Six Nations 2020: Wales v France Rate the Match

Ross Moriarty

What did you think of this evening’s game between Wales and France?

Which players performed well? What were the main talking points?

How does the result affect the outcome of the Six Nations Championship?

24 thoughts on “Six Nations 2020: Wales v France Rate the Match

  1. Really good game as a neutral. France were very composed and were tactically astute imo. Some nice tries. Boultier and Fickou were very good.
    Biggar is a decent player but its so irritating to see him persistently remonstrate with the referee, always whining, gesticulating. He’s a petulant child.

    5
    1. Quality match, especially in the 1/2. French played as If at home with purpose, vision, variation & execution. Wales, although a bit unlucky on occasion with 1/2penny’s knock on & that slap down, played somewhat unimaginatively I thought. Also went for the pen points when they needed a try, particularly before 1/2 time. Kept predictably pounding the French line without variety, a lack of back line guile & ultimately success. Seem familiar? Surprised at this because I understood that Pivac had the
      Scarlets playing exciting, open rugby. Have to await tomorrow’s result, but unless Ireland win it, the French must have a good shout at the title, even the grand slam? Be good for rugby if they do IMO. They, so far, seem to be playing innovative & effective rugby. An example to the rest of the 6N that there’s more than 1 way to skin a cat?

      4
  2. French 1/2’s, Bouthier (try), collectively their fwds, esp also loose trio played well I think. Thomas could have executed & made decisions better at times. Arguably butchered a try by attempting to pick the ball up instead of toeing it towards the line. Also a bit naive when going up to contest in the air when better to have let his opponent have the ball & tackle him when he hit the deck. Risked missing it altogether & giving up potential points.. or was that just Fickou, when laying out North? Don’t know if any Welshman really stood out, although some individual dabs by Biggar, Parkes, 1/2penny, that knock on apart perhaps. Also Wyn-jones was industrious. More a collective effort, particularly as the game approached it’s conclusion. Thought the ref might have got his licence in a lucky dip at times. Made the odd dubious decision, like allowing the French slap, arguably denying a (pen?) try in the l h corner. Certainly at least a yellow for me. Possible game changer? Not my MOTM pick.

  3. Game of small margins & very enjoyable, turning point ( apart from possible pen try) was the intercept try, Wales were back to within a point & it looked like the French were about to implode as usual, that try gave them belief & new impetus. As has been said, a few dodgy decisions for both sides. A good possibility now that France could do the GS.

    1. May have revise this French implosion belief, especially with team. Also, after that WC final, mentioning the ‘i’ word may have echoes of non bullet proof glass houses.

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  4. 2 chances to take shots at goal passed on in favour of a set piece. AWJ shoulders the blame for 6 squandered points. Less time spent whining, more time spent decision making.
    Tompkins redeemed himself somewhat after a poor game v Ireland, though won’t want to hear himself back stating he’s upset. Smh
    Fickou playing so well out of position getting me a naively optimistic for JJ.

    3
    1. This is retrospective stuff about Aw-J’s decision making. He did make decisions. That they didn’t work out doesn’t necessarily make them wrong. If they had come off, then conversely, it could equally have been argued that they were the ‘right’ decisions. Sometimes you have to back & believe in yr team. Besides, England did take all their kicks in the WC final. In the context of that match were they right to have done so? As they were never ahead, should they not have for for the couple of line outs instead? Anyway, Wales were out played on the day. Would have gone against the run of play if they’d undeservedly sneaked it.

      1
      1. In the context of the match they were still the wrong decisions. I would note in particular the incident during one of the yellows. AWJ opts for the line out over the penalty, fails to score but has advantage. They kick to the corner again and ultimately comes away with nothing. That was just doubling down on an incorrect decision and also wasted over half the yellow period. You’re statistically more likely to score 3 points than 5/7.

        1. That’s because you’re ‘English’ conditioned Henno, also retro wisdom. Note you avoided addressing the issue of England’s decisions to go for the WC final pts. In the not too dissimilar context of that match, were they the ‘right’ decisions, or not? In the context of the Welsh match, did Wales need more pts or not? Were tries bring scored at 10 a penny, or were they at a premium, or not? Are tries worth more points or not? Rigidly sometimes loses games!

