Six Nations - Millennium Stadium, 26 February 2010, 20:00 local, 20:00 GMT
Wales (0) 20 - 26 (20) France (FT)

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Summary

Time Score  
 

Hi, I'm Shaun Rusk and I will be with you for what promises to be a cracking match as Wales takes on the 6 Nations leader, France, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Unbeaten France will go in to the match as favourites but Wales will fancy their chances. Warren Gatland's men have played in fits and starts and were lucky to get the win against Scotland in the final, final minute, but the Welsh will be extra determined to end French hopes of a Grand Slam.

France on the other hand have been all business. In both games against Scotland and then Ireland they have done the basis right without necessarily reaching the heights that all French teams are capable.

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Shoot from the hip Welsh coach Warren Gatland has had a dig at the big French centre, Mathieu Bastareaud. The Kiwi told BBC Sport Wales: "We've got to make the game faster and see if we can make him puff a little bit. He's a big man, I don't know if he's the fittest at international level."

I agree with Gats. The 21 year-old is big but he also looks like he could shift around some of that weight to make him look fitter and play better - yes even better!

Brendan Gallagher in Friday's The Daily Telegraph says Wales have to tighten up: "They appear to have gone back to their loose way, their defensive record being a far cry from their 2008 Six Nations Grand Slam campaign, when they conceded only two tries - scored by England back Toby Flood and Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni - during the entire tournament."

A nice touch from the Welsh team who will be wearing shirts with "In loving memory of Mam, Cheryl Davies 1964 - 2010" in memory of lock Bradley Davies' mother who died recently - embroidered at the waist.

Get up to date comments with Scrum.com's Graham Jenkins and Huw Baines on Twitter: as they give extra detail and gentle - and sometimes not so gentle - asides! Twitter "The introduction of SA referees Kaplan and Lawrence could make things interesting in Cardiff and at Twickenham."

Let us know what you think of Friday night matches. Graham and Huw are not keen: Twitter "Friday night games? No thanks. Fans can't make a day of it unless they take time off work - let's not pander to the TV dollar in future."

Great atmosphere at the ground - colour, smoke, noise - fantastic!

1

Wales kick off - France gather and clear to touch. France will be looking to take the sting out of the Welsh.

2

The first 20 minutes will be very important - if France get in to their stride - it will be a long night for the home side.

3

It should be fascinating to see the difference in style of the full backs. Lee Byrne is all muscle while Clement Poitrenaud is all sinew.

5

A concern for the Welsh will be the captain Ryan Jones - is he really fit and fit for the whole match?

6 0 - 7

TRY Winger Alexis Palisson intercepts a pass from James Hook and strides under the posts for a terrible start for the Welsh.

9

Wales are heavier in the pack but the first scrum should be interesting - and the French get a penalty for the Welsh going down.

12

The two French centre are big! We know all about that big bas....Bastareaud, but his side kick Yannick Jauzion is not small either - some 6'4 and over 100 kilos.

14

The French are very efficient - not inspiring in general at the moment - but growing in to a team. If they win by 15 points tonight they will move up to third spot in the world.

15

The South African ref is talking to both front rows.

17

The two French props are great - and real throw backs to yester-year. Really no necks - no legs either - just bodies to scrummage the $%^* out of the opposition.

19 0 - 10

Bastareaud has had a couple of runs and James Hook has lined up both times to tackle. It was thought that Roberts might take the defensive line against the big 21 year-old - but not yet.

20

The crowd are quiet - they need to raise their spirits - and the teams.

21

First real cheer for Wales as fly-half Stephen Jones makes an arching break - kick ahead - the French deal with it.

23

The French are putting a huge effort in defence. It is a blitz but also individual players move quickly further forward if they see a chance to get a big tackle in.

25

The Welsh are being starved of the ball and so are committing fouls in desperation to get it.

26 0 - 13

Parra - penalty goal

27

As I said at the beginning the first 20 minutes would be vital and the French have taken control - it will be a long night for the Welsh.

29

The French in their blitz defence also use an umbrella defence to stop the Welsh moving the ball out wide to the wingers.

31

The French full-back Clement Poitrenaud can be brilliant but also terrible. He just put an up and under up that very nearly went backwards.

34

The French pack is starting to look a really good unit - capable of taking the French to the World Cup - and doing well in New Zealand.

36

The Welsh are struggling in the contact area - the French seem to be slowing down Welsh ball or making it untidy.

39

The Welsh are starting to look tired and despondent.

40 0 - 20

TRY The Welsh get the ball and Shane Williams goes down the wing passes infield and French fly-half Fran├žois Trinh-Duc gathers, eventually, and scores under the posts for the second intercept try of the half.

