April 1, 2023

Les Bleus congratulate Uini Atonio, author of the third French try. His first internationally. Francois BOUCHON / Le Figaro

Victorious with a bonus from Wales (41-28), the Blues finished second in the 2023 Tournament.

The contract is fulfilled. The XV of France had to obtain a bonus victory against Wales to maintain the hope of winning the 2023 Six Nations Tournament. It’s done with this success (41-28). The Blues therefore end with a record of four wins in five matches. Only Ireland managed to beat Galthié’s men.

Les Bleus, carried by a great Thomas Ramos, scored five tries by Penaud (10th, 77th), Danty (34th), Atonio (44th) and Fickou (49th). Antoine Dupont’s teammates finished second in the Tournament behind Ireland, who achieved the Grand Slam by beating England (29-16).

The Blues first made the round back

The Welsh, who lived through a chaotic Tournament, had nothing left to play in the competition, except their honor. And that’s already a lot. From the first minutes, they are the ones who have control over the match. After being returned to the in-goal for the first time, the Leek XV scored the first try of the game on a first-hand launch. Webb served North, who took advantage of poor defensive coordination from Fickou and Penaud to plant in the in-goal (8e).

The Blues, however, reacted immediately. Ntamack found a gap, escaped Tompkins before finding Dupont. The tricolor captain extends his pass and allows Penaud to flatten the first try of the French team (10e). In five minutes and half an hour of play, Thomas Ramos, the good artificer that he is, added two penalties. Five minutes from the break, Danty also went queen after a nice wide attack. The XV of France widened the gap and led by 13 points at the break (20-7).

The Blues of Dupont suffered first before accelerating. Francois BOUCHON / Le Figaro

Returning from the locker room, Fabien Galthié’s men continued to push. Dupont, again, was hardly stopped five meters from the Welsh in-goal before the game rebounded. Ramos serves Atonio, back to the right of the scrum, who logically resists Rees-Zammit to register the 3e tricolor test (44e) and especially his first international test in 50 selections. The French three-quarters game had already left the English in place at Twickenham last weekend. On a new combination around the 50e minute, Ntamack served Fickou, who slipped into the Welsh in-goal.

The Blues then have the offensive bonus in their pocket. But the France team – accustomed to air pockets – suffered the Welsh assaults at the end of the game. Tomos Williams, Webb’s replacement at the scrum, is doing good to Leek’s XV and putting Charles Ollivon’s teammates in trouble. Roberts arrives launched and scores in force (56e). Well ahead of the score, the XV of France then stammered his rugby. Williams, once again, managed to slip away at the edge of a ruck to put Wales back on track (65e). But Penaud, after another very good job by Ramos, scored a second try (77e).

Rio Dyer’s try at the very end of the match after the missed tackles of Ramos and Penaud concludes a spectacular match. The Blues will therefore cross their fingers and, exceptionally, support the XV of the Rose in Ireland.

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