Two of the premiere nations in XVs, neither France nor Wales is happy with a trophy semifinal appearance, but it is not foreign territory for either team. On the season, France has twice competed in the trophy semifinal, winning each en route to the trophy titles in Dubai and Sydney. For Wales, two trophy semifinal appearances have yielded mixed results in two outings, with the lone victory coming in Sydney, before falling to France in the Challenge Trophy match.
Despite the fact that these two teams have met 36 times in the past and Wales owns a commanding lead in the record (24–11–1), only two points have separated the two sides in the all-time points in their contests (617–615, Wales). France just about took the all-time series points lead a minute into the contest, but a forward pass was called, bring a would-be try back for a Welsh scrum inside the Wales twenty-two.
The Welsh possession showed promise, including an advantage for a high tackle. But both the advantage and the possession ended well before Wales would have liked. France mounted a strong attack in its chance on offense but not enough to get the initial points. That honor appeared reserved for Wales but a call to the TMO kept Wales off the board. Instead, Francee finally got on the board with a try in the sixth minute, coming from Tavite Veredamu.
A penalty on the restart then gave France an opportunity to build on the lead. As the hooter sounded and Paulin Riva shimmied through the Welsh defense, the lead grew by five. Pierre Gilles Lakafia’s successful conversion sent the teams to their halftime huddles with France ahead 12–0.
France opted for a fairly deep kick to start the second half, with the ball cleanly taken at the Wales twenty-two without France able to contest. A minute of possession later, Wales served teh ball right back to France with a knock-on in a tackle and France took all of two dozen seconds to turn the lead into three-scores.
Two minutes later, Wales finally ended the shutout with a cracking run by Hari Millard down the left touchline. The difficult conversion made it 19–7. But it wasn’t long before France answered back with a seven-pointer of its own to push the lead back to nineteen and leave Wales too far behind to escape defeat. Jonathan Laugel’s conversion on full time set the final score at 33–7.