By Ros Satar
France 6– 16 Wales
Wales finally got the best of France in a tight, nervy match, literally tearing the ground apart in the process.
No-one could accuse either side of not starting this match with intent.
For almost the first 15 minutes, Wales were camped firmly in the French half, but it would be France that got on the board first thanks to a penalty (collapsing scrum), from Frederic Michelak.
Wales did their best to push for a try, but in the end settled for an equalising penalty kick, easily booted by Leigh Halfpenny.
Even though Wales were claiming a lot of French territory, France looked the more dangerous if given a space to break.
Tellingly, the crowd booed loudly as the players left the field at the end of the first half, and Wales could have expected to have had more reward for their possession in the French half.
Wales started the second half with an immediate break from Mike Phillips and took advantage of an early penalty to the resounding boos of the French crowd.
Francois Trinh-Duc attempted a drop goal which swung wide, and the audience booed their disapproval (again!)
Amidst the torn up turf Michelak brought the French level, as the grounds-men came on to try and fix up the pitch.
Finally, Wales get the breakthrough they were slowly trying to build, when George North got himself on the end of a Biggar chip forward, just keeping his feet in play.
One great conversion by Leigh Halfpenny almost immediately followed by an equally impressive penalty took Wales 10 points clear with five minutes of the match to go.
In the last passage of play, France tried to salvage something out of the game but much as they did in Rome, they just couldn’t finish, and Wales finally stopped their run of their defeats.
France go into their match on Saturday 23rd February with two straight defeats, and next face England in Twickenham.
Wales will meet Italy in Rome that same weekend.