100 minutes of madness as les Bleus leave it late

Wayne Barnes awards the winning try. Picture: Getty Images
Wayne Barnes awards the winning try. Picture: Getty Images
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France needed 20 minutes of injury time to beat Wales 20-18 in an astonishing end to their final Six Nations game.

Leigh Halfpenny’s faultless goalkicking put Wales 18-13 up and seemingly on course for a sixth straight win against the French. But the Welsh kept on conceding penalty after penalty in added time. Prop Samson Lee was sin-binned in the 82nd minute and returned with play still going.

The try France needed was inevitable. With the atmosphere bordering on hysterical at Stade de France, Antoine Dupont and Camille Chat were stopped short of the line but replacement loose forward Damien Chouly finally found enough of a gap to squeeze over.

Camille Lopez landed the conversion and winning two points, and sank to his knees in desperate relief.

France seemed to be throwing away another win after centre Remi Lamerat’s converted try and Lopez’s penalty made it 10-0 after 16 minutes.

It was an agonising wait for the final whistle, as the French camped in the Wales 22 and the crowd roared “Poussez! Poussez!” (Push! Push!). There were 99 minutes, 55 seconds on the clock when Chouly scored under a pile, setting off scenes of pandemonium among home fans and sheer despair for the Welsh.