Wales took a hotly contested game last Sunday against France and got into the semifinals of the Rugby World Cup 2019 that was played in Japan.
In Tokyo, the Six Nations champion fought until the end to overcome France by a tight 20-19, who played almost a whole time with one man less for the expulsion of Sebastien Vahaamahina. His rival will come out of the duel between South Africa and Japan.
Wales, undefeated winner in Group D of the tournament; is a favorite for the Rugby World Cup trophy 2019. But France hit them from the start and plunged them into doubt.
They could barely escape in the last minutes of the game; when he had been with another player for more than 30 minutes and when time began to press. All for the savior try of Ross Moriarty and the conversion of Dan Biggar.
The French team went into the rival territory and, after 5 minutes Vahaamahina culminated the siege with a try at pure power. Romain Ntamack failed the conversion, but doubt was already installed among the Welsh. Two and a half minutes later, Les Bleus managed to increase the difference; a fast counterattack, exact passes, and the trial of Charles Ollivon. Then Ntamack was right against the sticks for 12-0.
However, there was still a breathtaking match. Before the quarter-final of an hour of play, Aaron Wainwright captured a ball lost in the rival field. And almost without resistance, headed for the In goal. Biggar took the result to 12-7.
At 20, a tall tackle from Vahaamahina left him with a clear opportunity to score Biggar, who did not miss the penalty against the sticks and put his team just two points away. But France hit again in 30 minutes.
Seconds before, Moriarty – one of the key players in Tokyo’s Rugby World Cup 2019 had entered Wales. And his first action was a dangerous tackle. So, the referee showed him the yellow card and Wales were left with 14 players. With numerical superiority, the speed and precision in the French assembly were decisive for Virimi Vakatawa to support the trial. The Ntamack conversion led the score to 19-10.
They were moments of clear bleu dominance. In which it was close to widening the gap. It was not successful. Damian Penaud’s driving error made it impossible to approach the try. And a criminal kicked by Ntamack crashed into a stick and did not enter. The rest was a relief for Wales.
Again, France came out strongly at the start of the second half. But after 3 minutes a play changed the process. Vahaamahina elbowed Wainwright and received the red card. Immediately, Biggar converted a penalty and approached the Six Nations champion: 19-13.
Instead of retreating, France remained in front. It was not even affected by Pinaud’s mistake when he seemed to be heading for the try. Tackles to stop the individual advance kicks to the bottom of the field to keep the opponent away and also to run the clock.
Just at 24 minutes, Wainwright found a hole and Tomos Williams ran to approach Wales to the rehearsal. But Paul Gabrillagues cut a pumped pass and defused the danger. Despair arose among Wales when the passage of time began to consume their aspirations. The thrust put him back five meters from the French In goal. But the trouble resulted in a knock-on of Dillon Lewis.
Then the figure of Moriarty resurfaced. From the yellow of the first half to that long-awaited try six minutes from closing.
Tomos Williams stole the ball after a maul; Justin Tipuric dove, but was inches away from the try. It was solved by the third line, which took the gift and supported for 18-19. Biggar completed the conversion finally, Wales found 20-19 who placed it among the four best teams in the Rugby World Cup 2019.
On the first day of the quarterfinals, New Zealand and England had emerged victorious against Ireland and Australia respectively.