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Late Taofifénua and Lucu tries seal emphatic win for France against Wales
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Late Taofifénua and Lucu tries seal emphatic win for France against Wales

The Welsh team is in danger of receiving the wooden spoon. Although the young players put in another admirable effort, they could not withstand the strength and skill of the French team in the final quarter.

As the hour mark approached, Wales was in the lead with a score of 24-20 and had scored three tries to France’s two. However, France’s attacks came from multiple angles and in various methods, making it difficult for Wales to defend against them. This eventually took a toll and they were unable to maintain their lead.

In the last quarter, the home team had three attempts that resulted in their defeat, causing them to fall to the last position on the standings. They are now four points behind Italy, who they will face in their final match this weekend. Wales is aiming to prevent their first wooden spoon since 2003.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us,” expressed Warren Gatland. “We must approach it with enthusiasm and not hold back. We need to embrace this challenge, put in the necessary effort next week, and deliver a strong performance.”

France were in need of a conversion in their latest match against Scotland in order to surpass them in the standings and claim third place on points difference. Unfortunately, Thomas Ramos missed the conversion from a difficult angle. However, France continued to dominate the game and eventually secured a victory. Maxime Lucu scored a try at the end with an assist from Damian Penaud, further sealing their win. The passionate supporters in attendance were elated by the result. If France had lost, they would have been facing a disappointing outcome after their recent successes. However, they still have a chance to secure second place if they defeat England in their upcoming match in Lyon. It is a long shot, but technically possible for them to win the Six Nations title.

Neither team began the game appearing to be facing imminent humiliation. Wales and France were both playing with a lack of urgency and effort, as if they were on vacation. This was concerning, especially for Shaun Edwards who is known for many things, but not for coaching passive defenses.

In the 10th minute, his homecoming after many years was abruptly interrupted. Following a penalty exchange between Sam Costelow and Ramos, Rio Dyer seized a loose ball from Tomos Williams’ half-break. He effortlessly evaded Grégory Alldritt and must have been pleasantly surprised to find a direct route to the posts, which he successfully took for the first try of the game.

Defence may have looked optional at times, but that does tend to happen when attacks are sharp. France brought in a host of new players for this game, including some more backs who, early indications suggest, will not be boring to watch. Léo Barré at full-back looks imperious with ball in hand, and the more we see of Nicolas Depoortère, with similar, the better.

As for the remaining events, we are already familiar with them. Following another penalty by Ramos when Wales struggled under intense pressure at their own scrum, Louis Bielle-Biarrey made one of many advances down the left side. The ball was passed to the left, Ramos circled back, and Penaud sent Gaël Fickou on a sprint towards the corner.

Romain Taofifénua (right) scores France’s fourth try while under pressure from Gareth Davies

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France quickly lost their lead when a disastrous error in their midfield defense allowed Owen Watkin to break through. He passed the ball to Williams, who scored easily at the posts.

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Nolann Le Garrec, who is on the opposite team from Williams and is one of the new players, played exceptionally well and secured the top position in the absence of Antoine Dupont. His score at the 30-minute mark gave France a three-point advantage at halftime. Bielle-Biarrey pursued a kick from Le Garrec to the corner, resulting in an offensive scrum. Le Garrec was able to easily outmaneuver Dafydd Jenkins near the first ruck after Fickou made a strong charge towards the goal line.

Joe Roberts, the opposing player of Fickou, scored his first try in the Six Nations after the break, as a result of a smooth collaboration between Tommy Reffell and Costelow, giving them the lead in the third quarter. However, France then significantly increased their speed and energy.

Georges-Henri Colombe believed he had achieved a goal with only a few minutes left, but the TMO discovered that he had lost control of the ball near the posts. However, he successfully crossed over 10 minutes later, following a successful play by Penaud and his team on the right side.

Romain Taofifénua claimed France’s fourth a few minutes later again, charging down Gareth Davies’s attempted clearance to score in the corner. Another Ramos penalty moved France more than two scores clear in the last 10 minutes, before Lucu’s score at the death.

France is likely to be a formidable force going forward. However, their current success has come rather belatedly. Wales, on the other hand, could use a boost in their form sooner rather than later.

Source: theguardian.com