France inflicted Grand Slam heartbreak on Wales in a Parisian thriller to maintain alive their Six Nations title hopes.
Brice Dulin crossed in damage time to clinch an epic bonus-point win and take the match to the ultimate match subsequent weekend, once they play Scotland.
Wales are 5 factors clear on the high, however have now performed their closing recreation.
France had been right down to 14 males after 68 minutes when Paul Willemse was pink carded however two Welsh yellows helped them erase a 10-point deficit to win.
Wales picked up a dropping bonus level, which suggests to have any likelihood of profitable the title France should defeat Scotland in Paris subsequent Friday with an attacking bonus level.
It might then come right down to factors distinction, which at present favours Wales 61 to 41.
A implausible first half noticed the 2 sides locked at 17-17 with Romain Taofifenua and Antoine Dupont’s tries matched by Dan Biggar and Josh Navidi scores.
The second half was much more astonishing, with France second row Willemse pink carded for sticking his fingers into the attention of Wales prop Wyn Jones as he savagely – and illegally – cleared him out at a ruck.
However France really completed with a person benefit for the ultimate eight minutes after Taulupe Faletau and Liam Williams had been sin-binned in a pulsating and chaotic finale.
And Wales’ 10-point lead was not sufficient, as tries from captain Charles Ollivon and Dulin left Wayne Pivac’s aspect shocked, and counting on Scotland if they’re to win the title.
The match finale as France host the Scots was attributable to happen in February, however was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the French camp.
The late indiscipline proved Wales’ undoing after being excellent on this division throughout the match with yellow playing cards proven to the aspect for the primary time in a Six Nations recreation since 2018.
The defeat is especially merciless for Wales, who’ve turned issues round in positive trend underneath Wayne Pivac after the New Zealander had solely gained three out of 10 video games in his first season in cost.
Wales getting ready to glory
Wales had arrived in Paris with 4 victories and the Triple Crown of their possession after beating Scotland, Eire and England.
They fielded a beginning aspect containing 987 caps, their most skilled in historical past, with 14 of the gamers having already gained a Grand Slam underneath Pivac’s predecessor Warren Gatland.
France had been by no means going to roll over although. Crew supervisor Raphael Ibanez said his aspect had been glad to have returned to Paris and this was epitomised by the hosts’ ferocious begin.
Prop Cyril Baille was pushed over the Wales line, however scrum-half Gareth Davies managed to disclaim the prop. This solely delayed occasions, as Taofifenua crossed and Matthieu Jalibert transformed.
Wales responded instantly with a superb up-and-under and catch from full-back Williams, laying the foundations for the attacking scrum from which Gareth Davies and Louis Rees-Zammit exchanged passes from a intelligent set transfer.
Scrum-half Davies was tackled brilliantly over the road by Ollivon to disclaim a attempt, however Wales remained affected person as they scored their report 18th attempt within the match.
Biggar crashed over following a intelligent angle, with the fly-half additionally changing.
French aptitude flourished when Dulin’s chip was collected by Jalibert, who launched the imperious, supporting scrum-half Dupont for the second rating.
The gorgeous begin continued, Wales retaliating as flanker Navidi burrowed over after relentless attacking from the guests to stage the scores after a frantic first quarter.
The guests’ capability to retain possession in assault was rewarded when a France transgression allowed Biggar to fit over a penalty.
Jalibert was compelled off with a head damage to get replaced by Romain Ntamack, whose first contribution was to stage the scores at 17-17 on the stroke of half-time to finish a implausible first 40 minutes.
Pulsating second half
Biggar prolonged the lead with a penalty earlier than substitute scrum-half Tomos Williams was instantly concerned in Wales’ third attempt.
After a intelligent chip from Justin Tipuric, Adams skilfully hacked on earlier than Williams gathered to launch winger Adams to cross.
Referee Luke Pearce gave an on-field attempt determination and tv match official Wayne Barnes mentioned he couldn’t overrule that after deeming there was no Williams knock-on and that Adams had grounded the ball.
Biggar’s conversion opened up a 10-point benefit earlier than Ntamack decreased the deficit along with his second penalty.
Rees-Zammit nearly scored a spectacular attempt within the nook, however Barnes determined his flying end had seen the ball grounded on the bottom of the nook flag.
Nonetheless, prop Mohamed Haouas had collapsed a driving maul within the build-up and was yellow-carded, though Pearce didn’t imagine the offence merited a penalty attempt. Biggar slotted over three factors as an alternative.
TMO Barnes was a busy man. First he was referred to as on once more with France hooker Julian Marchand held up by the defensive efforts of Adams, Tomos Williams, Navidi and Faletau.
Then, after Dulin had appeared to cross for France’s third attempt, Barnes alerted referee Pearce to foul play by Willemse on Wales prop Jones.
The replays confirmed the France lock had made contact with Jones’ eyes throughout a ruck clear-out to earn his pink card.
France refused to submit and the chaos continued with Faletau and Williams yellow-carded because the hosts held a one-man benefit going into the ultimate eight minutes. Faletau was punished for being offside, whereas Williams dived off his ft at a ruck.
Ollivon crossed with 4 minutes remaining, Ntamack changing to cut back the deficit to 3 factors.
Wales followers had been desperately hoping their aspect might maintain on, however substitute lock Cory Hill conceded a penalty within the closing minute as Dulin ultimately broke the hearts of a nation.
Replacements: Chat for Marchand (69), Gros for Baille (59), Atonio for Alldrit (60-70), Rebbadj for Taofifenua (22), Jelonch for Cretin (51), Serin, Ntamack for Jalibert (30), Vincent for Thomas (57), Serin for Dupont (74).
Wales: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, J Davies, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; W Jones, Owens, Francis, Beard, AW Jones (capt), Navidi, Tipuric, Faletau.
Replacements: Dee for Owens (68), Smith for W Jones (77), Brown for Francis (68), Hill for Beard (57), Botham for Navidi (77), T Williams for G Davies (49), Sheedy for Biggar (68), Halaholo for J Davies (68).
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Contact judges: Matthew Carley (England) and Christophe Ridley (England)