PARIS (Reuters) – Wales won their second Six Nations title in three years after France lost 27-23 to Scotland as the visitors celebrated their first victory in Paris since 1999 in a final championship drama Friday.
France looked set to win their fourth game of this year’s campaign when they won the ball in the last game in stoppage time. But Brice Dulin, who scored the decisive try in last Saturday’s agonizing 32-30 win over Wales, went from hero to villain as he ran with it instead of sending him back in a misguided attempt to ‘get a fourth try. bonus point.
Les Bleus, who scored tries thanks to Dulin, Damian Penaud and Swan Rebbadj, lost again and Scotland scored one last try through Duhan van Der Merwe to seal the victory at the end of a match filled with voltage.
“We thought we were going to kick the ball and end the championship with a win, but we didn’t,” said France coach Fabien Galthie.
“Losing like that is hard to swallow.”
The result left Scotland in fourth place despite beating England at Twickenham and France in Paris for the first time since 1926, just behind Ireland on the points difference with 15 points.
Wales have 20 points from four wins with France, who needed a 21-point win and a bonus point to get ahead of them for their first title since 2010, second with 16 points.
“It was one hell of a game, it reminded me of last week with cards, penalties and missed chances,” said Wales coach Wayne Pivac.
“What a tournament this has been and from a Welsh perspective we are thrilled. “
England are fifth out of 10 points, with Italy taking the wooden spoon after losing all of their matches, with no bonus.
Scotland needed to win by eight points to get their best league result since winning the last five nations in 1999.
They came just short, but left the pitch proudly after two tries from Van der Merwe, another by David Cherry and starting points from Finn Russell and Adam Hastings.
Scotland rose to the occasion, with Russell catching the Frenchman with fine kicks and moving 7-3 after Van der Merwe picked the ball up in a scrum and strewn.
France found themselves facing a mountain to climb and were inefficient in windy and rainy conditions at the Stade de France.
The Blues still managed to lead at half-time as Scotland paid for their poor discipline and they opened their biggest advantage with a brilliant try from Crestfallen after a good chip to put his team 18-10.
Cherry jumped out of a maul to put Scotland back in the lead, seemingly ending France’s chances of winning by a big margin, only for Rebbadj’s try and Finn Russell’s expulsion to nudge to Penaud to give them momentum again.
But Galthie’s side showed a remarkable ability to shoot themselves in the foot, with replacement scrum-half Baptiste Serin doomed and Dulin losing the plot in the stoppage time for a momentous mistake that resulted in Scotland one last chance, which they feasted on as Van der. Merwe managed to dive around the corner.
“I’m so proud of the team,” said coach Gregor Townsend, a try-scorer in Scotland’s last victory in Paris 22 years ago.
“They showed courage, solidarity, determination and skill to win. So it was a great end to a really promising season for us.