Vahaamahina madness; fortunate Wales – Talking points from Wales 20-19 France
Later Wales left it late to watch 14-man France and seal that a Rugby World Cup location we look at the important talking points.
France scored first-half tries through Sebastien Vahaamahina, Charles Ollivon along with Virimi Vakatawa, but dropped Vahaamahina to a second-half red card after a crass elbow into the head of Wales Aaron Wainwright, allowing Warren Gatlands side back in the Evaluation and to maintain it with time exercising.
Here is what stood out after a eventful Sunday about Japans south Island…
Only one place to begin. This Rugby World Cup Test turned to the action of one man. In fact, it turned on the motion of a single guys elbow.
France, for almost 50 minutes, were magnificent. The flashes were being won by them in touch, dominating from the attack, making penetrating offloads and hammering Welsh defenders at will.
They scored three attempts; they ought to have been out of sight. The half-time stats made for dominant studying: 91 carries to Wales 44, a 334 metres created to Wales some 26 successes, 134 and 12 offloads.
Confidence is high and when tails are upward any France side in history is difficult to contain. But when it is one that possesses it is nigh on impossible to purify them. They were carving and slicing through Wales continually, and doing so with some rugby.
Five minutes from the end of the half, France butchered a opening. Having got to within metres of the try-line through Vakatawa with Wales down to 14 (Ross Moriarty was at the sin-bin), Les Bleus gorgeous free-flowing drama turned a bit rushed at the vital moment as Romain Ntamack and Maxime Medard possibly threw offloads that they shouldnt have, viewing the ball flipped over.
Though there was time for Ntamack and Gael Fickou to unite to get a break producing a punishment that co workers and skipper Guilhem Guirado chose to kick. Ntamack hit the post, and in a game as tight because the final scoreline suggests, absolutely every chance that was missed mattered.
A nine stage half-time lead, while wholesome, seemed paltry in the conditions.
There was no stopping the guys in blue who started the second stage . Turning down a shot was yet another signal of the confidence at the present time.
It is where all changed. A compliment in the five-metre lineout was inserted to Fickou by backs up Damian Penaud and Medard to create a well set maul that edged .
Scrum-half Antoine Dupont had hands on the ball looked set at any time to dart – really he did so and over the try-line eventually, but following the referees whistle. Referee Jaco Peyper initially indicated a penalty due to a hold of the neck fromFrance five, having received communicating from one of his assistants.
Perform resumes when Biggar cries the penalty to touch, although the action from the No 5, Vahaamahina , actually occurs on 47:25. It is not until the episode is replayed on the big screens a minute later, in full warmth of the thousands watching – and referee Peyper – that it is referred upstairs.
The pictures show Vahaamahina having grabbed Wainwright around the neck, that the Welshman remonstrating into the referee in response, and then in a fit of frustration in Wainwrights allure and in crazy ignorance to the fact hed never really be able get away with such an action, Vahaamahina savagely thrusts back a vicious elbow to the side of an unsuspecting Wainwrights head.
It takes only 1 look following a formal TMO inspection for Peyper to sayreddish to both supporters. The first sending off in a World Cup playoff match because 2011, and surely the simplest of them all.
In a stroke of coincidence, that 2011 choice was from a Test between these two nations: the infamous red card that is semi-final of Sam Warburton. But this in Oita, was arguably worse.
Back in 2011, though Wales were favourites, the match was still and in a previous stage tight. The Evaluation was over before the reckless intervention of Vahaamahina.
It was a point of debate throughout half-time concerning if Frances inability to score points when on the top or have a lead that is bigger would come back to harm them. Though nobody expected it to have emanated from a bad act of injury that is self-induced it did.
Despite facing 14, not only should Warren Gatlands side have been blown entirely out of their semi-final by half-time they quite nearly exited anyway.
Wales were sloppy, lethargic and got sucked right into a loose competition the like of which they were not likely to succeed in. Even Wales failed to execute, although all that changed.
Despite charge of the game falling in their laps through no desired play of their own, Wales continued to kick aimlessly and loosely, to knock-on the ball in threatening places and to give away cheap turnovers.
They muddled through 10 seconds following the red card by scoring a punishment but constructing next to nothing after. With 15 minutes to go, Wales subsequently made a mess of a chance that seemed more challenging to garner zero points from than to convert as George North neglected to get a pass off into a four-man overload – a seemingly certain effort vanished.
Wales appeared to pass up territory with substitute tighthead prop Dillon Lewis whilst around the deck at the shadow of the posts, earlier Ross Moriarty notched the try.
The dearth of ruthlessness, of a nature, of a winning mindset was baffling from Wales. They turned away their noses, not able to take advantage, although blood was there to be smelt.
The players will know they had been incredibly fortunate to claim victory. They should be applauded for not giving up or losing confidence, but plaudits should be cut at that.
It was as poor a functionality as Wales have set in for two decades. Do from South Africa in their World Cup semi-final, plus they will certainly be out.
For many, such a result will be yet another instance in the inconsistent nature on the sporting area, of French self-combustion.
Really, it is only that they allow a 16-0 half-time lead in Paris slip away with been cruising and cutting down Gatlands charges publicly.
Back then, France did implode courtesy of massive individual mistakes from Yoann Huget and Vahaamahina (remember him?) Gifting two tries to Wales wing North.
On Sunday, besides a ludicrous minute of position self-abandonment from a single person – the like of that could never be legislated for by anybody – France revealed fight to dig in and nearly pull off a remarkable success.
This was another example of France downing tools, of arrogance superseding attempt or will. It wasnt ego coming ahead industry and hard work.
Les Bleus gave everything and created chances down to 14. A Vakatawa break and tried offload failed to come away for Penaud, just before the hour mark. With 10 minutes of the Test staying, France had Wales where they desired them with a five-metre scrum under the Welsh posts, but only lost control at the rear part of their seven-man push – the ball agonisingly squirming through Duponts legs and to Wales clutches.
This night and this outcome will be tremendously hard for these France players to have over. It is, without doubt. And yet, that really, should never have been allowed to.
It will not be felt by them for some time, or today, but this France team is building something. Its core of talented young backs, and strong forwards are doused with possible.
Wing Penaud verged slaloming offloading perfectly from touch, creating tries, promising aerial balls, engendering breaks that were clean. His performance was a takeaway.
Fickous capacity to crack the gain-line, dominate his would-be tackler and unite it with his offloading capability have marked him out in Japan too – he has been one of the performers of the championship.
Vakatawa has discovered his France role at 13, also matches the mould of the back branch feet hands and strong. Medard, Huget, Ntamack and dupont had moments also.
Theyre a match for anyone if France perform as they did on Sunday with a compliment. And about a day of disappointment for a lot of, there ought to be a little optimism and a degree of expectation.
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