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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 February, 2005, 18:20 GMT
Key battles: France v Wales
Wales pulled off a sensational victory in Paris in what was one of the finest Six Nations games in recent memory.

The Welsh had looked in disarray early on but unleashed a stunning fightback to move into the lead before holding off massive French pressure at the death.

Here BBC Sport highlights how the key battles played out in Paris.

AURELIEN ROUGERIE v SHANE WILLIAMS - WING

Aurelie Rougerie (left) and Shane Williams
In the first half, Rougerie was all over his opposite number.

Nowhere was that more typified than when Williams tried to fell the French runner only to bounce right off him and onto the deck.

Rougerie's first-half score highlighted his supremacy.

Williams was a far more potent threat in the second half, but Rougerie was still given too much space, so just about edged their head-to-head.

DAMIEN TRAILLE v GAVIN HENSON - CENTRE

Damien Traille (left) and Gavin Henson
The fact that France lost their way when Traille came off early in the second half said a lot for the inside centre's performance.

He was coolness personified, kicked intelligently, sent the quicker runners around him through the gaps and basically showed Henson how the job should be done.

Henson did not have his best game in Welsh colours. He could hardly be blamed for being tripped by Betsen, but some of his decision making went heavily askew in the first half.

Despite that, he more than made amends in the second 40 minutes - as did much of Wales' side - with a far more convincing all-round display.

SERGE BETSEN v MARTYN WILLIAMS - FLANKER

Serge Betsen (left) and Martyn Williams
As always Betsen was an absolute beast, robbing Wales of ball at every corner and being a general nuisance every time they tried to launch an attack.

He should have been censured for his sly trip on Henson, which paved the way for a try. Aside from that, it was another accomplished display.

So much has been made of Williams in the Six Nations and the way he has been playing himself into Lions contention.

He was a shadow of his former self initially in Paris, but no one can question his importance after the interval. Two tries within minutes of the restart and a gargantuan performance in the loose more than made up for earlier indiscretions.

SYLVAIN MARCONNET v ADAM JONES - PROP

Sylvain Marconnet (left) and Adam Jones
There is no doubt that Marconnet is one of the monster scrummagers of the global game and he had Jones buckling from the outset.

His immense presence in those set pieces gave France the perfect platform and he stood firm throughout the afternoon.

Jones improves as a scrummager in every game and all his abilities were tested by his hugely talented and combative rival.

He may well have been substituted towards the end, but coach Mike Ruddock would have been pleased with the way he battled despite being marginally overshadowed by Marconnet.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Highlights: France 18-24 Wales



SEE ALSO
Six Nations Team Guide - France
28 Jan 05 |  Six Nations
Six Nations Team Guide - Wales
28 Jan 05 |  Six Nations


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