 

The French have not really done anything magical but they have been efficient - which is not a word that is generally used for French rugby - supreme - yes, classy - yes, but efficient - mais non!

40

As the BBC's Sports Presenter John Inverdale just said: "If Wales have Lazarus on the bench it may be an interesting second half!"

41

I think the Welsh will need more that just Lazarus!

43

Great break by Wales - Hook hacked on Shane Williams kick - gathers but has to pass to lock Luke Charteris who can't hold on to the ball. Perhaps Lazarus is on the bench!

45 3 - 20

Stephen Jones going for the posts to get Wales' first points - and he does. It is a start.

47

The French biggest fault will be if they take it easy. Momentum is very important in rugby and difficult to get back once lost.

49 6 - 20

Another penalty for Wales - Jones scores again - chipping away.

51

Wales have renewed hope. France are giving away penalties - not a good sign.

53

It has been all Wales so far this half. Jamie Roberts is seeing much more ball as the Welsh take it up the middle.

55

The French are not panicking, but they do need to get their hands on the ball for a few phases.

56

Another penalty for Wales - just outside Leigh Halfpenny's range.

57

Another penalty to Wales. - and what a mistake by Lee Byrne - going for the corner - an easy kick - and he kicked it dead - what a waste!

59

The French are starting to be a bit silly. What they need to do is calm it down and play set pieces and get back their rhythm.

60

Another penalty to Wales - tap and go.

62 13 - 20

TRY Ball moved wide left to winger Leigh Halfpenny who runs really well to score in the corner from the 22.

64

Scrum-half Morgan Parra is sin-binned for France

66

The Welsh are really up for it - while the French are being French and falling mentally apart.

67

The crowd are singing - the Welsh don't seem to want to make life easy - what with the English then Scots match - now this one - phew!

68

Another penalty to Wales - in their own half. Again they miss touch - terrible.

69

Talk about a game of two halfs! Is it that France have gone to sleep or Wales have upped their game?

71 13 - 23

France get a penalty - and boy do they need it. Frederic Michalak, now on, is going for the kick and he scores - and that MAY be the deciding moment - but I wouldn't bet on it!

73

Wales have made 21 mistakes while France have had 13 - that is quite a difference.

76

The French are keeping it in the forwards with Chabal taking it on. Michalak tries a drop goal - but it hits the pads of the posts and the ball is cleared to touch.

77

The Welsh crowd are quiet again - I am sure they feel their moment has gone. Penalty to France in front of the posts.

78 13 - 26

TRY Wales still trying and making another good attack and Shane Williams gathers the ball and zippes in to score near the posts.

79 20 - 26

SM Williams - try
SM Jones - conversion

80

France kick off and the match ends with France still unbeaten. A game of two halfs and that second half performance by the visitors will encourage England who they are still to meet. I hope you enjoyed the match and see you next time with scrum.com

Timeline

Time Wales  Score  France
0 start of first half start of first half
6 0 - 7 Palisson - try
Parra - conversion
19 0 - 10 Parra - penalty goal
24 Charteris - sub on
DL Jones - sub off
26 0 - 13 Parra - penalty goal
40 0 - 20 Trinh-Duc - try
Parra - conversion
40+1 end of first half end of first half
40 start of second half start of second half
45 SM Jones - penalty goal 3 - 20
49 SM Jones - penalty goal 6 - 20
51 Szarzewski - sub on
Servat - sub off
54 Domingo - sub off
Poux - sub on
62 Halfpenny - try
SM Jones - conversion
13 - 20
63 Michalak - sub on
Trinh-Duc - sub off
64 Parra - yellow card
65 Pierre - sub off
Chabal - sub on
69 Marty - sub on
Bastareaud - sub off
Lapandry - sub on
Harinordoquy - sub off
Servat - sub on
Szarzewski - sub off
71 13 - 23 Michalak - penalty goal
74 Servat - sub off
Szarzewski - sub on
77 Poitrenaud - sub off
Andreu - sub on
78 13 - 26 Parra - penalty goal
79 SM Williams - try
SM Jones - conversion
20 - 26
80 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
80+1
0
80
81

Notes

 
Result France won by a margin of 6 points
Six Nations points France 2, Wales 0
 
Ground name Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance 74102
 
Referee JI Kaplan (South Africa)
 
Wales Test debuts none
France Test debuts M Andreu
 
Match notes match played indoors

Teams

Wales France
Tries Halfpenny (62), SM Williams (79) Tries Palisson (6), Trinh-Duc (40)
Cons SM Jones (62, 79) Cons Parra (6, 40)
Pens SM Jones (45, 49) Pens Parra (19, 26, 78), Michalak (71)

