Warren Gatland: Wales have 'forgotten how to lose'

02 Février, 2019, 12:21 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
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Adam Beard won the ball cleanly at the resulting lineout, but Josh Adams spilled it as he came off his wing, and the French quickly realised the counter-attack was on.

Wales, unbeaten since losing to Ireland in last season's Six Nations, were up against it as Les Bleus dominated the opening 40 minutes and cruised clear through touchdowns by Louis Picamoles and Huget, while Lopez booted a penalty and a drop-goal.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say that was a relief". We were much better in the second half and created some chances.

"We know they have a formidable defence, and unfortunately we didn't start the second half well, and they did".

"But there was a lack of game management".

France opened at a lick and when Wenceslas Lauret secured a turnover in their own half, Yoann Huget charged up the field.

He wrong-footed both Liam Williams and Gareth Anscombe by cutting infield, and smashed through hooker Ken Owens, and the French were off and running after just six minutes.

On a slippery night, Morgan Parra missed two hard goalkicks for France, and Wales kicker Gareth Anscombe, who made all of his goalkicks in the 2018 championship, botched his first shot.

Williams dived over the French line and referee Wayne Barnes awarded the try but, as Anscombe was lining up the conversion, television replays were consulted by the official and it was correctly disallowed as Williams had knocked on and failed to ground the ball.

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They went ahead when Picamoles touched down after Les Bleus had worked through the phases inside Welsh territory.

Parra missed the conversion before Anscombe failed with another penalty as the wet and windy conditions made kicking hard.

It all changed as North then followed up on an innocuous Hadleigh Parkes grubber which Huget seemed to have covered before looking on in disbelief as the ball squirted over the line, past him, on a plate for the Wales winger to touch down.

Anscombe converted, his last act before being replaced by Dan Biggar, to pull Wales within two points.

"The difference between the two teams is that we forgot how to lose and on the other foot you have a team searching for confidence", Wales coach Warren Gatland told a news conference after his team's 10th win in a row.

The wet conditions were ideal for the juggernaut French pack, and when they squeezed out another penalty right in front of the sticks, Camille Lopez took over the kicking duties and made it 13-0.

Flanker Justin Tipuric, increasingly to the fore towards the end of the game, did well to charge down a Lopez drop-goal with 12 minutes to play as the rhythm of the match became increasingly disjointed with a raft of replacements.

Biggar, a supremely steadying force at flyhalf, hit the extras to seal an historic win for Wales.

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