Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Kerry arrives in Israel to push for Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

Sport

France qualifies for place in Rugby World Cup final

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-10-15

France booked a place in the 2011 Rugby World Cup after beating Wales 9 – 8 Saturday following three penalties from France against a solo try and penalty for Wales. France will play the winner of tomorrow’s Australia - New Zealand semi-final.

AFP - France advanced to the World Cup final with a narrow 9-8 win at Eden Park here on Saturday over a Wales team reduced to 14 men after the sending off of captain Sam Warburton with 60 minutes of the game left.

Three penalties from France fly-half Morgan Parra were enough to outscore a Mike Phillips solo try and James Hook penalty for Wales, who employed a poor kicking game all evening against a French team content to soak up the pressure.

Hook opened the scoring with an eighth minute penalty after France captain Thierry Dusautoir strayed offside at a ruck.

But the Ospreys playmaker slipped in the run-up to his second effort four minutes later, summing up his ineffectual game before being subbed by veteran Stephen Jones early in the second half.

Wales dominated early territory and when Jamie Roberts was played through the middle by a deft Shane Williams offload, his pass rebounded off the head of midfield partner Jonathan Davies with the French defence absent.

But the Welsh suffered a hammer-blow in the 19th minute when Warburton, at 23 the youngest ever captain in a World Cup semi-final, was shown a straight red card by Irish referee Alain Rolland for a spear tackle on Vincent Clerc, that ended with the France wing crashing to the turf head-first.

French fans share their joy



Warburton joined Huw Richards as the second Welsh player to be sent off at a World Cup, the latter dismissed in the 1987 semi-final -- Wales's only previous last four appearance -- for punching All Black Gary Whetton.

Parra equalled the scores after the Welsh, bidding for a first appearance in the final, collapsed a scrum.

Wales wing George North made a fine try-saving tackle on Maxime Mermoz after Dimitri Yachvili charged down a Hook clearance.

Hook missed a second penalty on the half-hour, but Parra made no such mistake with his to edge France into a 6-3 lead after Dan Lydiate strayed offside at a ruck in front of the posts.

Parra went wide with an ambitious drop-goal early in the second period but nailed a third penalty after Wales collapsed a rolling maul as the French attempted to turn the screw.

Wales at times struggled to maintain their composure, losing a couple of promising line-outs on their own throw, with some poor kicking decisions out of hand handing the French valuable territory and breathing space.

But against the run of play, Phillips skirted a ruck close to the touchline, fended off a weak Pascal Pape tackle and accelerated away to cross for a crucial try, although Stephen Jones saw a conversion that would have given Wales the lead hit the post.

With Welsh tails up, impressive No 8 Toby Faletau charged downfield, but Jones opted for a drop-goal off his unfavoured left foot instead of keeping possession.

France then closed up shop, offering nothing in attack, instead falling back on grim defence.

There was further drama to come, however, when prop Nicolas Mas was ruled offside at a ruck. But Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny's 75th minute long-range penalty dipped under the crossbar.

Wales ended with an epic 25 phases in possession, but Roberts spilled the ball on the crash and France, still looking for a first World Cup title, advanced to their third final after losing in the climax of the 1987 and 1999 editions.

The French will play the winners of Sunday's match between hosts New Zealand and Australia in the October 23 final at Eden Park.

 

Date created : 2011-10-15

  • 2011 Rugby World Cup

    All Blacks hammer Argentina, advance to semis

    Read more

  • 2011 Rugby World Cup

    Australia on to semis after narrow victory over Springboks

    Read more

COMMENT(S)