Video: France score astonishing 100th minute try against Wales in dramatic Six Nations match



Associated Press

France needed a 100th-minute try to beat Wales 20-18 in an astonishing end to their Six Nations rugby game today.

The seemingly unending drama included an alleged bite of Wales wing George North, a yellow card to prop Samson Lee, and persistent penalties against Wales, but their coach Rob Howley was mostly incensed with France's late substitutions, and openly questioned whether the French bent the rules.

"What happened in the last 10 minutes shouldn't happen again in an international game," Howley said.

"Integrity in our game is pretty important."

Leigh Halfpenny's faultless goalkicking put Wales 18-13 up and seemingly on course for a sixth straight win against the French. But the Welsh fell apart in added time.

With the tension bordering on hysterical at Stade de France, replacement loose forward Damien Chouly finally found enough of a gap to squeeze over.

Camille Lopez landed the conversion and winning two points in the 21st minute of injury time, and sank to his knees in relief.

But an emotional Howley was more concerned by what he perceived to be the French toying with preventative head injury rules to protect players from concussion, and conjuring up an injury in order to swap props at the beginning of stoppage time.

Rabah Slimani, who'd left in the 55th minute, returned in the 81st for tighthead prop Uini Atonio, who may have been concussed.

But Howley suggested it was a premeditated move.

He stopped short of calling it cheating when asked directly if it was.

"I just question the integrity of our game, of the decision," he said. "If you want to call it (cheating) it's entirely up to you."

He offered evidence.

"One of their coaches outside their technical area had a conversation with their doctor, and within one minute (Slimani) comes on," Howley said.

"We'll look through the whole footage. It's pretty obvious what happened."

France coach Guy Noves was evasive, saying he hadn't consulted with his medical staff about Atonio's injury.

Howley did not blame English referee Wayne Barnes.

"That wasn't Wayne's fault, he listened to a medic," Howley said.

"If he's a referee and he's told the (head injury) process needs to take place, it's that trusting of the information."

Howley added he spoke to Barnes after the game but declined to reveal what was said.

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