Wales 28 def. France 6
- Match URL
- Monday, October 9th, 1995
- Eddie Ward
- Ninian Park (Cardiff)
A hat-trick from the flying winger Anthony Sullivan crowned a clinical Welsh performance in which they disposed of the first of their group opponents. The St Helens player had been in some of the most prolific form of his career and against a defence which accorded him plenty of room to run, Sully was unstoppable.
But as with the European Championship, the foundations for the win were laid in the complete supremacy of the Welsh pack of forwards. Paul Moriarty was the best and gave a characteristic display of power. Their dominance allowed Ellis, driving at his best from scrum-half, and Davies to orchestrate the backs. Included in their ranks was Scott Gibbs, who made a solid international rugby league debut at centre.
Davies gave Wales the lead with two penalty goals and they were never really to be threatened. Iestyn Harris, destroying the French defence with his running game from fullback, set Sullivan up for two tries and Davies created his hat-trick. Harris scored an exciting individual try from just inside the French half and Devereux finished off the job with a try under the posts at the end.
Wales did have a couple of scares, the first being a nasty bang to captain Davies. The sight of him being helped from the field midway through the second half, not to return, was enough to send alarm bells going in the Welsh camp. They were then threatened with disciplinary action over an alleged substitution infringement. They had brought Bateman back from the blood bin to replace Davies, thinking Davies was being blood binned did not count as a substitution.
Fortunately the confusion was cleared up, and the mistake went unpunished. However just three days later, Western Samoa sent out a chilling warning by demolishing France 56-10 at the same venue. Qualification from the group was a big ask.
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Last modified: Wed, 21 Nov 2018 14:45:37 +0000 (Sydney time)