half


here. Gourdon gets away from Ken Owens. Halfpenny has to chase back


deep into the 22. Under real pressure from Serin and Dulin.


Fickou. Serin. Lopez. Gourdon. Vakatawa back on the field.


Delivering safely. Guirado tackled by his opposite number. Wriggling


forward another metre. Warburton with the tackle.


Tries to, or thought about slinging the pass out but he didn't. Serin.


Great tackle out of the pass. Serin. Fickou. France beginning to take the


risks with their pass. North over the ball. And Wales have the


penalty. After the slight of hand, it's the heavyweight work of George


North that counts. Great work by George north because


France managed to get three or four offloads there which always


stretches any defence. The work of George North stopped


that completely. Right hand side of the frame there,


Lopez is going off for another head injury assessment.


Guirado coming over to ask questions.


Possession from Wales. Moriarty. Webb. To George North. Probably


needed to go. France get the big strong arms around.


That achieved its purpose, that move. They got in a position that


they wanted. Transwar Trinh Duc back on the


field. Good to see him back -- Francois Trinh Duc.


What is the point about having a low, putting the ball in straight,


if you are going to shove it to the number 8's feet. It's not just


France. Nearly every team at every level. I do not understand how you


can ignore one law completely. Have a discussion, guilty rid of it if


you want to, but do it purposely. The referee's saying, no-one cares


about this but you, you're insane. Every clubhouse in the country they


want to go to and people are screaming about this. You know why


they do it, just because they want to get away from reset scrummage


after reset scrummage. And they don't understand that if they


enforced it, they would have fewer scrums and fewer would collapse.


They know better. Not that any of them play in the front row, but


there you go. Rant over. There we go. You were right in your judgment.


Even the Duke of Edinburgh's noticed it. France with the lineout but it's


come straight to the replacement on for Lopez, Trinh Duc. Midfield. Both


teams happy to put themselveses in midfield.


Serin. Trinh Duc flips it on. Rhys Webb has stolen the ball.


Justin Tipuric checks where the clearers are. Misses them. Goes for


Ken Owens. Dan Biggar behind Justin Tipuric is directing the troops.


Rhys Webb back in the scrum-half position. Dan Biggar keeps the ball


in field. Dulin. Nakaitaci outside him. Good tackle by Moriarty.


How is this going to bounce? It might go all the way. Mistake by


Francois Trinh-Duc who. It's been a conspicuous tack this -- tactic. On


that occasion it has paid huge dividends. Alun Wyn Jones standing


there, the red church to the right. -- the red shirts. Guirado has been


struggling in the first half, we have seen Chat warming up at least


twice. He will carry on, Guirado. Chat is a good player, but Guirado


the captain. They will want him to stay on, at least for the rest of


the first half you would think. That is a better scrum. Moriarty get


it to Webb. Scott Williams could not get the pass away. If Wales get


quick ball it could be danger, Rhys Webb picks the running option


himself. Warburton plays scrum-half. Jonathan Davies. Penalty advantage


to Wales, they have a free play here. Rob Evans. Does well to write


the first tackle. Biggar. Scott Williams along to Justin Tipuric.


Took the ball standing still. Easy tackle for Dulin. No advantage, back


to the penalty. Might debate what you would do with this but again I


would take the points. Almost half time, go in with next to nothing in


it. Number three deemed offside. Leigh Halfpenny with two good


penalties to his name. This is the easiest one. It was Serin who tried


to... It was well read by Serin, it was an awkward bounce. When the ball


comes back later on, as indeed a number of Welsh moves scored from


the handling which has not been a surprise as it could be. Get the


feeling Wales are creating chances but not being exact in the way they


are trying to exploit them. If they click it could be completely


different story in terms of their fortunes. They were 10-0 down after


a quarter of an hour. This to put them back within a point. Three


penalties per Leigh Halfpenny, Wales up to nine, France 10-9 Wales. I


think Wales would be relatively happy with that if they go in with


it at half-time, it looked early on like they might get buried. Looks


like France have changed the kick-off tactic. George North, away,


blamed by George North, Ross Moriarty, even better, show and go.


Webb, Biggar. Evans. Leigh Halfpenny, Alun Wyn Jones, Jonathan


Davies. Bounces kindly for a Liam Williams auntie to get brilliantly.


Halfpenny in the action again. All started with the catch by George


North. Bounced back, Dan Biggar again. Justin Tipuric into midfield


and again, not for the first time Wales surrender possession. That's


the fourth time Wales have turned over breakdown ball wide clumsiness


around the fringes. France now a bit clumsy with their presentation of


the ball but this is the end of the first half. Wayne Barnes blows his


whistle. Guirado leads his team off, leading by a single point.


