/ Rugby

As It Happened: Wales 8-9 France

Updated: Saturday, 15 Oct 2011 11:13

The right call? Alain Rolland gives a red card to Sam Warburton
The right call? Alain Rolland gives a red card to Sam Warburton

by Brendan Cole

FULL-TIME: WALES 8-9 FRANCE

77 mins And France go to the maul but good Welsh defence sees it break up and then a Frenchman knocks it forward. Scrum Wales hard on the left touchline and on the French 10m line.

Wales just win it and begin to attack, launching their big carriers at the French defensive line. The French are terrified of giving a penalty, the Welsh of dropping it.

It is up to the French 10m line and Roberts has a smash at the French line. They are 15m from the French 22m line now.

80 mins passes. 18 phases.

France are making a few good hits and Ryan Jones drops it - backwards says Rolland. And then a ball is dropped by Roberts and Yachvili kicks it out.

Thoughts immediately turn to Stephen Jones missed conversion and Halfpenny's miss.

France celebrate - sort of - as boos ring out and hearts sink around the rugby world.

What type of final will we get?

76 mins And Leigh Halfpenny's kicks it and sees it drops agonisingly short! It was dead on line but just went under the bar. How has that missed! France drop it out long and Halfpenny runs it back but the attack ends on the wing with Roberts shoved to touch.

What a game this has been - France have been truly abject.

73 mins But Wales win the lineout again and Jones boots it long to Clerc and he returns it. Phillips then kicks it back long to Medard, who marks it.

He kicks long but not to touch - Halfpenny runs it back. Then Jenkins releases North on the wing and Wales are up to the French half. Halfpenny has another run but Wales are out of options until.....and then Wales get a penalty - from NOTHING! - on halfway.

A ridiculous effort to play the ball on the deck by Mas, he came from the side and even though the ruck was virtually non-existent he is pinged.

72 mins Wales win scrappy lineout ball and are attacking on the 22m line but Jones knocks it on after a few carries - having refused to drop into the pocket several times. Last chance gone?

69 mins Wales win this lineout and after a good series of carries - Faletau superb again - Jones kicks back towards the left touchline and finds the line. France lineout 15m from their own line.

The win the ball but Yachvili is almost charged and only makes 10 yards - Wales lineout inside the French 22m line.

67 mins Wales win this one and Phillips kicks high to Clerc, who sets it up. France go to a pick and go game on the halfway line. But they are turned over and Wales try a few runs but are losing ground and Jones then kicks behind Palisson. Medard is almost caught in his own 22 but just evades Jon Davies with a slick use of reverse gear.

He then kicks to touch on halfway.

66 mins France win the scrum and Rougerie prods a kick up to near the Welsh 22.

65 mins The French win this lineout and Yachvili kicks over the shoulder to just outside the French 22. Another lineout is lost there though, Bonnaire winning it at the tail.

Yachvili kicks towards North and his effort to keep it in fails. Lineout Wales. They win that with an overthrow but then North knocks it forward as they attacked over the far side.

63 mins This is remarkable - and fully deserved. France do not look capable of a decent game in the final. Can 14 man Wales get through?

Now, Szarzewski, who struggled in the scrum earlier in the competition and is under pressure. The first scrum comes up and the second goes down - without Rolland giving a call - and Wales move it left and then have Jon Davies shoved to touch.

62 mins But Jones has missed the conversion - disaster after setting the attacking situation up with that great line kick.

Wales catch the restart and kick long. But Wales are on the attack again a dreadful effort at a catch by Harinorduquy.

Faletau charges at the French, and leans into Medard. Roberts then slices intot he French 22 but the attack stalls. And Jones makes a terrible effort at a drop kick off his left foot.

But it is knocked on by a French hand and Wales have the scrum.

Brad Davies is in for Wales, replacing Wyn-Jones - and Pape is off for France.

60 mins Roberts is launched at the Welsh midfield and then after two more carries, Mike Phillips gets over! He looked to be running a standard pass play but as he did to Ireland, he poured on a bit of gas and raced over. Pape missed the tackle - terrible effort - and Wales are right back in it!

Wales 8-9 France (Phillips try)

58 mins Wales win this through Alun-Wyn Jones and Phillips boots it long. Medard returns it and the ball is let bounce but Halfpenny gets it then. And Stephen Jones boots a huge kick to the corner and Parra's return kick is in touch not too far outside the French 22m line.

Good stuff from Wales - they must get something here.

56 mins Ryan Jones is on for Wales now - due to a blood injury to Lydiate. And France lose the lineout again and the French kick the ball in behind the Welsh backs again.

Welsh lineout near their own 22m line.

