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Wales v France – story of the match

Liam Williams and Gael Fickou swapped tries in Cardiff.

Wales secured runners-up spot in this season’s NatWest 6 Nations Championship after edging out France 14-13 at the Principality Stadium.

A Liam Williams try and three Leigh Halfpenny penalties swayed a forgettable contest Wales’ way as they completed a clean sweep of home wins in this season’s tournament.

France went the same way as Italy and Scotland before them, yet the visitors could – and probably should – have taken the spoils, given their dominance for much of the match.

Tweet of the match

South Wales Evening Post reporter Jason Evans sums up the arm-wrestle in Cardiff.

Player of the match – Taulupe Faletau

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Taulupe Faletau was immense for Wales

The Wales number eight led from the front and was always in thick of the action in the forwards battle, leading the pack with 40 metres gained from seven carries with eight tackles in an immense defensive effort for the hosts, especially after the interval.

Moment of the match – Gael Fickou’s try

Fickou broke clear and offloaded to Adrien Pelissie, who in turn flicked the ball to Wenceslas Laurent as he was tackled and the Welsh defence were caught flat-footed as Fickou was afforded acres of space to run through the gap and touch down.

Solid in defence

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Josh Navidi was solid in defence with 16 tackles

Wales spent the majority of the second half under the cosh but held out resolutely in defence. That is something that will have delighted coach Warren Gatland and that strong defence is something the New Zealander can build on if he hopes to go one step further than the second-place finish next year and land a fourth six Nations title in his his tenure.

Who’s up next?

South Africa v Wales, Saturday, June 2.
New Zealand v France, Saturday, June 9.

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