I’d made the Sunday dash to Oita to watch Wales and France engage in a desperate struggle to see who was the worst. It was France, if only because of that weird and dreadful elbow to the head which rightfully earned a red card for Sebastien Vahaamahina.
Weird because the French usually save that stuff for the dark recesses of a ruck or maul, rather than in plain sight.
Neither team played well, with the kicking out of hand the worst of it. Punt, catch, punt, catch. You might have heard Ned from the stands yelling “It’s not soccer!”, but apparently the players didn’t. You might also have heard my advice to Jaco Peyper that the French were rarely put onside after those kicks. He didn’t either.
That Wales scraped a win with a converted try in the final few minutes, after playing against 14 men for 25 minutes, is all you need to know about their prospects in the semi-final.
Dim to non-existent.