Planet Rugby

France end on a high

19th March 2011 17:05

Share:

Lionel Nallet france v wales

Nallett: Punches the air after scoring his second try

France ended their Six Nations campaign on a high after beating Wales 28-9 in Paris, and in the process leap-frogged their visitors into second place in the final championship standings.

Lock and man-of-the-match Lionel Nallett scored a try either side of half-time to kill off any chances the Welsh had of winning this match, while wing Vincet Clerc effectively ended the contest after touching down under the posts whilst James Hook was serving 10 minutes in the bin.

Ireland's 24-8 win over England in Dublin earlier in the day meant Wales went into the match knowing they had to beat France by 27 points - they never came close and finish the tournament fourth overall.

Wales weren't helped with controversy surrounding defence coach Shaun Edwards after he was banned from any involvement in the game at the Stade de France after internal disciplinary action.

The result restored French pride after last week's humiliating loss to Italy in Rome and also confirmed England as this year's Six Nations champions.

James Hook got his team on the board as early as the second minute with a well-struck penalty that sailed straight and true between the uprights from a difficult angle.

First blood to Wales but Morgan Parra was quick to level the scores with an equally impressive strike 10m in from the touchline. Hook had a chance to reclaim Wales' lead, but this time pulled his second attempt wide.

Wales then suffered a major blow after flank Sam Warburton was forced to leave the field with an injury and replaced by Jonathan Thomas.

Parra put France in front for the first time in the match with a penalty goal in the 25th minute, but failed with his third attempt to extend Les Bleus' lead even futher.

Wing Leigh Halfpenney looked to be home and dry for Wales' opening try, but a last-gasp ankle tap by fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc saved the day for France.

Instead it was France who crossed over for the first five-pointer thanks to a brilliant bull-dozing run by Nallett after throwing a dummy and stepping on the gas. The former French skipper took two Welsh defenders over the line with him in the corner, but Parra couldn't follow up the try with a conversion.

At half-time, France deservedly held an 11-3 lead.

It didn't take long for Hook to get his side within five points of the French with a penalty two minutes into the second half but the Perpignan-bound pivot was soon guilty of gifting France their second try.

Hook's attempted clearance kick was charged down by Julien Pierre, who offloaded for his second-row partner Nallet to touch down for the second time. Parra rediscovered his range with the conversion to pad France's advantage to 18-6.

An exchange of penalties between Hook and Parra made it 21-9 before the officials made a decisive intervention.

Hook was shown the yellow card by referee Craig Joubert, who - acting on the advice of his touch judge - deemed the Wales fly-off guilty of a dangerous tackle on Parra. Replays suggested it was a harsh call, Hook having lifted Parra off the floor before easing him back to the ground rather than simply dropping him.

The extra man told immediately, Clerc added France's third try by collecting Trinh-Duc's chip over the onrushing defence.

Wales almost kept things interesting when, after a breakout against the run-of-play, Davies was stopped just short of the posts and France were able to prevent the ball being recycled quickly with plenty of red shirts waiting out wide.

Clerc was denied a second try of his own when his dive for the right corner saw him stopped just short and France then comfortably ran the clock down as La Marseillaise rang out around a contented Stade de France.

Man of the match: Two tries, too good - take a bow Lionel Nallet.

The scorers:

For France:
Tries: Nallett 2, Clerc
Cons: Parra 2
Pens: Parra 3

For Wales:
Pens: Hook 3

France: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 David Marty, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Luc Ducalcon, 18 Pascal Papé, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Fabien Estebanez, 22 Yoann Huget.

Wales: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Jamie Roberts, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 James Hook, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 John Yapp, 18 Jonathan Thomas, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Dwayne Peel, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Morgan Stoddart.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle vs Sale15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821