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France defeat Wales in bizarre finale

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France defeat Wales in bizarre finale

France secured a 20-18 victory over Six Nations-rivals Wales in remarkable circumstances, as Chat scores the winning try twenty minutes after full time

Michael Steele

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France secured a 20-18 victory over Six Nations-rivals Wales in remarkable circumstances, as Chat scores the winning try twenty minutes after full time

France beat Wales 20-18 following a bizarre and chaotic end to their final Six Nations match on Saturday as Camille Chat scored a try 20 minutes after full time had elapsed.

The clock showed 99 minutes and 55 seconds when replacement hooker Chat dotted the ball down after nine penalty scrums, and Camille Lopez slotted over the conversion as France saved their place in the second pot ahead of the 2019 World Cup draw.

Wales primed for victory

Wales had victory in their sights when Leigh Halfpenny's sixth penalty earned them a 18-13 lead but France won a key five-metre penalty scrum with one minute left.

France defeat Wales in bizarre finale

Eight scrums later, after Wales prop Samson Lee was shown a yellow card and a series of controversial incidents and decisions, France finally got over the line for the second time.

Lopez scored two penalties and two conversions, making sure Les Bleus will finish the championship in third or second place and leaving Wales in fifth ahead of the Ireland v England clash.

Solid start by France

Guy Noves's team started well, going ahead when Remi Lamerat collected a subtle chip over the top from Lopez and dive over the line, with the flyhalf slotting home the conversion and he added a routine penalty as France's domination continued.

Wales, however, responded with a Halfpenny penalty after Virimi Vakatawa was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock on and Halfpenny booted another as Wales took advantage of being a man up.

France defeat Wales in bizarre finale

Wales reduced the arrears again when Halfpenny slotted his third kick as France were penalised time and again by referee Waynes Barnes.

Scrappy second half

The hosts struggled to retain possession in a scrappy start to the second half. Wales also failed to go through the phases but Halfpenny's perfect afternoon continued as he booted a 45-metre penalty to put the visitors in front for the first time.

The teams traded penalties and France, needing a try, opted for the scrum when they were awarded a last-minute penalty.

After 20 minutes of mayhem, including numerous replacements, a biting allegation and desperate Welsh defence, Chat finally claimed the winning try.

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