5th Place Play-off: Wales 13-68 France

(IRB.COM) Sunday 21 June 2009
 5th Place Play-off: Wales 13-68 France
Remi Lamerat of France scored one of their eight tries against France - Photo: Yuka Shiga (RJP)

Eight tries and a 33-point haul from their impressive fly half Pierre Bernard ensured France finished the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009 with a flourish by beating Wales 68-13 at the Level 5 Stadium in Fukuoka.

France hit the ground running against Wales, just as they had done with a mesmerising opening half hour against South Africa in the pool stages, and the match was all but over by half time with the Under 20 Six Nations champions leading 33-6.

They settled any nerves that may have been there with Bernard's penalty within the first minute and the fly half had stretched France's lead to 9-0 by the time 10 minutes had elapsed with two more penalties.

A concerted period of pressure resulted in the first try, France captain Alexandre Lapandry touching down with Bernard again successful with the boot. Within minutes scrum half Nicolas Bezy snipped off the scrum to score under the posts.

Bernard's conversion and his third penalty made it 26-0 inside the opening quarter and, although Wales were finally able to get into the match and threaten the French 22, they turned over the ball and Remi Lamerat made a great break up the other end.

Another penalty kept the scoreboard ticking over and despite their commanding position France were in no mood to ease off against a side that had ended their semi final hopes in last year's Championship by winning the pool decider 23-19.

A clever low kick from Bernard split the defence and centre Lamerat had the simple task of gathering and grounding the ball near the posts to make it 33-0 after only 28 minutes. Wales, though, managed to build some possession and got on the scoreboard with two Matthew Jarvis penalties.

France started the second half in the same vein as they had begun the match, Bernard putting up a great cross field kick, which full back Djibril Camara collected near the line and touched down for his side's fourth try.

The match though was far more balanced in the second half with Wales running every ball in their attempts to cross the try-line but France still had the controlling influence even after their full back Camara was sent off with Wales losing two players to the sin-bin within minutes.

Replacement hooker Vincent Colliat and prop Rabah Slimani crossed while France had the man advantage, before Bernard got the try his performance warranted to make it 61-6 with 10 minutes remaining.

Bernard put up another chip and gathered the ball, then slipped a tackle and sent flanker Benoit Guyot in for France's eighth and final try, before Wales centre Jason Harries touched down in the corner as his side had to settle for sixth overall.



France Head Coach Philippe Boher: "We took this match very seriously and prepared well in the lead up. We wanted to control the game and that's what we did. We scored a number of tries, some very well-constructed. It was a good way to finish despite the slight indiscipline, but it's a good way to finish the tournament."

"I think there are a number of players who will go on from this squad to wear the France senior team jersey."

France Team Manager Philippe Sella: "We can have a few regrets about the 15 or 20 minutes we didn't concentrate during the South Africa game, but this is a really good team, a good atmosphere and a good spirit. I am very proud to be the manager of this team."

"I think there are a few really good players for the future. Number six and captain today Alexandre Lapandry, is a really good player, for example."

Wales captain Scott Andrews: "We still see it [the tournament] as a success, even though this wasn't the result we were looking for. The French team were a very good side and I think the better team won on the day.

Wales Head Coach Phil Davies: "From this tournament and from the Six Nations up until now, we've grown as players and people as well."

"When we come up against some of the top five sides in the world, we battle and we try hard, but we know we still have things to improve. But overall the players have worked very hard and the tournament has been very successful for us in lots of ways."

"The enthusiasm to set the tournament up was excellent. We've stayed in Fukuoka for nearly three weeks and it's become our second home. We want to go back to Wales, but we're sorry to leave in one way. The tournament has been a great learning experience for everybody - the management, the players and the coaches."