You sense this is a game that has not caught fire yet and is waiting


for a spark but the first 15 minutes or so were all France, Lamerat


finishing underneath the posts. In the first 15 minutes Wales made 30


tackles, France just three, in the next 15, France made 37 and Wales


just ate, so then match on a knife edge. Conrad Smith alongside us,


that is the first half, it is one of those funny things, the first half


of Six Nations rugby you have ever seen live in your life so what did


you think? It's, to be honest, it's not been the best game in terms of


what I have seen in the Six Nations on TV. The execution from both teams


has let them down, they have created things early on it was brands and


then it was Wales. A few wayward passes, turnovers. Both they have


not quite capitalised. What is your verdict? When we have quick balls we


can make the difference, but the speed of the game is not good enough


so we need to release the ball much quicker into the ruck and then we


can create gaps. Things did not look clever for Wales in the first 15


minutes so 10-9 at half-time they would take. That first half


encapsulates both teams for me, flashes of brilliance but some


average rugby as well. Wales were hanging on, brands came out of the


blocks, they grew into the game but the execution was poor. Are you a


fan of low pay he is good -- of Lopez? Game after game he will


improve, he is helped by the forwards, they are really dominant


in the scrums, the physicality is there. But the scrum half need to


give him the ball quicker and that can bring the line speed quicker. It


was a combination of the French physicality and a lovely little chip


which led to the try. Confusion between Rhys Webb and Liam Williams


about who is supposed to be covering. When the try is scored,


it's great execution, great touch from Lopez. If you look at Liam


Williams, questioning Rhys Webb, neither really did anything. We knew


that the line speed, the Welsh team was good so I think to use that, the


kicking part of the game was really good, well done by Lopez. It is


tough to defeat, as a nine or 11 you want to be covering that but it's a


pinpoint kick. Well executed. The big question, when is a yellow card


not a yellow card? As a neutral, Conrad, I thought this was a yellow


card for Jonathan Davies, he knows what he's doing, he knows if the


ball gets away it's probably in. Did not even review it, Wayne Barnes.


Jonathan Davies knows what's happening believe me. I think they


were bought yellow cards. It should be a penalty try in my book as well.


That might be pushing it a bit, but it's either two yellows or no


yellows. If you want to be technical I think the first one is more


deliberate, he's actually looking where as you can argue they are his


head is down. So you say it's a penalty try to France? It could be.


You just want consistency. If you give a reality -- yellow card you


have to give a penalty try afterwards. That is a double


punishment. Why not? If you give a yellow card that means you had the


opportunity to score and it was the same for the Welsh team just before.


The old cliche about treating the ball with respect and when you have


it hang onto it, Wales are getting turned over a lot. The execution has


been really poor at times. France are doing well, they are making a


mess of things at rucks, physical men getting over the ball, some of


the passing, it's really laboured, really poor, they have been stripped


when they are carrying into contact saw the need to look after the ball


because when they do that angle to the phases France look a bit ragged


and they will give you opportunities. Instead of using the


ball we were kicking, I think we should keep it in hand to create


some danger. I think both teams have had opportunities after turnovers,


immediately after a turnover is an opportunity to pay quick enough but


both teams have taken a few seconds to decide what to do and then the


opportunity is gone. Looking at France and what they have got in the


backs, why is the ball allowed to just sit at the back of a ruck or


all and there is no dynamism -- or a maul. Perhaps needs to bring some


speed, we are physically dominant against the Welsh, finding some gaps


into the defence but if we don't generate quick ball it is hard


because the defence gets into position and then it's too late. If


that was New Zealand without seeing the obvious, quick turnover like


that, it would be somebody into the lines going in the corner because


the realisation, the vision, the assessment is sometimes better. It's


the knowledge that it's the hardest part of the game to defend. It's


that time when the defence is not set, they cannot have any line speed


because they have just been attacking. It's the golden time to


move the ball and you do not score every time but you at least try.


That is why they are world champions. We will come onto that at


the end of the game when we can talk the respective merits of New Zealand


and England. George North looks like a man reborn. He has got the energy,


he has not had many standout runs but it's what he's been doing


without the ball which has been impressive. Defended well, looks


enthusiastic. Big hits. He's a big man, tough man to bring down but he


stood his ground. Great turnover as well and this was a key turnover,


brilliant skill from Serin by the way. But getting ahead of the ball


like that, if you can do that as a winger it is invaluable. Right at


the end you saw how good he is in the aerial battle as well. Agility


in the footwork for such a big man, it's outstanding. He's back to top


form. Are you a fan of his Conrad? Very much so. When he has the


workrate like he has today, it's not one area of the game, it's chasing


kicks, when he's doing it all he is going to be a menace on the field.


Key area France lead to improved? Definitely around the ruck, need to


generate quick ball but I really think we need to exploit, turnover


is a bit better. Play behind the defence, we need to make more


passes. We have seen some good individuality is. I think in the


backs, Fickou has made some gaps but we need to be better. And Wales?


Scrambling well but keep the ball and be more clinical to create


chances. Earlier today Scotland beat Italy and got a bonus point, later


on it is Ireland against England with England going for a second


consecutive Grand Slam and trying to do what the women achieved


Across the continent there has been a surge of interest in the women's


game. They are searching for that Grand Slam.


The women in white, Six Nations Grand Slam champions.


