Wales Women's hopes of claiming a historic Six Nations Grand Slam were crushed this afternoon at Montauban when France ran out comfortable 27-5 victors.
Wales went into the clash on top of the points table after earlier brushing aside Scotland and England but they ran into a French side who were determined to ensure Jason Lewis's outfit were not going to be the first Welsh side to beat France on home soil.
Wales were optimistic of breaking their duck, particularly as they had won three of their last four meetings between the two sides. However the home side were in command at halftime and looking to build on their 17-0 cushion.
Wales rallied in the second half but the damage had already been done. Non Evans scored Wales's only points in the 59th minute after fly half Naomi Thomas made a half break to put the veteran into space. Evans didn't need a second invitation and outpaced the cover to score.
France dominated the first half and opened the scoring in the third minute when scrum half Stephanie Provost sent over a penalty.
Second row Clotilde Flaugere made her presence felt when she stormed over after patient phase play from the French forwards. Provost added the conversion to give France a 10-0 lead.
Wales were reduced to 14 players in the 33rd minute when Louise Horgan was yellow carded for holding on. While she was in the sin bin, Laetitia Salles scored a try which was converted by Aurelia Bailon to put the home side firmly in control at the break.
Wales got off to the worst possible start in the second spell when Flaugere went over for her second try of the game. Wales were looking down the barrel of a heavy defeat but captain Mellissa Berry rallied her troops and they responded with Evans's try.
However France had the final say right on the stroke of full-time when Laetitia Esteve scored to put the icing on the cake for the home side.
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
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