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Six Nations Tournament: the XV of France ends with a success against Wales and dreams of a miracle in Dublin


Their part of the job is done; henceforth, their fate no longer depends 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, regain the lead in the Tournament. A provisional classification, they know, pending the result of the final match of this fifth day, at the end of the afternoon, between Ireland, in contention for the grand slam, and England, in quest for redemption. “We can still hope for a favorable result, but we don’t have the cards in hand”, commented the French coach Fabien Galthié, interviewed on France 2 after the meeting. Beaten in Dublin on the second day (19-32), his troops have probably misplaced their trophy acquired last year on the Verte Erin.

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

But before hoping for an improbable “miracle of the Saint-Patrick weekend”, Antoine Dupont’s teammates had to win against an invigorated Welshman. Was it the victory in Italy, which had blown away the threatening clouds of the Wooden Spoon – which “rewards” the team having lost all its matches in the Tournament? Or 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 the tricolor coach on Thursday, being wary of the 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. France’s recent top scorer in the Tournament doesn’t miss the chance to flatten out a corner – and with this try, the French winger has now scored against each of the competition’s five nations.

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