England are going for a fourth Grand Slam attempt in the course of the


Six Nations when they are at the Aviva Stadium in about an hour and


15 minutes time. This aristocrat of rugby union


grounds is awash with grand slam fever with Ireland seeking to


deprive England of a Grand Slam. They are dancing all around


Lansdowne road. England not taking their place. What


a flourish. What our performance. Martin Johnson's England have


scored. Goes on his own, scores for Ireland.


O Driscoll. It dashes England's grand slam hopes. Once you have been


successful you either them become a great team you become a failure. We


can achieve greatness by winning back-to-back Grand Slams. A smiling


Eddie Jones, if England played New Zealand next week to wins? In a


one-off game at Twickenham it would be close. I think New Zealand, I am


obviously biased, I still think they have more in terms of what they can


do with the ball, the speed that the play. England on the other hand,


they are finding ways to win. They are not always blowing teams off the


park but like against Wales and France, it's an amazing attribute


for a team. If they played the All Blacks who knows but it would be a


great contest and I hope it happens. You all may have answered the


question, do you see England winning in Dublin? You saw clips of the


Irish, they know how to spoil party. England are so strong, they have not


been exhilarating but they have got over the line, I think the bench,


the finishers will be the difference. Confidence is there for


England, even small margins, against Wales, everyone thought Wales were


going to win the game but in the last few minutes England find the


belief. Playing against the best against like Australia and South


Africa they got the confidence. At this time I think England would win.


This is the table at the moment. Scotland currently second place,


that is how things stand at half-time with brands in second.


The final weekend, the last but one game in the Six Nations


championship. It's a try. Lamerat, France open scoring. And lead grows.


It's goodbye Leigh Halfpenny. Beautiful penalty. 10-0 down. Three


penalties per Leigh Halfpenny, Wales up to nine.


1-point game. I must ask you, has this man got much broadcast


experience, he is a regular contributor to the French rugby


special which must be stressful, how does that work? Especially difficult


at the moment when my French is not quite what I would like it to be. I


have a translator, the questions are asked, in French and it is


translated in my ear. There are a few nervous seconds as I wait for


the translator to tell me the question. The benches and who could


come on in the last 20 minutes could be key. If we look at who will be on


the bench, it's the usual guys from a Welsh point of view. From our


perspective, we have no finishers, we have no bench, we all may now


have Brian Moore and Eddie Butler. COMMENTATOR: It's a ruthless


business, one croaky voice and he is gone. Lopez back on the field. No


changes on the Welsh side. Serin is also back at scrum-half. Liam


Williams comes forward and claims the restart. Last half of the Six


Nations campaign for these teams. Jonathan Davies. Down towards


Picamoles. Dulin sends it high, Biggar goes up. Wayne Barnes waves


play on. Here is Lopez and Picamoles.


Gets through the tackle, Slimani. Gael Fickou, Halfpenny stepping


across him, does very well to foil that attack. Rhys Webb arrives. Ken


Owens. Presents the ball. Lopez cannot get past. Grabs him and


does an excellent job of delaying the off-load. France have to come


from a stationary start and Gael Fickou does well.


Sanconnie a newcomer to the French back row.


Wayne Barnes seeing play on. Well read by a Rhys Webb. Bouncing ball.


Danger signs, Wales pick up scraps, George North. Maestri try to get him


down. Warburton, to Jonathan Davies, Liam Williams. Out of play. And we


have a Welsh player injured. Alun Wyn Jones. The captain doubled up.


Ribs? Wayne Barnes explaining he's not


going to give a penalty for holding the man.


Unfortunately that pass is so indicative of the way both sides


have been playing, making unforced errors which have constantly stop to


the forward momentum. It was a good defensive set by Wales. France


making no real headway. This is very brave by Leigh Halfpenny. The Welsh


captain is still down. If Wales can just find the passage


of play where they are precise the gaps will open and they have the


beating of the French team. We shall restart with a line-out.


Guirado to throw. From the touchline to the back of


the. Picamoles going nowhere, good tackle


by Tipuric and Moriarty together. Biggar will have a chance to go


either way or high for the sky. Leigh Halfpenny impersonate. Dulin


wins the aerial battle. Williams, Dan Biggar a long way


infield. Lopez. The ball out of play. A bit of ping-pong. Wasn't it


entertaining! Such an important part of the game,


kick and chase. The ability to do that. Gael Fickou. Alun Wyn Jones


gets it down. Rhys Webb, certainly not now, Ross Moriarty in trouble.


Scott Williams does well. But it's a penalty, Wales Crossing... Quickly


taken. Gael Fickou, they have somehow made a mess of it. Dulin


looks at the referee, everyone looks at the referee, Leigh Halfpenny


looks at the referee. It's a line-out. There are players down.


That was untidy, slightly short. Guirado with the fingers and from


that moment Wales were in real trouble. There is a case for a


deliberate knock-on. Looked rather similar to the one which France


didn't get away with. Want to be consistent. Looked to me as though


it was an attempted tackle. Guy Noves slightly more impassive than


the men in the stands. Rhys Webb receiving attention on the Welsh


side. Scott Williams coming away with the ball, it is Rhys Webb...


Peter Fitzgibbon the television match official today.


