Wales trailed 16-0 at half-time but came back to beat France 24-19 in the opening match of the 2019 Six Nations
Yoann Huget howler gifts George North a try in Wales’ comeback win
A Yoann Huget error on his own line gifted George North a try in Paris as Wales came back from 16-0 down at half-time to win 24-19 in the opening match of the 2019 Six Nations.
Hadleigh Parkes had put a kick downfield in the French half and Huget ran back to collect the ball, but he couldn’t hold onto it as he slid across the line, giving North the opportunity to score.
The Wales winger gathered the ball expertly in difficult conditions and quickly touched down to reduce the deficit.
You can watch the try here…
Wales had trailed 16-0 at the break as France dominated the match in the wet weather, but recorded their biggest ever half-time comeback in a Test to make it ten wins in a row.
Tomos Williams was put over by Josh Adams soon after the break. Then came the Huget howler that allowed North to cross and with both tries converted by Gareth Anscombe the score was 16-14.
A Dan Biggar penalty midway through the second half then gave Wales a narrow 17-16 lead at the Stade de France before Camille Lopez put France back in front from a scrum penalty in front of the posts.
Then came another French gift for North. Second-row Sebastien Vahaamahina threw a long pass out wide as France attacked and it was intercepted by North, who sprinted over from halfway. Biggar added the conversion to give Wales a 24-19 lead with seven minutes to go – and it was a lead that they held onto.
The irony was that earlier in the game Huget had scored a sublime try himself, his first Six Nations touchdown since 2014.
Arthur Iturria produced an amazing offload to set up the Huget try. The 24-year-old lock who was playing at openside received the ball in a wide channel and as he handed off Anscombe, he popped the ball out to Huget with a one-handed, back-handed pass.
With North also drawn in towards Iturria, Huget needed no second invitation to sprint down his wing and touch down in the corner.
Watch the Huget try here…
Earlier in the game, Louis Picamoles had put France ahead with a close-range try before Liam Williams looked to draw Wales level after touching down following a weaving line break. However, replays showed he had knocked on as he slid over the line and the TMO ruled out the score.
Here’s the Liam Williams incident…
It was a poor first half from Wales as France managed the game well and capitalised on an untypically sloppy Welsh performance that included nine handling errors before the interval. It was a 40 minutes that coach Warren Gatland described as “terrible”, but Wales regrouped at half-time and got themselves back into the match – with the help of French mistakes.
The comeback victory was reminiscent of their opening game of the 2008 championship – Gatland’s first Test in charge of Wales. That year they trailed 16-6 at half-time to England at Twickenham, came back to win 26-19 – and went on to win a Grand Slam…
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