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6 Nations

France Win Incredible Encounter Against Wales

France have kept their Grand Slam dreams alive with another impressive win, this time against current title holders Wales

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

France have come out 27-23 winners in a Six Nations classic against Wales at the Principality Stadium this evening to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive.

In what was an end to end game the visitors managed to sneak past their hosts despite spending a quarter of the game with a man less in what was a remarkable performance. 

It was Wales who made a more positive start to the game and were rewarded early on as fly-half Dan Biggar smashed over a penalty from 35-metres out to put the hosts in front. 

However, France came roaring back and within a couple of minutes they went over for the opening try of the game as Leigh Halfpenny failed to cope with a kick from Romain Ntamack, which French full-back Anthony Bouthier gathered up the ball and raced under the posts. Ntamack knocked the conversion through the posts to hand the away side the lead. 

The fly-half put further distance between the two sides on 18 minutes as he sent a lovely penalty kick between the uprights to put Les Bleus 10-3 up. 

With 26 minutes on the clock Biggar cut into the visitors lead as he slotted a simple penalty over to make it 10-6. 

France once again came back after Wales scored and struck for their second try just before the half-hour mark as they took down a line-out inside the Welsh 22 before lock Paul Willemse peeled off the maul and burst through two tacklers to touch-down in the left corner. Ntamack thumped the extras over once more to stretch the lead out to 17-6. 

Four minutes later and Wales looked as though they were going to get in for a five-pointer themselves, but had to settle for another three-points from the boot of Biggar, who kicked another penalty. 

With a minute left in the half France were reduced to 14-men as No 8 Gregory Alldritt was shown a yellow-card after the French conceded a number of penalties in quick succession. 

Wales pounded away at the opposition for over five minutes after the clock had gone into the red zone, but they couldn’t take advantage as they eventually knocked-on meaning the score was 17-9 heading in at half-time, with the French showing some serious determination to keep Wales at bay at the end of the half.

France managed to cope for the remainder of the sin-binning without conceding any scores but within a couple of minutes of returning to their full compliment Wales got their try as Dillon Lewis latched onto a loose ball beside the French line and powered over beside the posts. Biggar had the simple job of tipping over the conversion to make it a one-point game at 17-16 to France. 

The away side put themselves further in front with just under 30 minutes left on the clock as Ntamack intercepted a pass down Wales’ left as they looked to attack and he charged down the field to put the ball down for the try. He converted his own score to put France 24-17 ahead. 

France extended their lead on 64 minutes as Ntamack blasted a long-range penalty over to leave the score at 27-16 to the visitors heading into the final quarter of an hour. 

The away team were reduced to 14-men for the second time in the game as Mohamed Haouas was shown yellow after Wales won several penalties at scrum-time. However, there was a huge momentum swing at the next scrum as Damba Bamba came in and helped his side win a scrum against the head on their own five-metre line despite having centre Gael Fickou at No 8. 

Wales set up a grandstand finish with five minutes left however, as they broke into the French 22 again and this time they weren’t to be stopped as Biggar crashed over the line from close-range. Following a TMO review the try was awarded and he like Ntamack converted his own try to put them within touching distance of a result with the score at 27-23. 

Despite Wales throwing their all at the French over the final minutes they couldn’t find a way through meaning France claimed a first win on Welsh soil since 2010. 

Next up for Wales is another tough test as they head to Twickenham to face England, while France will look to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive when they take on Scotland at Murrayfield.

Player Ratings

Starting XV: 

Leigh Halfpenny (6), George North (4), Nick Tompkins (8), Hadleigh Parkes (6), Josh Adams (6), Dan Biggar (8), Gareth Davies (6); Wyn Jones (6), Ken Owens (7), Dillon Lewis (7), Jake Ball (6), Alun Wyn Jones (7), Ross Moriarty (7), Justin Tipuric (6), Taulupe Faletau (6)

Replacements (7)

6 Nations

Cian Healy signs short term extension

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Ireland and Leinster loosehead prop Cian Healy has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Cian is Ireland’s most capped prop forward having lined out for Ireland on 107 occasions to date. He made his Ireland debut against Australia in November 2009 and was selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia making two appearances before injury ended his involvement.

Cian has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and represented Leinster on 226 occasions winning four Heineken Cup titles during his career in blue.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Cian has been a cornerstone of both the Irish and Leinster packs for over a decade.  He has shown incredible resilience to come back from serious injury and perform at the highest level.  Cian has a lot to contribute to Irish Rugby and we are delighted that he has signed on for another year.”

Cian Healy, commented,

“My drive for success at both Leinster and Ireland is as strong as ever.  I am lucky enough to currently be part to two teams with the same mentality which is special and I look forward to another season of pushing boundaries and achieving our goals.

I’m loving my rugby as much now as I did at the very start of my career and looking forward to having our supporters back in stadia.”

Article from Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

O’Mahony Signs Contract Extension with IRFU

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Ireland and Munster backrow Peter O’Mahony has signed a two year extension to his IRFU contract keeping him at Munster until 2023.

Peter made his Ireland debut in the Six Nations against Italy in 2012 and has gone on to win 74 caps and captain his country on eight occasions.  A Lions tourist in 2017, Peter captained the Lions in the opening Test of the series against New Zealand.

Peter has represented Munster on 141 occasions becoming captain of his province in 2013 at the age of 24.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Peter has played a leadership role in Munster from an early age and is one of the senior leaders in the national squad.  He is a competitor and passionate about playing for both Ireland and Munster.”

Peter O’Mahony, commented,

“It’s a huge privilege to sign on with the province and country I’ve grown up in and dreamed of playing for. It’s been something I’ve been very open about saying from day one and its very pleasing to be able to continue the journey for two more years.

There’s a huge amount of responsibility that comes with representing both teams and I understand how much pressure there is to deliver silverware, however, I am incredibly enthusiastic on the position and competitiveness of both Munster and Ireland and I look forward to hopefully contributing to both, to succeed in delivering that success on the pitch.”

Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

Sexton extends contract

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(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Ireland and Leinster out-half Johnny Sexton has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

The 2018 World Player of the Year took on the Ireland captaincy in January 2020 and is one of Irish rugby’s most decorated players.

He has been central to both Ireland and Leinster’s success for over a decade following his international debut against Fiji in November 2009.

A two time Lions tourist in 2013 and 2017, Johnny has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and four European Cups with Leinster.  He has represented his provinces on 171 occasions scoring 1505 points.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Johnny continues to show he has the quality and appetite to compete at the highest levels.  He is playing an important leadership role with the Ireland squad and his insight and experience continues to be of great value to the group.”

Johnny Sexton, commented,

“I am really enjoying my rugby and I want to keep learning and adding value to both the Ireland and Leinster environments.   I am enjoying the challenge of captaincy and the added responsibility that it brings.  My appetite for success is the same as it ever was and the ambitions of both the Ireland and Leinster squads match my own.”

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