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Paris - 24 February, 2007
Six Nations Blog | Your photos Video podcast

Final score: France 32-21 Wales

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TEXT UPDATES (all times GMT)

By Rob Hodgetts

80 mins: That's it and France are three-fifths of the way towards a Grand Slam.

"Today was a better performance from Wales. They showed what they can do but they have to keep possession and go through the phases. They kicked a lot of ball away. If you defend that much it does take it out of you, and when you feel like that it's difficult to get into the game."
Former Wales fly-half and BBC rugby commentator Jonathan Davies

79 mins: PENALTY France 32-21 Wales
France close out the game with a late penalty, kicked by Lionel Beauxis, who replaced David Skrela.

75 mins: TRY France 29-21 Wales
Stephen Jones' half-break feeds Jamie Robinson, who darts left and right for 50 yards before scoring under the posts. James Hook converts.

"Irishman sitting in front of the internet in Zurich, Switzerland .. 12 mins to get a result here Wales.. C'mon..."
Michael G Ward

68 mins: James Hook almost wriggles through the French line and then so does Lee Byrne a couple of minutes later. The pace and invention is still there but the time is ticking away.

60 mins: Wales try their hardest to gift France another three points when Shane Williams strays offside as Stephen Jones hoists up a kick. But David Skrela misses his first kick out of eight on the night.

"I was at school with "Foghorn" Spreadbury. He was a mighty fine boy soprano 30-odd years ago. Nice to see him still on the international circuit."
Douglas Porter

55 mins: James Hook takes over the kicking duties from Stephen Jones but misses with his first penalty attempt.

"Come on Wales, give me something to cheer - I'm Scottish."
Alan in Perth

53 mins: Welsh hearts are in their mouths as Clement Poitrenaud romps towards the posts unopposed but referee Spreaders calls him back for a forward pass.

52 mins: PENALTY France 29-14 Wales
Wales' Alix Popham puts a massive hit on French captain Raphael Ibanez in midfield. As the ball is recycled, France's Clement Poitrenaud ghosts through a gap in the Welsh line to create another good attacking platform and France win another penalty. David Skrela sends another three-pointer sailing through into the Parisian night sky.

44 mins: PENALTY France 26-14 Wales
Wales' Alix Popham is penalised for taking a French player down in the air and David Skrela slots another penalty.

By the way, all you eagle eyes are right - Jean-Claude Skrela was a back-rower not a full-back. Sorry.

42 mins: France kick-off the second half but are nearly stunned when Wales' Mark Jones, James Hook and Tom Shanklin launch a raiding party down the left that gets to within a few yards of the opposition line.

Half-time: Wales have a few things to ponder at the break after France's powerful renaissance following their early two-try deficit.

"Wales have to get more possession. They can't afford to just keep defending because this French side is just too good."
Former Wales fly-half and BBC rugby commentator Jonathan Davies

"Wales must keep their heads up in the second half. It's easy to get overrun by the French. They must try and get hold of the ball and play the game they started off playing."
Former Wales centre Mark Taylor

39 mins: From the re-start Christophe Dominici hares off down the right wing and only a despairing tap tackle saves Wales. The French pour forward and Wales are thankful for the half-time whistle.

37 mins: PENALTY France 23-14 Wales
David Skrela slots a fifth penalty out of five.

"Where's the ref from in the French game?"

Tony Spreadbury, or "Spreaders" as he's known, is from Somerset.

34 mins: TRY France 20-14 Wales
France look menacing and centre Yannick Jauzion makes a great break through the middle, offloading to Serge Betsen who feeds it on out wide. Wales pile in to slow the ball down and France hammer on the visitors' line. Eventually, lock Lionel Nallet burrows over. David Skrela converts.

28 mins: TRY France 13-14 Wales
France wing Christophe Dominici sneaks through the Welsh line, fends off one tackle and jinks inside to score. The ref goes to the fourth official to check the grounding but there's no problem. David Skrela converts.

"Please could one of the commentators say whether the French stand-off, David Skrela, is any relation to the French player of the seventies - Jean-Claude (or was it Phillipe?) Skrela?"
John Telfer

I can tell you John, he's former French full-back and coach Jean-Claude Skrela's son.

23 mins: France are enjoying plenty of possession but Wales' defence is holding up so far.

"Been in Croke Park. Allez les Welsh."
Paul Roche

17 mins: PENALTY France 6-14 Wales
France hit back with a penalty from David Skrela.

15 mins: TRY France 3-14 Wales
Wales are enjoying a dream start. Stephen Jones chips over the French line, James Hook bursts through to gather and then offloads to Tom Shanklin for a score under the posts. Jones converts with his eyes shut.

11 mins: TRY France 3-7 Wales
From a line-out on the left, Wales flanker Alix Popham bursts down the blind-side and reaches over to score a try, verified by the fourth official. Stephen Jones converts.

9 mins: PENALTY France 3-0 Wales
France give Wales a first taster of what they are capable of when they launch a threatening break down the left flank, through scrum-half Pierre Mignoni and flying winger Vincent Clerc. As the move breaks down, France earn a penalty and David Skrela slots it over.

4 mins: Wales make a bright start and take the game to the home side. There's no thunderous start like in Dublin a fortnight ago for France skipper Raphael Ibanez's team.

1 min: Wales earn a penalty but Stephen Jones' kick drifts wide right.

2000 GMT: The game kicks off and Wales' Stephen Jones tries an early drop-goal attempt after 60 seconds.


1957: Katherine Jenkins belts out Wales' national anthem Land of My Fathers before the Stade France joins in with the Marseillaise, sung entirely without music.

1955: "It's been a tough Six Nations for Wales so far and it does not get any easier here as France have started so well."
BBC pundit Jonathan Davies

1950: The singing has already started amongst home fans in Paris thanks to a brass band who are belting out some rousing tunes.

1945: "What a day - all we need is Wales to win."
Aidan, a proud Irishman via text

1940: There are still plenty of seats free at the cavernous Stade de France. Wales have been out stretching and warming up their muscles too with the last Six Nations game of a packed day 20 minutes away now.

1930: France have a chance to extend their lead at the top of the Six Nations table as they take on Wales, who are propping up the table. Les Bleus are out on the Paris pitch doing their warm-ups and taking on some water on a clear night in the French capital.

1925: "Sitting in the stadium in Paris reading the updates. Italy, Ireland - and Wales to shine."
Fred, via email

1920: Just 40 minutes to go until the final one of the day's three Six Nations matches between France and Wales gets under way.

Have you gone over to Paris, are you near or at the Stade de France, logging on to the website from around the world, or following the build-up on your phone?

Why not let us know how you are building up to the kick-off, what you have spotted on your way to the match or wherever you are going to watch it and how you think the game will go.

Brent Cockbain Q&A
21 Feb 07 |  Welsh
Rugby union on the BBC
13 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union

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