Minute by Minute Breakdown:
Wales v France 16th February 2002
1 min: Strong start from Wales forces a penalty 30 metres out and Stephen Jones kicks the goal to make it 3-0
3 mins: Confident Welsh play has France on the back foot once again but Wales soon concede a penalty - Traille converts from 45 metres 3-3
6 mins: More strong Welsh attacks and a well worked move produces an overlap but Dafydd James stopped 10m out.
7 mins: Craig Morgan held up just short of the line after strong driving from Welsh pack
9 mins: The pressure pays off. Craig Quinnell powers over from 5 meters after a strong Welsh scrum. Jones converts 10-3
12 mins: Full back Kevin Morgan requires treatment after hefty fall. Crowd incensed by Tony Marsh's tackle on Morgan, but no yellow card
16 mins: Welsh line-out starts to falter
18 mins: French line-out forwards begin to dominate, providing a solid platform for half backs Mignoni and Merceron. Only strong defence from Wales keeps the score down.
19.mins: A 40 yard burst by Serge Betsen takes the French to within 5 meters of the Wales try line.
22 mins: French penalty from 35 metres dispatched neatly by Merceron 10-6
23 mins: Scott Quinnell leads by example with two powerful surges forward
25 mins: Craig Morgan makes last gasp try-saving tackle. However, French recycle the ball and Kiwi Tony Marsh touches down in the corner. Merceron converts 10-11
29 mins: Stephen Jones kicks 40 metre penalty 13-11
31 mins: Merceron shows class with 30 metre drop goal 13-14
33 mins: Stephen Jones makes it 3 from 3 from 40 metres and Wales regain the lead 16-14
35mins: Wales' defence carved open by Marsh and the Montferrand centre crosses the line for Merceron to convert 16-21
38 mins: The dependable Stephen Jones kicks another penalty 19-21
39 mins: The Welsh line-out is still not working effectively
40 mins: Scrappy play and poor kicking from both sides
41 mins: Scott Quinnell given yellow card for late tackle on French full-back Nicolas Brusque. Merceron kicks ensuing penalty 19-24
Half Time 19-24
47 mins: Video ref called into action. Aurelien Rougerie awarded controversial try. Merceron converts to make it 19-31
48 mins: Duncan Jones replaces Spencer John
49 mins: Scott Quinnell returns from sin-bin
50 mins: Strong running from Kevin Morgan pushes Wales downfield
55 mins: Great play from Craig Quinnell drives Wales forward. Good passing through the backs gives Kevin Morgan the ball 5 metres from line...he is held up and the French survive
56 mins: Welsh pressure leads to French knock on...scrum on 5 metre line, Howley put in, but Wales just cannot move forward
58 mins: Andy Marinos' inspired leap takes him over the gain line, a clever pass off his back to Nathan Budgett gives the Bridgend forward a sniff of the try line and he obliges by storming over. Jones converts 26-34
62 mins: Wales push forward again and again but cannot reach the line. They eventually turn over the ball
64 mins: Barry Williams replaces Robyn McBryde
67 mins: Ian Gough replaces Craig Quinnell
69 mins: Rhys Williams replaces Andy Marinos
70 mins: Merceron kicks another penalty 26-37
72 mins: Wales unable to break through French defence after great run by Dafydd James
74 mins: Again Wales pour forward but the final ball is missing
76 mins: Stalemate...both sides are unable to string any passes together
77 mins: Agonising for Wales as Video ref. called again. A great grubber kick from Stephen Jones gives Kevin Morgan the chance to touch down... The replay was shown over and over again on the big screen...and to the delight of the home fans the try was given...Jones converts 33-37
81 mins: The atmosphere is incredible, Wales giving the fans plenty to cheer about
82 mins: A magnificent Stephen Jones kick finds touch. From the resulting line out Scott Quinnell has the ball in hand, 5 metres out. He strides towards the line and tries to touch down...the Video ref. is called again
84 mins: No try!! The crowd can't believe it
85 mins: Welsh scrum 5 metres out, Howley put in... amazing tension, but Wales can't go forward and the French push them back past the 22
87 mins: Craig Morgan is stopped inches short
88 mins: In a last gasp effort the Welsh side move the ball through the back line, Dafydd James is on the wing...he leaps for the corner. Rougerie makes last ditch tackle. Once more, the video ref. is called. This time the answer is 'No try' and the game is up.
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