France vs Wales – Report – Six Nations Championship 2023 – 18 Mar, 2023 – ESPN
France ended their Six Nations campaign with a convincing 41-28 win over Wales on bonus points at the Stade de France on Saturday, keeping the title slim with five months before they host the World Cup.
Damian Peno crossed twice, Jonathan Danti, Wini Atonio and Gael Fico scored one try each, and Thomas Ramos scored the rest of the points, which means Blues would win the championship if Ireland lost to England without a bonus point later on Saturday.
Wales, who appeared to be on a much bigger downswing early in the second half, fought back and finished with four tries from George North, Bradley Roberts, Tomos Williams and Rio Dyer, the rest of the points coming from boots Dan Biggar and Lee. Halfpenny.
France lead the league table with 20 points, one lead over Ireland, while Wales are fifth with five points.
“I thought we showed real character,” said Wales coach Warren Gatland. “We started well, just gave them a couple of soft tries. The game could have gotten away from us a lot, but the impact from the bench was excellent.
“Today’s performance has improved a lot, but we haven’t hit the target yet, we still have a lot to do. [ahead of the World Cup].”
Wales got off to a great start, holding the ball through the phases, and their dominance was rewarded with an early try by North between the posts.
France’s reaction was as brutal as it was brilliant, a week after she inflicted a record blow on England at Twickenham.
In his first attacking move, Peno received a long pass from Antoine Dupont and crossed into the corner after Romain Ntamak avoided several tackles and made his way through the center.
In a fierce battle, France took the lead thanks to two penalties from Ramos, and as the visitors were physically hurt, Danti added another attempt to extend the lead to 13 points after Ramos converted.
Danti ducked into the corner after moving the ball quickly far to the right.
France’s third try was a show of strength as Atonio pushed forward to help keep Les Bleus out of the way and Fiku demanded a fourth try after being set up by Ntamak.
The hosts, however, took it too lightly and Wales made the most of it with a neat try by Roberts after Ramos’ overambitious run from behind the try line was quickly stopped.
France’s sloppy approach was punished again when Williams scored the visitors’ third try from a lineout 10 meters from the French line.
Normal service resumed within the final five minutes as Peno again landed in the corner and Ramos converted the ball to give France a 20-point lead, wiping out Ireland’s points difference.
But Dier broke into the lead in the last minute and Halfpenny converted to close the gap to 13 points, giving Ireland a better chance at the title.
Ireland has a positive points difference: 66 to France’s 59.