Guirado back on his feet. The French forwards make their way towards the


far touchline. Doesn't seem to have been any requests for any reviews of


anything. Perhaps the injuries have disturbed the flow of the judicial


process? It's going to be a scrum down. Just


knock-on. There has been inconsistency with what the official


and his team have and have not looked that. Apologies if you heard


any bad language, I don't know why I am apologising, it was not me. But


there you are. Serin. First seven metres away from


the Welsh line. Looked vulnerable. France will


presumably reset and have another go.


Tomas Francis. Once France got the momentum there, irrespective of


where the ball was fed, the fact is that they are going to get the


penalty. Still seven metres. France six and a


bit out. -- perhaps six and a bit out. France have conceded the


penalty this time. That will be very badly received by the French crowd.


Not welcomed by these players. On the right hand side, completely


fractured. That's why the scrum side went in favour of France.


Dulin. Well tackled by Williams. Bit closer to the touchline. Tremendous


following up footwork. We are off again. Jonathan Davies.


Jonathan Davies. Biggar. Scott Williams. France can break away.


Advantage over Leigh Halfpenny. Take it and set off. Excellent tackle.


Good work by Tipuric. Fantastic player. Alan Wyn Jones is down


again, a long way from the action. Ross Moriarty.


Pressure on Vakatawa. Wales will have the foot in. Picamole looks


disappointed. Vakatawa looks disappointed. We have a stoppage.


It's Jake Ball, not Alan Wyn Jones. Liam Williams is down too. Martin,


your views? I think the word is scrappy. It's physical but no side


can keep the ball and go through. The decision by France earlier on,


simple three points in front of the post, they've taken the quick one,


and Mr Barnes, I don't think he's the favourite person in this stadium


at this moment when it comes to the French, so yes, hasn't caught light


in the second half. Luke Charteris comes on. Alan Wyn Jones is coming


off and he is carrying that left arm. Sam Warburton will take over


the captaincy. Very uneven effort from Wales in


this respect. Defensively, their back row and inside defenders are


denying France any momentum at all at the moment. They're making the


ball very slow, they're doing a very good job. On the other hand, again


when they're going forward, unforced errors are undoing everything that


they're working for in defence. If they can just get that accuracy,


then they'll cause a lot of problems. But when you're making


those errors, it constantly undoes any good work you're doing.


Leigh Halfpenny taking over responsibility. Taulupe sorry,


Faletau and Roberts prepare to come on. Leigh Halfpenny is going for


goal. Struck with a force. This within the


Halfpenny range. And this to take the lead.


Long enough. Straight enough. Wales take the lead.


And everybody but everybody applauds. Fuad the difference for


the angle and the margin it went over by, that was a 55 metre kick.


That constantly gives the forwards hope. If you can win a penalty


anywhere near the French half, Leigh Halfpenny is likely to do that.


There's a huge psychological flip for you. Conversely, defenders know


they can't cheat and I thinkth infringe.


Surged forward. Lamerat. Ball arrives to complete the tackle.


Penalty to Wales. Good work by Warburton. Liam


Williams trying to compete. -- trying to compete with a man like


Liam Williams. Sam Warburton over the ball. The Welsh have done very


well. Lamerat is going for France in the Welsh 22.


Son Connie coming from the French back room. Sonconnie. He is coming


off. And his replacement. Started in the


starting 15 for France. It's one of so many changes by France.


So France change their front row. Ken Owens with the throw. Justin


Tipuric. Wales have to be careful. Good work


by France. It was because Justin Tipuric did his job. He took the


ball cleanly and the Welsh supporting players not working quick


enough. Couldn't get the ball to the back.


Guirado throws and France lose again. Long from Rhys Webb. Dan


Biggar ships it on to Jamie robbers. Jonathan Davies. Leigh Halfpenny has


to take it further behind him. Williams. Tipuric. The prop does


well. That wasn't a promising start for him. Webb. Davies. Jamie


Roberts. Dan Biggar. To George North. Pass by


Biggar. Switch of play. Jonathan Davies. Wales setting up camp in


this corner. Dulin comes away. Level-footed. Pursued by Jonathan


Davies. Dulins capes. -- left-footed. Lamerat. France risking


things. Picamole. Charteris arrives to try to hold the number 8 up.


Picamole delivers. Serin. Lamerat again. Gets the ball


over. Williams did well to cover two French runners then. Bangs on to the


winner's ankle. Thunders to the 22. Scruffily delivered. Lamerat. Even


when he's lying down, Williams manages to make a tackle. Par pass


from Lamerat. And that's even worse. Charteris. Two Giants meet. France


with numbers. George North has to cover too. Does well, George North.


Still doing well. Low pee. -- Lopez. Atone owe. --


Atonio. Io. -- Atonio. Halfpenny came


forward. Lopez won it. Faletau. Maestri across the field.


Lopez. Lamerat at speed. And it's ripped out of his grasp. Only


towards the other French players. Slightly on the back foot now and


Gourdon tries to restore forward motion. Ball goes out eventually.


Beautiful kick from a position where France were starting to be put under


pressure. Succeeding in reducing France's options all round by


slowing the ball down to the point where it's scleroitc actually. No


option but to get it down the field. We pause because Jake Ball is


receiving attention. Ken Owens can take his time up field. Jake Ball I


imagine will be going off for yet another head injury assessment.