55 mins Wales win this lineout and move it across the backline off the top but a strong counter-ruck in midfield has them scrambling - desperate offloads from Phillips and Davies just keep the ball alive. And then Jones hoofs it high and Palisson catches under no pressure.

And Parra then kicks for Clerc - crossfield - but it bounces to touch. Near half-way, in the Welsh half.

53 mins Yachvili catches the kick off and whacks it up to the Welsh 10m line. Pressure straight back on Wales.

And the lineout is nicked again - Harinorduquy gets a hand in. Palisson then kicks an aimless one to the Welsh back three and Halfpenny returns long.

But the French put up a high kick and Barcella gets to the breaking ball. And Yachvili kicks to the corner again then.

Halfpenny boots a huge one back and that is returned to North. And finally, the kicking ends for a minute - until Jones tries a cross kick. But Medard collects and kicks a shocker straight to touch.

Wales lineout on the French 10m line.

50 mins Parra's kick is very good as usual - no fuss, straight over.

Wales 3-9 France (Parra pen)

49 mins Jonathan Davies gets the pass from Phillips and his kick is average - just 5m out of the Welsh 22. French lineout.

France go to the tail - and set a maul on Bonnaire. It rumbles to the 22m line and France then get a penalty for a collapse by Paul James (replaced A Jones after a couple of minutes).

48 mins France win that and having been stopped, chip to touch inside the Welsh 22. And the French win the lineout and get on the attack but a knock forward at a ruck releases the pressure.

Good hit by Roberts in the middle there. Scrum Wales - and Roberts is packing down at wing-forward again.

46 mins A missed tackle in the middle puts Clerc clear and he beats two tacklers before he is downed. But the French pack is a mile from where it should be and Faletau turns it over.

Hook clears to outside the 22 off that ruck. Last act for him. Stephen Jones is on for Hook.

45 mins The Welsh win this lineout and Phillips kicks it high. The return kick goes to the Welsh dead ball area and we'll have another 22m dropout.

Hook kicks lon again. Medard returns a high ball which Halfpenny takes and runs back. Poor chase by France.

Hook tries a kick to the line but he misses touch and the returned high kick is dropped by Shane Williams. Scrum France inside the Welsh 10m line.

Loosehead Fabien Barcella and hooker Dmitri Szarzewski coming on for France.

43 mins Kicked long and returned, and Wales then get given a penalty for something Yachvili did back at the ruck. Hook punts up to near the French 10m line.

But they miss the lineout - Lydiate drops - and Bonnaire catches it and kicks up to the Welsh 22m line.

40 mins Donal Lenihan says he agrees with Brent Pope - and it should have been a yellow for dangerous play.

France kick off and Pape gets the restart on the Welsh 22 metre line as their catcher misses it. They go to pick and goes and drives off short passes.

Parra then attempts a drop goal but he gets under it a bit and it is very high and misses to the right. Wales 22 dropout.

Half-time Analysis: The red card is the main issue for the panel to talk about - and there is uproar as they discuss it.

Frankie Sheahan: A sensible decision would have been a yellow card.

George Hook: HORSE MANURE FRANKIE! The red card was correct. Players deserve protection.

Brent Pope: It is a dangerous tackle - but that is not always a red card and Warburton is unfortunate. It was not intentional.

0945 France have still not shown that they can organise themselves enough to take advantage of the Welsh being down a man but they are three points ahead as the half-time whistle goes.

"Can Wales find a miracle?" asks Ryle Nugent in the RTÉ commentary box.

Unlikely it seems, despite France playing like a scratch team.

0940 Wales have pressed the French inside their own half but an ill-judged dive through a ruck by Lydiate has given them a chance to get a penalty and Morgan Parra has put it over to put them 6-3 ahead.

James Hook missed a penalty for Wales a few minutes ago.

We will have full tracking for the second half.

0935 We have had a technical problem with the website this morning which has prevented us from publishing updates and hosting live streaming up until now.

Sincere apologies.

Wales are hanging in there in the match, and have a penalty to move ahead. But Warren Gatland's men are under huge pressure after captain Sam Warburton was sent off for a spear tackle inside the first quarter.

Hook has just missed with that penalty shot.

0830 Good morning and welcome to this morning's RWC semi-final tracker.

We are hearing reports that there are over 50,000 people in Millennium Stadium for this match supporting Wales.

Can Warren Gatland's Wales continue their high-tempo run and score a first ever final appearance or will France put them back in their place in the traditional Northern Hemisphere pecking order?

Will France finally show their true colours or will they once again be found out - as they were against New Zealand and Tonga - and sent packing?

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