France set up slam decider

France set up a Grand Slam decider with England next week by easing to a 40-0 win over Wales at Cardiff Arms Park.

Published by Six Nations, April 21st, 2024

3 minute read

Try Audio

France set up slam decider

First-half tries came courtesy of Annaelle Deshayes, Joanna Grisez and Romane Menager with all three putting in lung-busting runs to the tryline.

The bonus point was sewn up early in the second half through Gabrielle Vernier before scores from Manae Feleu and a second for Grisez to mean the title will be on the line when they meet the holders England in Bordeaux next weekend.

With less than a minute on the clock, Anne-Cecile Ciofani saw yellow for a high tackle to give Wales the early advantage.

The hosts showed how fired up they were for the contest as they celebrated a knock-on vociferously, only to be reminded that the game was still in play and France won the resulting scrum penalty to restore their dominance.

Les Bleues were at the best for their opening score, taking a lineout just outside the 22 quickly with Pauline Bourdon Sansus delivering.

The ball worked its way to Deshayes who sprinted to the tryline to put the visitors ahead as Lina Queyroi added the conversion.

Wales’ first attack soon followed as they powered into France’s 22, but they failed to convert again as Grisez intercepted a pass and sprinted almost the entire length of the pitch for her side’s second.

The game settled after a frantic first 20 minutes, but the break was only temporary as Menager was well-fed by Teano Feleu before powering away to dot down.

Just five minutes after the restart, France secured their bonus point with a devastating attack as Vernier was on the receiving end of a pinpoint pass from Bourdon Sansus and raced under the posts.

Wales looked to respond again as they built their way deep into France before a quick from Lleucu George was just out of the reach of the chasing Catherine Richards.

Attack turned to defence as France again made their way to the tryline but this time they were held up.

Les Bleues would not be denied for too long as Feleu stretched over the line after a succession of strong carries.

France were again punished for poor tackling as Assia Khalfaoui was sent to the sin-bin for head contact but they were not troubled.

Instead, they finished the game with a sixth try as Grisez grabbed her second, pouncing on another loose pass and dotting down well clear of any Welsh defenders.

France now head home to Bordeaux just a point behind England while Wales will welcome Italy still searching for a first win and up against the team who they beat on the final day last year.

The result also ensured Scotland will play in the World Cup.