That's the captain already off the field.


Jake Ball coming off the field and Samson Lee is coming on.


Tom Francis comes off. For Samson Lee.


Full contingent in the lineout. Ken Owens is going to... Wig problem for


Wales at the moment now. Lineout severe liqueur tailed. Fortunately


for them, Justin Tipuric is a good lineout forward -- big problem for


them now. Wales in no hurry. Scott Baldwin. He is going to play out of


position presumably. Justin Tipuric does win under


pressure. Wondering if Ross Moriarty is off


the field as well. Rhys Webb. High. They checked their line and managed


to get the tacklers into the French winger. Lamerat. Turns in and tries


to go out. Up to half way. Atonio. Faletau goes low on the big


man. Chouly. And Chouly is bundled out of touch. Good defensive work


again. The way that France moved that ball was just so direct. It


provided Wales with the tackle and it wasn't going to go anywhere.


Luke Charteris is the tallest. Again putting their lineout.


Up goes chart Rick. -- Charteris. Rob Evans clears up for Wales.


Scott Baldwin the winger down. Atonio. Charteris.


Superb steal by Falcao. Liam Williams on the break -- Faletau.


Williams with the follow-up tackle manages to get a hand on Dulin.


Wriggles free. Away from Rhys Webb. Ken Owens makes a very important


tackle. Nakaitaci to Lopez. Biggar and Halfpenny turn and chase back.


Halfpenny into the 22. Stays within the bounds of the 22


and doesn't make much ground despite he has all the time. The highlight


of that was Tipuric's handling. He's a forward.


Faletau has come on for Moriarty, of course. Wales are a bit stuck


without specialist second rows now with Jake Ball off and Alan Wyn


Jones on. Scott Baldwin, a hooker is on.


Probably not just a lack of numbers, players having to boost in different


positions. They are not used to the gaps in the lineout if they don't


get it exact as well. Comes to France. Untidily. It comes to France


but illegally. Penalty for Wales. I don't think Leigh Halfpenny will do


anything other than indicate... Vahaamahina taking Justin Tipuric.


There it is, quite clear. Taking him by the hand. Didn't have to be much.


That's all he needed was to take the inside arm.


And the French crowd don't like it. But they should be directing their


boos at the offender. Look at it this way, Wales, a second row down.


It's a lineout. Only three or four metres into the French half. Would


it matter if they win a ball? Get out and defend.


They have huge signs at the Principality Stadium which says


"respect the quicker". They don't have them in France. -- "respect the


kicker". They don't have them in France.


Halfpenny. Does he like it? He does. He does indeed!


. They are in this position because of their defensive efforts.


Lamerat comes off. Trinh Duc is back on. It's an odd looking Welsh pack.


That goes wrong for Luke Charteris and right for Nakaitaci. Warburton


and Tipuric hold up the French captain. Rhys Webb. Atonio delivers.


The other switch of play. Maestri. The surge by the players, the surge


by the crowd. Chouly waits. Picamole right with


him. Penalty advantage to France. What do France do? Posts. Saw the


passage of play there from France which is potentially II Wales in


this respect. Wales have now got to reshuffle the pack with a lot of


their players. Certainly with Moriarty, the great defender. They


are in danger of being overpowered by a big French side. If they could


hold the line, make the tackles as they were doing, and stop them at


the point of contact, they'll be OK. If they don't and France get behind


them, they're in trouble. Luke Charteris losing out to the ball


coming out of the sky. Nakaitaci took full advantage. The gap down to


two points. Dan Biggar. George North chasing.


Quickly to Lopez. That shows the value of a diligent


chase, although North wasn't going to get the ball, he kept the


pressure on. Stepped back inside and eventually they sliced the ball.


Persistence paid off. Alan Wyn Jones is the obvious


lineout captain. Wales will have to reassess.


Charteris. Samson Lee. Tries to slip it back to


Sam Warburton. France have to be careful not to


give away the penalty. Tipuric picks up. Straight to ground again. Rob


Evans goes to ground. Faletau. Tipuric. Ken Owens.


Jonathan Davies. The 22 metre line. Dan Biggar.


Good footwork by Justin Tipuric. Half a metre. That 22 miter line


again. He's done very well. -- 22 metre. Sam Warburton carries on the


good work. Faletau scrum-half. Ken Owens picks up. Wales creeping


forward. High tackle. No arm out from the referee. A lot of Red


Shirts around there. Dan Biggar. Can't get the pass away. France over


the ball. It is a high tackle. And again, the crowd express their


displeasure. High tackle though. You saw it. They won't be happy because


Ken Owens was on his way down and therefore only a penalty, but the


contact here was high. France of not help their cause at


all by penalties for that, grabbing the arm at the line-out, things


which need not have occurred. Leigh Halfpenny has made them pay and


presumably now will for every indiscretion. Scott Baldwin is


bleeding into the towel. Rob Howley, man management at its most delicate.


