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Saturday, 5 February, 2000, 20:29 GMT
Wales thrashed in Cardiff

France bided their time in defence before launching in attack

Wales 3-36 France

France continued their international revival with a convincing victory over Wales in Cardiff.

The home side were swamped by second-half tries from Olivier Magne, Thomas Castaignede and Emile Ntamack together with 24 points from the boot of man-of-the-match Christophe Lamaison

Six Nations Championship
The game hinged on a thrilling five-minute burst of play midway through the second half inspired by Castaignede.

With France leading 12-3 but failing to assert themselves fully over the ragged-looking Welsh, Castaignede set up a try for Magne before sprinting over himself in virtually the first move after the restart.

We are a very disappointed team. We just did not play very well - we missed chances early on which would have given us confidence and dented theirs
Wales coach Graham Henry
In the space of two minutes Wales found the lead leap from nine points to 21.

The double score finally provoked a response from Wales, who had disappointed the Cardiff crowd with their lack of pace, missed opportunities and indiscipline.

Jones Hughes: Poor game
Scott Quinnell spent a spell on the sidelines and Colin Charvis was lucky not to join him as Wales vented their frustration.

The Welsh were guilty of not taking the game to France, who in contrast to their exhilarating World Cup semi-final performance, chose to play a patient waiting game.

Wales had the best of the opening exchanges but failed to capitalise and found themselves 9-3 behind at half time from three kicks from stand-off Lamaison.

Wales will be hugely disappointed to have managed only a single score - and that a 46 metre penalty from the boot of Neil Jenkins.

It might have been different had left winger Daffyd James had the strength to finish off a great burst down the flank from Jenkins with just seven minutes played.

No way through: Lamaison and Califano bring down Rogers
But James' momentary lapse of confidence typified the Welsh performance.

Having bided their time with robust defence in the first-half, the French accelerated away in a devastating second period which saw them at their attacking best.

Magne scored the first try of the match in the 56th minute and it was his vision which put Dominici clear two minutes later, Jason Jones Hughes missing a crucial tackle to allow Castaignede to finish the move.

Wales' woeful day was capped eleven minutes from time when a misplaced pass was picked off by Emile Ntamack, who broke clear for the score.

Lamaison slotted the conversion to bring his personal tally to 24 and give France a handsome 36-3 win.


Wales: S Howarth (Newport); G Thomas (Cardiff), M Taylor (Swansea), J Jones-Hughes (Newport), D James (Llanelli); N Jenkins (Cardiff), R Howley (Cardiff); P Rogers (Newport), G Jenkins (Swansea), D Young (Cardiff, capt), I Gough (Pontypridd), C Wyatt (Llanelli), C Charvis (Swansea), B Sinkinson (Neath), S Quinnell (Llanelli).

Replacements: S Williams (Neath), S Jones (Llanelli), R Smith (Ebbw Vale), G Lewis (Pontypridd), M Voyle (Cardiff), S John (Cardiff), B Williams (Bristol).

France: T Castaignede (Castres); E Ntamack (Toulouse), T Lombard (Stade Francais), R Dourthe (Dax), C Dominici (Stade Francais); C Lamaison (Brive), F Galthie (Colomiers); C Califano (Toulouse), M Dal Maso (Colomiers), F Tournaire (Toulouse), L Matiu (Biarritz), O Brouzet (Begles-Bordeaux), A Benazzi (Agen), O Magne (Montferrand), F Pelous (Toulouse, capt).

Replacements: D Venditti (Brive), A Penaud (Toulouse), C Laussucq (Stade Francais), S Betsen (Biarritz), T Lievremont (Perpignan), P De Villiers (Stade Francais), R Ibanez (Perpignan). Referee: Chris White (England).

Touch judges: Brian Campsall (England) and Giovani Morandin (Italy).
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See also:
04 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
France out for Welsh revenge
31 Jan 00 |  Rugby Union
Jones-Hughes lands Wales spot
02 Feb 00 |  Rugby Union
Castaignede back for France
05 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
England off to record start
05 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
Scots destroyed in Italian debut
Links to other Six Nations stories are at the foot of the page.