Wales grab second spot after win over France

by AAP

Wales secured runners-up spot in this season's Six Nations Championship after edging out France 14-13 in Cardiff.

A Liam Williams try and three Leigh Halfpenny penalties swayed a forgettable contest Wales' way as they completed a clean sweep of home wins in this season's tournament.

France went the same way as Italy and Scotland before them, yet the visitors could - and probably should - have taken the spoils, given their dominance for much of the match.

Wing Gael Fickou's try, an early Francois Trinh-Duc drop-goal, plus his half-back partner Maxime Machenaud's penalty and conversion ensured that Wales were stretched to the limit.

But a combination of Welsh resilience and French profligacy meant the game ultimately went Wales' way, leaving France still without a win in Cardiff since 2010.


Wales 14

Tries: Williams

Pens: Halfpenny 3

France 13

Tries: Fickou

Cons: Machenaud

Pens: Machenaud

Drop-goal: Trinh-Duc

In Rome, a late Greig Laidlaw penalty ensured Scotland narrowly avoided a nightmare end to their Six Nations campaign, beating Italy 29-27 after trailing the perennial wooden-spooners for most of the game.

Scotland scored four tries on Saturday but the result could well have gone the other way, with the expectant home crowd of 60,000 on the verge of celebrating Italy's first Six Nations victory in three years.

Scotland broke the Azzurri down in the final 10 minutes with a try by full-back Stuart Hogg, having already crossed the chalk through hooker Fraser Brown, captain John Barclay and winger Sean Maitland.

Scrumhalf Laidlaw drove the nail into Italian hearts in the final minutes with a successful goal.

For Italy, flyhalf Tommaso Allan scored two tries, with fullback Matteo Minozzi also crossing the line.


Italy 27

Tries: Allan 2, Minozzi

Cons: Allan 3

Pens: Allan 2

Scotland 29

Tries: Brown, Barclay, Maitland, Hogg 

Cons: Laidlaw 3

Pens: Laidlaw