Match stats

Wales   France
2 Tries 2
2 from 2 Conversion goals 2 from 2
2 from 2 Penalty goals 4 from 4
100.0% Kick at goal success 100.0%
0 Dropped goals 0 (2 missed)
Kick/pass/run
35 Kicks from hand 41
153 Passes 89
100 Runs 67
393 Metres run with ball 369
Attacking
9 Clean breaks 4
11 Defenders beaten 8
9 Offloads 13
80 from 80 (100.0%) Rucks won 48 from 48 (100.0%)
7 from 7 (100.0%) Mauls won 7 from 8 (87.5%)
17 Turnovers conceded 12
Defensive
68/8 Tackles made/missed 92/11
89.5% Tackling success rate 89.3%
Set pieces
4 won, 3 lost (57.1%) Scrums on own feed 9 won, 2 lost (81.8%)
12 won, 3 lost (80.0%) Lineouts on own throw 10 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
Discipline
12 Penalties conceded 11
0/0 Yellow/red cards 1/0

Wales stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Byrne 0/0 0 13/4/12 88 2 4 0 1 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
W Halfpenny 1/0 5 1/1/7 58 2 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Hook 0/0 0 4/6/8 24 1 0 0 5 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
C Roberts 0/0 0 0/5/9 40 1 1 0 0 3/4 0/0 0 0/0
W SM Williams 1/1 5 2/11/7 62 1 4 0 2 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH SM Jones 0/0 10 13/30/9 37 1 0 0 1 6/0 0/0 0 0/0
SH Rees 0/0 0 1/76/5 32 1 1 0 1 7/1 0/0 2 0/0
P James 0/0 0 0/0/2 0 0 0 0 0 5/0 0/0 2 0/0
H Bennett 0/0 0 0/4/4 6 0 0 0 0 7/0 0/0 0 0/0
P AR Jones 0/0 0 0/1/3 1 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 1 0/0
L Davies 0/0 0 0/0/9 0 0 0 0 0 10/0 5/0 0 0/0
L DL Jones 0/0 0 0/0/3 1 0 0 0 0 0/0 2/0 0 0/0
F Thomas 0/0 0 0/3/3 0 0 0 0 2 7/0 1/0 1 0/0
F ME Williams 0/0 0 1/4/6 16 0 0 0 1 1/0 0/0 1 0/0
N8 RP Jones 0/0 0 0/6/9 23 0 1 0 3 10/3 3/0 0 0/0
(L) Charteris 0/0 0 0/2/4 5 0 0 0 1 1/0 1/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Fra stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Poitrenaud 0/0 0 8/8/8 93 0 1 0 0 1/0 0/0 1 0/0
W Malzieu 0/0 0 1/2/5 39 0 2 0 1 5/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Bastareaud 0/0 0 0/5/4 44 1 2 0 3 6/2 0/0 0 0/0
C Jauzion 0/0 0 4/8/7 12 0 0 0 0 14/1 0/0 1 0/0
W Palisson 1/0 5 4/2/3 61 1 1 0 1 2/2 0/0 0 0/0
FH Trinh-Duc 1/0 5 11/8/3 46 1 0 0 1 3/1 0/0 1 0/0
SH Parra 0/0 13 10/29/6 6 0 0 0 1 2/2 0/0 1 1/0
P Domingo 0/0 0 0/0/1 3 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
H Servat 0/0 0 0/1/5 8 0 1 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Mas 0/0 0 0/1/3 16 1 0 0 0 4/0 0/0 1 0/0
L Nallet 0/0 0 0/1/2 0 0 0 0 1 10/0 0/0 0 0/0
L Pierre 0/0 0 0/1/2 0 0 0 0 1 4/0 3/1 0 0/0
F Dusautoir 0/0 0 0/3/3 13 0 0 0 0 10/0 0/0 1 0/0
F Bonnaire 0/0 0 0/1/3 9 0 0 0 1 11/0 1/1 1 0/0
N8 Harinordoquy 0/0 0 0/9/8 9 0 1 0 2 6/1 4/0 0 0/0
(H) Szarzewski 0/0 0 0/1/2 3 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Poux 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 1 0/0
(L) Chabal 0/0 0 0/0/2 7 0 0 0 0 2/1 0/0 1 0/0
(N8) Lapandry 0/0 0 0/1/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 1/0 0 0/0
(FH) Michalak 0/0 3 3/8/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Marty 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(FB) Andreu 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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