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Seeing red: Wales into semi-final after controversial thriller

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Roar Guru
20th October, 2019
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Wales have found their way into the Rugby World Cup semi-finals after a thrilling but controversial one-point win against the French.

A 49th-minute red card to French second-rower Sebastien Vahaamahina, who elbowed Welsh back-rower Aaron Wainwright in a maul, saw Les Blues reduced to 14 players for the remainder of the match.

The French fought on bravely for the remaining 31 minutes, but they surrendered their 19-13 lead after Ross Moriarty scored in the 74th minute off the back of a strip from Owen Watkin that seemingly went forward, but was not called after a review from the TMO.

The French got out to an early lead through two quick tries to Sebastien Vahaamahina and Charles Ollivon. Wales hit back in the 11th minute with a try to Aaron Wainwright to make the scores 12-7 in their favour.

Dan Biggar kicked a penalty goal in the 19th minute which saw the gap narrowed to two, before France were able to capitalise on a one-man advantage after Moriarty received a yellow card for a high tackle on Gael Fickou.

In the period that Moriarty was off, France scored a try that got them out to a 19-11 lead at halftime.

Both sides were up for the second half, but things went pear-shaped for France when they lost Vahaamahina. They were able to match it with Wales for most of the half, although Biggar did kick another penalty goal to narrow the gap to just six.

It proved a crucial penalty, with Wales able to snatch the lead after Moriarty scored in the 74th minute.

From there Wales slowed play down and were able to grind their way to a hard-fought win, breaking French hearts in the process.

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France will be proud of their effort, but they ultimately weren’t good enough on the night, leaving Wales to face either Japan or South Africa in the semi-finals next week.

Wales 20
France 19