Women’s Six Nations: Wales 0-40 France – French set for Grand Slam decider against England

Home » Women’s Six Nations: Wales 0-40 France – French set for Grand Slam decider against England
Women’s Six Nations: Wales v France
Wales (0) 0
France (19) 40
Tries: Deshaye, Grisez 2, Menager, Vernier, Feleu Cons: Queyroi 4, Bourgeois

Grand Slam-chasing France ran in six tries to condemn Wales to another heavy defeat in the Women’s Six Nations.

Wales had hoped for a response after a disappointing display in Ireland, but failed to score a point as they again struggled with accuracy and composure.

Annaelle Deshaye, Joanna Grisez and Romane Menager were gifted tries in the first half.

Further scores from Gabrielle Vernier, Manae Feleu – and a second for Grisez – added to Wales’ misery after the break.

France will now play defending champions England for the title on 27 April, while Wales remain rooted to the bottom of the table with a single losing bonus point.

Ioan Cunningham’s side will be looking to avoid the Wooden Spoon when they take on Italy at Principality Stadium in the first of three games on Saturday, 27 April (12:15 BST).

Wales stressed the need to start well this week and were helped in their quest when Anne-Cecile Ciofani was shown an early yellow card for a high tackle on home skipper Hannah Jones.

But Wales could not take advantage as the French pack showed superiority in the scrum and kept Wales pinned inside their own half.

The opening try came from a Welsh set-piece error, an overthrown line-out was scooped up by Chloe Jacquet who made good ground before being bundled into touch.

Wales were slow to reset and a quickly taken line-out by Pauline Bourdon-Sansus released pacey loose-head prop Deshaye.

The hosts enjoyed a spell of pressure after the restart, but as they edged towards the line it was a case of deja vu. A loose pass from Sian Jones was intercepted by Grisez, who ran the length of the field.

Wales suffered a hammer blow 10 minutes from the break. They had the put-in at the scrum, but the ball came out to Teani Feleu – who saw there was no-one home on the blind-side and made the break before offloading to Menager, who ran 60 metres to score.

With Wales needing to start the second half positively, they continued to invite pressure on themselves with ill-discipline.

The French were gifted possession and territory which allowed Vernier to carve a beautiful line and go in under the posts for the bonus-point.

Cunningham made early changes, with Keira Bevan, Jasmine Joyce and last weekend’s impressive debutant Gwennan Hopkins entering the fray.

It seemed to spark a spell of decent Welsh possession, with Sisilia Tuipulotu leading the charge, and Lleucu George came close to putting Kayleigh Powell in with a cross-field kick, but it was the story of Wales’ campaign – they could not take their chances.

France had no problem in that department, strong carries from the forwards allowed the captain Manae Feleu to crash over the line for the fifth try.

The visitors once again went down to 14 players just after the hour mark, this time a high tackle from Assia Khalfaoui on George, but it mattered little as they continued to find space and played as a team full of confidence.

The afternoon was summed up when Wales looked to score in the dying minutes, only for a reckless bouncing pass from Catherine Richards to be gratefully picked up by Grisez, who dived over for her second.

With the clock in the red, France were reduced to 14 players for the third time, on this occasion for a deliberate knock-on by Jacquet.

But it mattered little as the French enjoyed a near-perfect afternoon in the Cardiff sunshine.


Wales: Kayleigh Powell; Catherine Richards, Hannah Jones (capt), Carys Cox, Courtney Keight; Lleucu George, Sian Jones; Gwenllian Pyrs, Carys Phillips, Sisilia Tuipulotu, Abbie Fleming, Natalia John, Alishia Butchers, Alex Callender, Georgia Evans.

Replacements: Molly Reardon, Abbey Constable, Donna Rose, Kate Williams, Gwennan Hopkins, Keira Bevan, Mollie Wilkinson, Jasmine Joyce.

France: Emilie Boulard; Joanna Grisez, Chloe Jacquet, Gabrielle Vernier, Anne-Cécile Ciofani; Lina Queyroi, Pauline Bourdon Sansus; Annaëlle Deshaye, Agathe Sochat, Assia Khalfaoui, Manae Feleu (capt), Charlotte Escudero, Romane Ménager, Emeline Gros, Teani Feleu

Replacements: Elisa Riffoneau, Ambre Mwayembe, Clara Joyeux, Madoussou Fall, Gaëlle Hermet, Alexandra Chambon, Lina Tuy, Morgane Bourgeois


Referee: Hollie Davidson (SRU)

Assistants: Clara Munarini (FIR), Maria Latos (GER)

TMO: Matteo Liperini (FIR)

FPRO: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)

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