Wales on Friday won the Six Nations after Scotland beat a “disappointed” France 27-23 for their first victory in Paris since 1999.
Les Bleus needed to score four tries or more and win by at least 21 points to stop Wales claiming the title, but lost when Scottish winger Duhan van der Merwe scored five minutes into additional time.
Both sides finished with 14 men after Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell was sent off with 10 minutes to play and French substitute Baptiste Serin collected a yellow card three minutes later.
“It’s a huge disappointment. We gave a lot over nine weeks,” home captain Charles Ollivon told France Televisions.
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was without a host of English-based players with the game outside the Test window and lost No. 8 Matt Fagerson on the eve of the game with an ankle injury
“I’m so proud of the team. They came here with a bit of adversity with not our full squad, an injury to one of our starters, a yellow card, a red card, we had to come back against a very good side,” Townsend told the BBC.
Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie said France’s pre-match boasts were “fuel to the fire” in their victory.
“I wouldn’t say it frustrated us; it fueled us. They were talking about winning by 20 points,” Ritchie said.
“We were confident going into the game. When they start talking about winning by 20 points it’s fuel to the fire,” he added.
As the rain fell at the Stade de France, Brice Dulin showed his side’s intent by taking a quick lineout inside his own 5m within 60 seconds.
After nine minutes Romain Ntamack opened the scoring with a penalty, but the away side dominated the following quarter of an hour.
The visitors’ control and patience was rewarded after 15 minutes as van der Merwe snuck over after two previous pick and goes.
Russell converted before adding a penalty for a 10-3 lead after 20 minutes as Townsend’s men intelligently controlled territory with delicate kicks while France made five early handling errors in greasy conditions.
When the downpour briefly stopped, Galthie’s men took a stranglehold.
Ntamack closed the gap to four points with a penalty before the hosts took the lead.
The national cricket body (CTCSA) yesterday presented plans to develop the sport in Taiwan, with hints that an Asian Games bid might be on the horizon. At a luncheon at the Orient Luxury Hotel in Chiayi City, CTCSA chairman Lu Jia-hong presented plans the association has to build cricket grounds in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township. The CTCSA said that the assistance of expat teams in Taiwan was crucial to its plans. Taiwan has upward of 13 cricket clubs, but only one dedicated ground — the Yingfeng Cricket Ground in Taipei’s Songshan District. Lu said that the association is focused on gaining Asian Cricket Council
‘HUGE MISTAKE’: Boris Johnson pledged to support any effort to stop the breakaway league, while UEFA’s president said that the teams involved still had time to back out FIFA president Gianni Infantino yesterday said that breakaway European Super League clubs cannot be “half in, half out” of the established soccer system, while Real Madrid president Florentino Perez insisted he is trying to “save football” with the move. European soccer’s governing body UEFA has threatened to ban the 12 clubs, who include Manchester United and Real Madrid, from domestic and international competition, with Infantino adding his voice to the backlash. “We strongly disapprove ... if some go their own way then they must live with the consequences of their choice, either you are in, or you are out. You cannot be
TEAM ‘RESET’: Although it remains to be seen if Messi’s seventh Copa del Rey will be his last with Barca, the win has helped the team find its footing amid uncertainty Lionel Messi on Saturday scored twice, including a stunning solo goal, as Barcelona blew away Athletic Bilbao to win the Copa del Rey, consigning their opponents to a second final defeat in two weeks. The cup was won and lost in a whirlwind 12 minutes in Seville, which saw Barca score four times to clinch an emphatic 4-0 victory, with Messi at his devastating best. It remains to be seen if his seventh Copa del Rey triumph is the last trophy Messi lifts in Barcelona colors, but if this was to be a final flourish, the 33-year-old crafted a fitting farewell. “It’s very
‘CYNICAL PROJECT’: La Liga president Javier Tebas compared the 12 clubs to drunks leaving a bar at 5am ‘intoxicated with selfishness and a lack of solidarity’ Twelve of Europe’s most powerful clubs yesterday announced the launch of a breakaway European Super League (ESL) in a potentially seismic shift in the way soccer is run, but faced accusations of greed and cynicism. Six English Premier League teams — Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur — are involved, alongside Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan. The ESL said the founding clubs had agreed to create a “new midweek competition,” but would continue to “compete in their respective national leagues.” It said it hoped the inaugural edition would start “as soon as practicable.” Three more