Rugby union: Both Wales and France entered this match following unexpected defeats in the first round of this tournament, low in confidence and eager to make an impact on this tournament.
Wales reacted better to the failings shown in their 30-22 defeat to Ireland last weekend by dominating territory and possession against a strangely subdued French side who failed to spark throughout this encounter.
As late as the 52nd minute this match was level at 6-6, owing to penalties by Dan Biggar and Frederic Michalak.
However it wasn’t until the 70th minute of this extremely competitive encounter that Wales showed the extra edge and scored a late try through their ebullient winger George North.
Ospreys fly-half Biggar executed a delightful chip kick behind the French defence. The ball sat up for North to finish in the left hand corner.
Full-back Leigh Halfpenny, the game’s man of the match, excellently converted from the touchline before adding another long-range penalty from 50 metres in the 74th minute.
At 16-6 the game was out of France’s reach and the Welsh comfortably finished in complete control. They had dealt with their problem areas over the previous week.
Their lineout was flawless, their defence was well-organised and again Wales looked like a side that could carry off this championship.
At the end of this match, the delight of the Welsh support was drowned by the disappointment and booing of the French fans. French coach Philippe Saint-Andre has a lot to prove in the coming weeks.
Elsewhere Scotland earned their first Six Nations win in two years as they saw off Italy 34-10 at Murrayfield.
Stuart Hogg scored a sensational solo try, while there were also scores from Tim Visser, Matt Scott and Sean Lamont as the hosts bounced back from last weekend’s defeat to England at Twickenham.
Scotland wing Sean Maitland, who made his home debut, believes his team can go from strength to strength following the win.
“The boys in the changing room are over the moon,” he said. “For 80 minutes we showed what we can do as a team.
“It’s just the beginning for us, there is definitely a lot more potential to unleash.
“We had a lot of things to prove as a team to Scotland and thankfully the team was given another chance to put on the jersey again this week and we repaid the coaches. It was time for action. We had talked a lot but we delivered.”
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