Wales beat France 20-13 at Stade de France to keep Six Nations campaign alive
Last Updated: 28/02/15 10:16pm
Wales notched up a fourth consecutive win over France with a 20-13 victory at the Stade de France in the Six Nations on Saturday.
It was their second successive win in Paris and means they are still in the mix for overall Six Nations glory, despite having lost to England in their opening match.
The boot of Leigh Halfpenny proved the difference as he kicked five penalties while each side ran in a try in a seven-minute period in the second half, Dan Biggar scoring for Wales and Brice Dulin going over for France.
For France it was yet another disappointing performance and leaves their Six Nations hopes in tatters after a second straight loss.
Wales went in front from a Leigh Halfpenny penalty after Romain Taofifenua was pinged for going to ground at the breakdow but Camille Lopez levelled the scores minutes later after Wales went offside.
Halfpenny restored Wales' lead after France were penalised for not releasing after a tackle.That seemed to spark France into life, but a Yoann Huget try was chalked off after referee Jaco Peyper called him back for a forward pass.
France should have gone into half-time level but Lopez badly missed a very kickable penalty.
France changed kicker at the start of the second half but Morgan Parra fared no better, missing his first penalty attempt.
Wesley Fofana made a scything break down the left to take France deep inside the Welsh 22 but they couldn't maintain the pressure as Guilhem Guirado was penalised for providing a screen for Mathieu Bastareaud.
France were starting to find some self-confidence, though, and Dulin was just a fraction off collecting a Lopez chip inside the Wales 22.
The pressure paid off and with kicking duties restored to him, Lopez notched a penalty from right in front of the posts.
Wales were back in front minutes later though as Halfpenny kicked his third penalty.
The tide seemed to have turned and Biggar was unlucky to hit the post with a drop-goal attempt as Wales camped in French territory.
They made their pressure count, though, as Rhys Webb sold a dummy to Romain Taofifenua before Dan Lydiate's delightful no-look offload allowed Biggar to sprint into the corner.
Although Halfpenny missed the extras, he then landed a penalty as Wales stretched their lead out to 17-6.
But, after 10 minutes of total Welsh domination, France did manage to get back on the front foot and Dulin slid over in the corner with Lopez landing the difficult conversion from right out on the touchline.
Yet almost immediately, the hosts gave Wales a kickable penalty and Halfpenny didn't miss, leaving the visitors 20-13 ahead with seven minutes left.
They had one last chance after kicking a penalty to the corner but with space out wide, Dulin cut inside into traffic and Wales smothered any chance France had a snatching a late draw.