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France beat Wales 20-6 in the opening game of the Autumn International Series
France made the most of a three-try burst to open the Autumn International Series with a 20-6 win over Wales in Lens.
Iestyn Harris's side got off to a fast start but three scores in six minutes late in the first-half proved costly despite a gallant display from the visitors.
They were in clover within two minutes as half-backs Danny Jones and Matty Seamark made the most of an Olivier Elima infringement to send David James over for a try that Seamark converted.
France fluffed a couple of glorious chances to cut the gap and with nine minutes to go to the interval Wales were still 6-0 in front.
But the home side finally made the most of their dominance when Thomas Bosc's kick sent Romaric Bemba clear, with Cyril Stacul following him over and Bosc making it a treble of scores - he also added all three conversions.
Wales were reduced to 12 men on 50 minutes when Wigan prop Gil Dudson was sin-binned for a late tackle that sparked an unsightly melee and gave Bosc the chance to add a fourth penalty.
They attacked late in the game, but it was to no avail and they will have to beat England in Wrexham next Saturday to have any chance of reaching the 11 November final in Salford.European Cup. Click here to bet.