the XV of France ends with a success against Wales but loses its title

They had done their part of the job, but their fate no longer depended on them. Large winners of Wales, Saturday March 18, at the Stade de France (41-28), the players of the XV of France ended the 2023 edition of the Six Nations Tournament in style. A week after their big victory at Twickenham, the Blues, winners of four of their five games in the competition, briefly regained the lead in the Tournament. But Ireland’s victory at home against England (29-16) offered the grand slam to the XV of Clover, and the Blues finished the competition in second place. Beaten in Dublin on the second day (19-32), Fabien Galthié’s troops probably lost their trophy acquired last year on the Verte Erin.

Relive the encounter: The XV of France beats Wales at the end of the Tournament

Even if they hoped for a few hours for an improbable “St. Patrick’s Day weekend miracle”, Antoine Dupont’s teammates were previously expected to win against a cheery Welshman. Was it due to the victory in Italy, which had blown away the threatening clouds of the Wooden Spoon – attributed to the team having lost all their matches in the Tournament – or to the announcement, earlier in the day, of an agreement reached with the Welsh authorities on the new contracts of the players, whistling the “beginning of the end” of the structural crisis of Welsh rugby? Still, the teammates of the totemic Alun Wyn-Jones (37 years old, and 17 tournaments to his credit) started the game as released.

And the Blues found themselves cornered from the start. “This team has always impressed me with its virtues, with players who leave their bodies on the line, and it has martyred the XV of France for a very long time”, warned Thursday the tricolor coach, being wary of Welsh without pressure. Is right. After eight minutes of play, George North came to concretize the good start of the XV of Leek, by going to register the first try of the game. A logical reward for Warren Gatland players.

The Blues have relearned to sting

But the tricolor reaction was not long in coming. Following a long breakthrough from Romain Ntamack, the opening half feigned the pass to his hinge teammate, Dupont, to put Damian Penaud, on the wing, into orbit. The recent French top scorer in the Tournament does not miss the opportunity to flatten a corner – thanks to this try, the French winger has now scored against each of the five nations of the competition.

Read also: Six Nations Tournament 2023: the Blues want to end their tournament in style against the Welsh

Failing to be particularly dangerous, the Blues have concretized their arrivals in the Welsh camp, Thomas Ramos taking charge of increasing the gap at the foot. Sure of their rugby, Antoine Dupont’s teammates let the Welsh inclinations pass, before punishing the Dragons. Like a week before at Twickenham (53-10 victory), the French have relearned to sting after a start to the Tournament “average”, as Fabien Galthié had qualified in front of his troops before the Crunch. And Jonathan Danty concretized an attack launched by his captain, at the end of the first period. Well offset by Penaud, the powerful La Rochelle center, reinstalled in the starting XV as soon as he returned from injury last week, continued his demolition of opposing defenses. At the break, the French, applied, had taken their ease (20-7), a first Marseillaise a cappella fallen from the Stade de France rewarding them.

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