Wales produce resilient performance to see off valiant French challenge
Dan Biggar had an excellent evening from the boot22:18 Friday 26 February 2016, 22:18 26 Feb 2016
Wales produced their strongest performance of the campaign to see off a frustrated French challenge at the Principality Stadium this evening.
George North put the game beyond France in the 39th minute and Warren Gatland will now look forward to next week's clash with England as a must win if they have any hopes of capturing the Six Nations.
Wales began the brighter of the two sides, applying huge pressure on the French defence who struggled to settle. Jules Plisson was on hand to provide reliving kicks for the French as Wales continued to knock on the door.
Dan Biggar didn't get off to the best start however, he missed a very kickable early penalty and was relieved to see his opposite number's kick trail to the wrong side of the left upright just minutes later.
Biggar opened the scoring on 22 minutes when he converted a penalty right in front of the posts to help Wales find their rhythm.
Dan Biggar converts a penalty. Image: Joe Giddens / PA Wire/Press Association Images
Antoine Burban was removed from the pitch shortly after the penalty as he received a heavy knock from a Sam Warburton charge and underwent HIA procedures.
Biggar doubled their advantage on 31 minutes before Plisson cut the deficit in half with a kick of his own five minutes before the interval.
Wales went in at the break with the advantage and the feeling was that they had the momentum heading into the second period, having dominated so much of the possession.
Three minutes after the restart Biggar continued to chip away at French confidence with another penalty, the relentless Welsh pressure causing France to cough up possession and concede penalties at the break down.
The turning point came on 46 minutes, when a long kick from Jonathan Davies was chased down by George North.
North attempted to kick the ball ahead to carry the ball with his momentum but missed only for Plisson to knock it into his path as he ran back to his defensive position and North crossed the white wash for the opening try of the afternoon.
France to their credit continued to pile on the pressure, but time and again were met by a stubborn Wales defence who continuously drove back their attacking waves.
In the dying minutes France were rewarded for their diligence, captain Guilhem Guirado crossed for the visitors and converted by Francois Trinh-Duc.
A big result for Wales, who will take this momentum into next week's clash with England and will hope Ireland can do them a favour on Saturday evening.
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now