Tomas Francis should be OK to come on. Leigh Halfpenny has landed his


sixth penalty, Wales up to 18, France 13.


Scott Baldwin going off, Ross Moriarty looked like he was out of


action with his shoulder but he's coming back on. In an ideal world


they would not want him going back, he definitely was injured. But had


to go back on. Lopez changes direction. It's a knock-on, France


will have they put in at the scrummage. If you our friend he will


want to put as much pressure as you can on the scrum, players playing


out of position, try to win the penalty and stick it in the corner


and try to drive the ball over. Who goes away? Rob Evans... Samson


Lee... Justin Tipuric on the openside.


And one DuPont is on at scrum-half for France. A 5-point lead for


Wales. 73 minutes gone. Robbie Fowler toe


in the second row. -- Taulupe Faletau in the second row. Lopez,


long to Gael Fickou. Knock-on. It's gone backwards says the referee.


Wales are played possession, Williams over the ball. France


counter ruck, Williams tries to counter. It's untidy. Justin


Tipuric, to Moriarty. Wales have a penalty. His job was


not made easy, the ball bulleted at him, a simple soft hand pass would


have worked. But it was made as difficult as it possibly could have


been. Dan Biggar in no rush. Wales again will have to work out who


jumps away, who does what. They have options. A lot of credit to the


Welsh scrum for not conceding a penalty. Could easily have done so.


Could be very different. That ball should have been floated in front of


him. No need. Even so, Moriarty cannot quite hold it. Scrum


advantage to France. France in possession. Dupont. Scrum, France


defeat. -- France to feed. The French pack has not got any smaller.


Of the starters only a few still on. A few tackles made. Justin Tipuric


at the top of that but it only tells half the story, the amount of work


he has done around the field, in the line-out, his ball handling and


tackling have been outstanding. All this time ticking off the clock.


Wayne Barnes has stopped the clock for this little chat.


Dupont leads the scrum. Then Lopez. Dulin. Jonathan Davies makes a


backtracking tackle. Picamoles had to reach for it. Tipuric. Wales hold


up the replacement three quarters. And steal the ball and pump it


downfield and France have to chase back. That is unlucky. France have a


scrum all the way back in the Welsh half. Rhys Webb is down injured and


that looks like a groin. Desperately disappointing if you only Welsh fan,


tremendous ripping work the right tactic to put boot to ball, just


overcooked it. This is excellent stripping work, Rhys Webb and Dan


Biggar, Sam Warburton arrives. Does brilliantly. Only three minutes


left, France need a converted try to win. The Welsh pack need to do a


similar job they have in the last two scrums, just keep it steady.


Two and a half minutes to go. Dupont again. Moriarty. Burroughs himself


into the tackle. France inside the Welsh 22. This is Le Devedec.


Picamoles, raw strength. France within ten metres. Into the last two


minutes. This switch of play by Lopez, on his own. Five metres


short. Dupont. Twists and turns, Wales hold him out. Three metres


short. Yuan Huggett claims the penalty but


the referee says play on. The replacement hooker has a go, Chat.


Sam Warburton near the line makes a tackle. Penalty advantage to France.


One foot, no advantage. France have the penalty. They need try to draw,


a converted try win. Do you take the scrum or kick to the corner for a


line-out? You can sense the exhaustion. In the end I think you


go for the corner because you have no idea which way the referee will


go. Could easily give a penalty the other way with the line-out.


Automatic catch and drive, if you get it right. France are going for


the scrum. Scrum option. Sam Warburton goes


round the team one last effort Wales. The Welsh players encouraging


each other. This is a do or die effort, the last play of the game.


The last three scrums they have done very well to keep them steady.


Taulupe Faletau up in the second row.


Free kick France. Too much weight. Your decision, your decision, would


you like to scrum? OK no problem. Reset the scrummage. The clock is


stopped. Hold your weight, Wales. Scrum option. It hasn't been a


classic but there has been drama. Yes. A very uneven and average game.


But one last effort. Dupont feeds the scrum, it goes down. Wayne


Barnes resets. Wayne Barnes knows this is the last play of the game


and he's going to have to be very sure of who is or isn't taking it


down if he is going to award penalties. Find your side, good.


It's not long that a proper play for 80 minutes but Evans and Owens have


gone the full distance -- that a prop will play for 80 minutes.


Are you injured? Are you injured? Are you injured? Are you OK, fine.


He's not injured. He's just telling me he's not injured. Can only watch


from the sidelines. Ten seconds left of normal time.


This is France's chance. We have to pause yet again. We are into


overtime but we shall have the scrum. I need this higher and I need


the space. I need you higher and I need the space. Higher is good for


Wales. It depends whether the French get any momentum. Once a side gets


going forward. It's one of those. That's just an amazing coincidence!


One second. Do you think you need to head assessment. As a doctor you say


they need a head assessment? It depends how cynical you are. The


doctor of the French team has told me... You fear the worst. But the


doctor actually said he needs an assessment. Far be it from me to say


that is cheating. He is not even staying to have a look, he has to be


assessed so down the tunnel he goes. The only person not really


interested in what happens here. The final play of the game, final play


of the campaign for France and Wales.