      2. Good game that France deserved to win. Didn’t get much change from the ref initially, but they always seemed to be the more enterprising side. Always like to see any team featuring Dan Biggar beaten. Why do refs put up with him? Even after the final whistle it was him who caused things to kick off. Sincerely hope that someone apart from the BBC wins the contract to transmit Welsh games next season, as according to Jonathan Davies and Eddie Buttler there is only ever one team on the field. EJ should look at the French half backs who are likely to be there for the next 7 or 8 years getting better all the time, get rid of Youngs straight away and bring Smith, Grayson or Simmonds into the squad as back up for Ford.

        1
          1. No such paper Don. Apparently there used to be a North Wales Times published between 1897 and 1901 but even I don’t remember that. Besides, I am happy watching the game with both eyes. Why would I want an eye patch?

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            1. T in cheek Times then. You shouldn’t NEED an eye patch Andy, as you already have one. Ask AW-J, Biggar, Davies, Butler.. anyone, any team Welsh? You seem to be an an admirer of the Hanging Judge Jeffreys school of reffing. Was there a team left on the field after you officiated in yr day, even allowing for the top up batches of yellow books that must have been especially allocated to you back then?

        1. I do feel for Tompkins, makes a great break then gets turned over. His reaction is a bit cringeworthy but understandable. Biggar is just insufferable imo, I do rate him as a player but he just needs to stop with the theatrics.
          Youngs played well but I do still hope to see Spencer come in and given a shot. Not sure Grayson or Simmonds are anywhere near what is required to even play as a back-up 10 internationally. Smith has played very well this season, and has done so consistently the past 2, so would give him a space in the squad as FH #3. Ford and Farrell are still the best options for England and both still have at least 5 (6 in Fords case) years on the clock barring injury.

          1. You may be right about Simmonds Jake, I haven’t seen enough of him to really judge, but I think Grayson seems very calm under pressure and has huge potential. I agree that Smith should be first in the queue, but would not want Ford and Farrell to the automatic selections for the next five years! I think there are a lot of good young 10s about, but very few 9s putting their hands up for consideration which is a big worry. Agree about Biggar. I have a short list of players I really dislike and now that Hartley has retired Biggar occupies number one spot.

      3. Considering its a post-match comment, it has to be retrospective, no?
        I agree with you Don that they aren’t necessarily the wrong decisions, POC pointed out that kicks from out wide are now being turned down in favour of the lineout. Probably related to percentages or something. I would much rather a team take a crack at a try when in field position than a pop at goal.
        However, these are still moments in the game where Wales could’ve closed the gap on France. Looking back, one might wonder what if they’d taken the points, gone in at half time with a reduced deficit, and had more time at the start of the second with 14 men.
        To paraphrase AWJ post-match, tests aren’t always about playing attractive rugby, but they’re always about winning.

        1. Yes, of course our, these comments ARE retro. What else, but the point is that AWJ didn’t have the luxury of hindsight. And yes it is about winning, but does ‘ugly’ rugby guarantee this? ‘Attractive’ rugby, presumably epitomised by the scoring of (some, others too can be pretty ugly) tries, doesn’t necessarily constitute less effective or losing rugby. Personally, I think that every time a player receives the ball, he should ask himself ‘How can I score a try from here’? The answer may require a punt, but it shouldn’t prevent his asking the question. Might get even more attractive, more effective rugby then?

          2
          1. 100% agree with you re the mindset and trying to score a try each time the ball is in a players possession, and risks should be taken in this sense. But, if a team continues to roll the dice with the set piece – they might lose the ball, get turned over, infringe and give away a penalty – when they’re within penalty range, and they come away with nothing then those lost points can often be the difference between the win and loss. It’s a balance i guess.

            1
            1. Dont think Stander was thinking about scoring when he caught the ball with Manu Tuilagi bearing down on him or Underhill when he was barrelled back earlier in the match. Sometimes players should just be thinking how do i retain possetion

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      4. Considering its a post-match comment, it has to be retrospective, no?
        I agree with you Don that they aren’t necessarily the wrong decisions, POC pointed out that kicks from out wide are now being turned down in favour of the lineout. Probably related to percentages or something. I would much rather a team take a crack at a try when in field position than a pop at goal.
        However, these are still moments in the game where Wales could’ve closed the gap on France. Looking back, one might wonder what if they’d taken the points, gone in at half time with a reduced deficit, and had more time at the start of the second with 14 men.
        To paraphrase AWJ post-match, tests aren’t always about playing attractive rugby, but they’re always about winning.

  5. No such paper Don. Apparently there used to be a North Wales Times published between 1897 and 1901 but even I don’t remember that. Besides, I am happy watching the game with both eyes. Why would I want an eye patch?

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