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French slam remains on target

Venue: Stade Sapiac, Montauban
Referee: Alhambra Nievas (Spain)

A commanding performance in front of a near capacity crowd, saw France take another step towards back-to-back Grand Slams and retaining their Six Nations title.

France - Pays de Galles féminin : Le résumé by FFR

France showed their intentions from the start, dominating the opening exchanges and within five minutes an Elodie Poublan kick forced a line out 5m from the Welsh line. The result was as inevitable as it was unstoppable, with a perfect take resulting in a typical French maul that drove to the line. Captain Gaelle Mignot got the touchdown and France were ahead.

Even the ball seemed on the French side, as a few minutes later a remarkable bounce on the heavy pitch almost put in Shannon Izar, but for the work of an alert Elinor Snowsill.

Wales also made their own misfortune, and one stray Amy Day pass halted the momentum gained from a series of pick-and-goes - and instead conceded a penalty which Jessy Tremouliere made no mistake with. Despite this, the Welsh defence was at times heroic, never more so than when another French maul was only stopped by Rachel Taylor wedging herself between ground and ball to stop a certain try.

A great break by Elen Evans finally turned the tide. Their pressure resulted in a penalty, but Laurie Harries'  kick slipped wide.

The final play of the half was a turning point, however. The referee had by now warned both teams about repeated infringements, and when Sioned Harries went offside she not only gave away a penalty that Tremouliere had no problem converting, but she also won a yellow card and 11-0 was the halftime score.

Within minutes of the restart France used their numerical advantage. They were soon camped on the Welsh line, and some desperate defence soon resulted in another infringement and a second yellow card, this time for Caryl Thomas. Now down to 13 players Wales first conceded a penalty try which was added to, barely a minute later, by a well taken try from Julie Billes after a great Poublan break had gained acres of ground, Yanna Rivoalen then fed Billes from the base of a ruck for her to surge over.

Now back to 15, the game became far more even but as Welsh legs wearied France took an advantage of an overlap down the left and the Billes stormed over to complete for her second try with ten minutes remaining.

Wales did not give up, however, knowing that despite losing every point could count in deciding the overall title. Their forwards plugged away and, with the benches now emptied, they finally turned the tables on the French pack, when a 5m scrum earned them a penalty try, giving a final score 28-7 to France

France (11) 28
Tries: Mignot, Penalty Try, Billes 2 Con: Tremouliere Pens: Tremouliere

Wales (0) 7
Tries: Penalty try Con: Harries

France Women: 15 Jessy Tremouliere(C/2P); 14 Shanon Izar, 13 Elodie Poublan, 12 Celine Heguy, 11 Julie Billes(2T); 10 Camille Cabalou, 9 Yanna Rivoalen; 1 Lise Arricastre, 2 Gaelle Mignot (capt)(T), 3 Christelle Chobet; 4 Marine De Nadai, 5 Celine Ferer; 6 Coumba Tombe Diallo, 7 Laetitia Grand, 8 Safi N'Diaye.
Bench: 16 Wendy Divoux, 17 Julie Duval, 18 Audrey Forlani, 19 Pauline Rayssac, 20 Marjorie Mayans, 21 Carla Neisen, 22 Caroline Boujard, 23 Patricia Carricaburu.

Replacements used: Forlani for De Nadai 3, Duval for Chobet 41, Mayans for Heguy 41, Rayssac for Diallo 55, Boujard for Cabalou 55, Neisen for Tremouliere 63, Divoux for Mignot 72, Carricaburu for Arricastre 72.

Tries: 4 - Mignot, Penalty Try, Billes (2). Kicking: Tremouliere (Conv 1/3, Pens 2/3), Izar (Conv 0/1).

Wales Women: 15 Dyddgu Hywel; 14 Elen Evans, 13 Adi Taviner, 12 Robyn Wilkins, 11 Laurie Harries(C); 10 Elinor Snowsill, 9 Amy Day; 1 Caryl Thomas (sin bin 45-56), 2 Carys Phillips, 3 Catrin Edwards; 4 Rebecca Rowe, 5 Rachel Taylor; 6 Sian Williams, 7 Sioned Harries (sin bin 40-50), 8 Shona Powell-Hughes.
Bench: 16 Amy Lawrence, 17 Jenny Davies, 18 Amy Evans, 19 Jenny Hawkins, 20 Melissa Clay, 21 Keira Bevan, 22 Gemma Rowland, 23 Kerin Lake.

Replacements used: Hawkins for Rowe 41, J.Davies for Hywel 47, Hywel for J.Davies 56, J.Davies for Thomas 56, Rowland for Wilkins 57, Lawrence for Phillips 63, Clay for Powell-Hughes 63, Lake for E.Evans 65, A.Evans for Edwards 78, Bevan for Day 78.

Tries: 1 - Penalty Try. Kicking: L.Harries (Conv 1/1, Pens 0/1).

Scoring sequence: 5' Mignot (T) 5-0, 19' Tremouliere (P) 8-0, 40' Tremouliere (P) 11-0, 49' Penalty Try (T) 16-0, Tremouliere (C) 18-0, 51' Billes (T) 23-0, 70' Billes (T) 28-0, 80' Penalty Try (T) 25-5, L.Harries (C) 25-7.

Referee: Alhambra Nievas (Spain). Attendance: 9232.