NatWest 6 Nations Flashbacks: Wales v France

France travel to Wales in the final game of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations on Saturday, with both sides looking to seal a second-place finish.

France travel to Wales in the final game of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations on Saturday, with both sides looking to seal a second-place finish.

Les Bleus got off to a slow start in this year’s Championship, but are finishing strongly, while Wales are currently in the runners-up spot in the standings.

Over the years there have been some great matches between these two in Cardiff and we have picked out three of the best recent encounters.

2016 – Wales 19-10 France

The last time these two sides met in Cardiff, Wales emerged victorious, keeping the pressure on England heading into the Championship’s final weekend.

Wales limited the French to just three points until Guilhem Guirado crossed for a consolation try two minutes from time.

A series of Dan Biggar penalties pushed Wales ahead, but it was a George North try five minutes into the second half that pulled the home side out of reach.

North raced down the left wing to latch on to Jonathan Davies’ kick forward and pounced when Jules Plisson’s fly-hack went his way.

Wales would go on to narrowly miss out on the Championship with a 25-21 defeat at Twickenham the following weekend.

2010 – Wales 20-26 France

Wales had secured the Grand Slam in 2008 and were on course for another in 2009, but for France’s 21-16 win in Paris.

In 2010, Les Bleus were the Championship’s best side and would end up securing a Grand Slam of their own. France came away from Cardiff with an excellent away win, after their first half dominance proved too much for Wales.

Interception tries from Alexis Palisson and Francois Trinh-Duc had helped to give France a commanding 20-0 lead at half-time, but Wales fought back admirably after the break.

Two Stephen Jones penalties and a superb Leigh Halfpenny try, following Shane Williams’ excellent pass.

Morgan Parra received a yellow card for a deliberate knockdown as Wales rocked the France defence.

A couple of French penalties eased the pressure before Williams’ late score lit up the stadium, but the French saw the game out and went on to secure a third Grand Slam.

2008 – Wales 29-12 France

Wales’ final game of the 2008 Championship saw them secure a second Grand Slam in four years, beating a French side that had won the Championship twice in the intervening years.

Under new head coach Warren Gatland, Wales stormed to the title after winning the Triple Crown in Dublin the weekend before.

Remarkably, it was Wales’ first Championship win over France in Cardiff since 1999, having beaten them twice in Paris since then.

The first half was relatively even, with Wales edging it 9-6, although France levelled soon after half-time while Gavin Henson was in the sin bin.

The game hinged on Shane Williams’ try shortly after half-time, kicking through and sprinting on to the ball to score under the posts.

France were limited to just 12 points by a Wales side whose defensive work had been excellent throughout the Championship.

Martyn Williams sealed the win late on after darting from the back of a ruck on the France 22 to score and to send the home fans into raptures.