All comes the French drive. Picamoles can get the pass away.


Wales swoop. Picamoles. Driven back. no way through. Ken Owens gets a


hand over the ball. Dupont. Short again. The ball delivered to Dupont.


Dupont France so close to the line and still not over. It's a penalty


advantage for France. The ball is going to be held up there, but


France will have the penalty. Yellow card it's going to be, it's not the


final play. Who is going to be sent to the sin-bin? Samson Lee by the


looks of it. Wales will half to bring on, France go for the


scrummage option and Wales will have to bring on a front row forward. On


the game goes. This tremendous goal-line stand. Uncontested


scrummage. If they do not have a suitable replacement. Tomas Francis


is getting ready. Samson Lee in the bin. Send on a hooker, uncontested


scrum do you think? The French will not like it but they found a way to


bring Slimani on so they cannot complain. Was he injured or was he


replaced? Start limping. I think he was replaced that he might need a


head injury assessment. Could give him a clip round the ear. He is not


happy at all. That looks like a very injured Tomas Francis, Wales will


say. They are making him come back on. Scrum, you need to bring three


back on. Tomas Francis is having a word with Robin McBride. Who's


having a word with Scott Baldwin who's having a little practice at


the scrummage. The Welsh forwards coach. You have to have a suitable


replacement. But if a man has been substituted as opposed to take an


offer for injury then Wayne Barnes is right, he has got to come back


on. But we saw with Slimani... Tom Francis, specialist tight head prop


is back in position, it will be a contested scrum. Wales now only have


seven forwards. This is a bizarre end to the game. Who comes off?


France are trying to make a change. A certain farcical element to the


end of this game. This carries on much longer and the yellow card can


come back on. Scott Baldwin... He is still bleeding. We are looking at


the boards. Leigh Halfpenny... Is coming off. So Wales will have the


full contingent of forwards, eight forwards on the field but one light


in the three quarters line. So, France trailed by five, 15 Frenchmen


against 14 Welshmen. What will happen now is he will do


them for not straight. No you won't! Penalty against Wales. Too much


weight. France obviously opt for the same


scrummage they have already opted for.


On we go. 87 minutes just about on the clock. Dupont feeds... The


whistle goes again. Anyone who tells me that modern day scrums are fine I


will just refer them to this. 87 minutes on the clock, this half has


been going on for well over 50 minutes in real-time. Who wouldn't


pay ?84 to watch this? Coming up to 88 minutes. The Welsh


coach Rob Howley. Penalty to France quickly taken by


Picamoles. Short. try which will draw them level.


Going wide. Going wider. Cannot get through. The gone loose but it will


be brought back for the penalty. That's a huge decision because if it


had not happened Wales would have won the game by now. 89 minutes. The


decision of Maestri is... Scrummage again. Let's hope this one doesn't


take eight minutes. Evans in the last scrum did well


against Slimani because he got an angle, Evans managed to hold him up.


Have to do that again. Same position, a bit more room on the


side which Sam Warburton has to cover. The posts in the background.


They are all out left, no Welsh players on that side.


Which means Wales potentially are two defenders down if France do


decide to move the ball left. Off we go again. 90 minutes on the clock.


Picamoles, France have to use it. They come left. Held. It's another


penalty advantage for France. Dupont. Cannot get clear. France is


still in possession. The hooker replacement, Chat. Balls gone loose.


Feel free to still going. Still playing advantage I think. At what


point does advantage end? Back we go. Back we go to the penalty. 91


minutes on the clock. You have hardy few penalties. One more penalty and


you might go down to 13 men. Wales want to stand up at the scrum, not


engage, run the clock down and get the extra man back on. As part of


the subplot, 30 seconds and counting down to the return of Samson Lee.


And Leigh Halfpenny behind him. Meanwhile who would be a coach? Back


to the full complement. Leigh Halfpenny 15, Samson Lee 18.


Utterly bizarre. You're making it clear there has been a bite but we


don't know where it is when it is. An allegation of a bite. Is Rob


Evans the better man is just cramp? Is it cramp brought on by a bite?


There has been an accusation of a bite. And there is clearly a mark.


He said it's the last phase so we know where it might be, we are going


to look at that on the TMO and if he has done it himself we will deal


with that. If he has done it himself?! LAUGHTER


That would just about sum up the day wouldn't it? Allegation of a bite by


George North. The last but one breakdown. 93 minutes played and


were going to have another stoppage. We have to look at the situation.


Tackle made on the full-back and then he's been bitten. George North


has made a tackle on the full-back, in the most bizarre circumstances,


we are all looking for a bite. There is clearly a bite mark on his arm.


Jonathan Davies has just written the word shambles down, which is fair I


think. Best contribution of the day from you I think. Goodness me, 94


minutes and we are looking for a bite. This may take some finding.


Peter Fitzgibbon no doubt will be looking for the tackle.


Not being shown on the replay. No conclusionive footage. Play on.


Here we go again. France. Penalty advantage being played.


Reset the scrummage. I didn't look at what the longest game ever was in


my research. I didn't he'd be coming on in the


97th minute of the game! Rob Evans is going. And we are going to stop,


everybody. We are going to stop again.


We have an issue with the fourth official.


There is an issue or not... It appears there is not. Play on.


Smith on for a scrummage in the 98th minute!


. France go for the line. It's a penalty. Again, same thing. Although


Wales were going backwards, the first player to come out of the


scrum... That's two, next one goes.


Presumably it will be a penalty try. But who are they going to decide to


bin when the French mayer first went up, who is responsible for that?


Off we go again. Dupont. More control. Same old thing. Down goes


the scrum. Dupont held. Faletau back on his feet. Charteris


tries to disrupt. It's another advantage. Dupont goes.


Can't reach out for the line. Goes to the bin for kicking the ball


on the floor... Biggar is going to go to the bin.


Dan Biggar is heading for the bin in the 100th minute of the game. If


France don't score... France over the line, they claim the try. And


the try by Wayne Barnes is awarded and the scores are level.


You'll not get a more controversial end to this game.


We can go all the way back in what seems like a lifetime now to when


France manufacturered a way to get their first choice back on.


It goes through and France have won the game! It has been one of the


longest games on record. It has been farcical towards the end. But, the


upshot is that France have beaten Wales here at the Stade de France.


France 20-18 Wales. It was a tremendous de-Februarysive


effort from the Welsh at the end -- defensive effort. I still go back to


the point to the very questionable substitution which allowed Slimani


to come back on. And well, in the end, that was not satisfactory for


anybody. The final score, France 20-18 Wales.


So ends, the most remarkable game of rugby in the history of the


international game. 79 minutes of not very much and then 21 minutes of


almost one scrum and the most absurd drama really. In the end, France


victorious. Tomas, what did you make of all that? Well, I think Wales


deserved the win, you know. To be honest, Wayne Barnes, you know, his


decisions, you know, very, very strange and I think the length after


the game, you know, seven penalties to award, you know, there should


have been a penalty try. I think that's not normal. Like you said,


for 79 minutes, that was one of the most forgettable games you are


likely to watch, but you will never forget the last 20. It was


incredible. Wayne Barnes lost control, I have a lot of respect for


him but he lost control in the last 20. There were players going off


injured, sin-binned and it was a farce in the end. Conrad, Super


Rugby, all the tries that you had down there, I'll tell you what, you


can't beat a good scrum, especially when it lasts 20 minutes, I tell


you. It was drama. It was a strange end to the Gateshead to be fair, if


France won, I think they created more try-scoring opportunities. If


France won, I would have said they were more disciplined. It was a


strange game. Some great images here of Justin Tipuric. An extraordinary


picture there of Dan Biggar alongside Trinh Duc there.


Not sure how much Kate knows about the game but... In the spirit of the


game, you would have to say, in case we don't have the chance to say it,


how brave was that defensive performance by Wales? Fantastic.


Let's hear from their captain. The most bizarre end to any Test


match I think we have ever seen. You were obviously watching it from the


sidelines, you'd gone off injured. Your perspective? Bit of amusement


that I think we almost got 20100 minutes on the clock, minus time


off. So it was interesting. Really interesting decision 90 minutes in,


we felt with did enough. The repeated penalties almost gave them


enough to get the win. Sean Edwards was app Plettic. They'll have to


review that. How do you then reflect on the Championship for Wales


because that's just two victories from five matches? I think


irrelevance of what happened in the end, we feel we are a better team


than that. Two from five isn't good enough. We felt we deserved more


today but we are not going to use the last 20 minutes which was


outside of the 80 minutes because we felt we done enough in the 80 to win


the game today. Thank you for your time. So here is the table with one


match left to play. It's playing anyway, but as you can see, France


are in second place at the moment ahead of Scotland who beat Italy


earlier on today. Sonia was straight in there with the question, did


France cheat by bringing on a replacement prop when one of their


front row forwards were supposedly having to have a head assessment


injury. What do we think? Cheat is a strong word. There was a lot of


gamesmanship going on. We could see Slimani from the commentary


position, he was ready to go on three or four scrums before this. We


all know concussion is a serious issue, but they played the rules,


France. Before they did it, we speak with Martin and we said they should


bring back Slimani and that's what they did. Let's bring it to light


because it happened at a pivotal moment of the game, but this happens


a lot. It happens, you know, at different times of the game and


no-one's note else Ied it -- noticed it and maybe it's a good thing.


Possibly the most bizarre thing is, you get a player yellow carded after


80 minutes as he has to come back on because for ten minutes the game


carried on. We were going to talk about the Lions and everything else


for half an hour but we have no time left. I hope you have enjoyed it,


you must come again! Thank you very much Tomas and Martin. Still an


extraordinary atmosphere, barely anyone is leaving. There is still


one match to go with England looking for a Grand Slam but that's the end


of our live coverage of the Six Nations Championship and, as we


proved today, there is absolutely nothing like it. Bye-bye.


John Inverdale presents live coverage of the penultimate fixture of the 2017 Six Nations. Wales end their campaign in Paris as they look to record a sixth consecutive victory over France. Commentary comes from Eddie Butler and Jonathan Davies.