Live Commentary: Rugby World Cup - Wales vs. France

Live Commentary: Wales vs. France
© PA Photos
Live commentary of the Rugby World Cup semi-final between Wales and France.

Welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of this Rugby World Cup semi-final clash between Wales and France. Warren Gatland has relied on the Welsh youth so far this tournament and his gamble has paid off. Young players such as captain Sam Warburton, winger George North and number eight Toby Faletau have impressed critics and devastated opposition.

France, meanwhile, have been surrounded by criticism from both the press and fans. Marc Lievremont's selection choices may not have served France well in the pool stage, but last weekend something clicked and Les Bleus dispatched England with relative ease. This is Wales's first semi-final since the inaugural tournament in 1987 and they go into this match as favourites. France, however, should never be underestimated.

Follow all the action below.

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01min: Here we go! Wales kick off and France hand Wales a line-out deep into the French half.

02min: First scrum of the day results in a penalty to Les Bleus.

03min: France push up to win a scrum in the Welsh 22.

05min: Penalty to Wales on the half-way line. Hook boots for touch.

08min: Another penalty to Wales and this one looks kickable. Hook makes it. Wales 3-0 France.

09min: Adam Jones limps off to be replaced by Paul James.

12min: Welsh scrum results in a penalty. It looks easy enough, but James Hook drifts it just wide.

13min: Wales with a dangerous attack down the line. George North is nudged into touch.

14min: Adam Jones is suffering a calf strain. The big man looks devastated.

16min: Jamie Roberts breaks the French defence but an offload bounces off his supporting player's face.

17min: Warburton with a massive tackle on Vincent Clerc, who remains on the floor. Red card.

20min: Penalty to France in the Welsh 22. Morgan Parra slots it through. Wales 3-3 France.

24min: Yachvili breaks and a chip is gathered by Leigh Halfpenny. A Hook clearance is charged down and France are inches from the line.

26min: France knock-on to force a defensive penalty in the Welsh 22. Jamie Roberts is covering at flanker.

30min: Penalty to Wales just into the French half. James Hook boots it wide.

31min: A cross-field kick nearly finds Shane Williams, but France touch it down for a 22 drop-out.

34min: Penalty to France in the Welsh half. Parra slots it down the middle to take the lead for the first time. Wales 3-6 France.

36min: Knock-on gives Wales their first attacking scrum since losing Warburton. They win it, but only just.

38min: Wales on the pick and drive, edging closer to the French line. It goes back to Hook for a drop goal but the number 10 hoofs it low and short.

40min: HALF-TIME. How quickly the complexion of a match can change. Wales have lost two of their best players to injury and a questionable red card. Adam Jones is being sorely missed in the scrum, and Sam Warburton's presence at the breakdown was one of Wales's biggest assets. France look like they're biding their time.

40min: SECOND HALF UNDERWAY. It will be a huge task for Wales if they are to squeeze out a win. Fitness and keeping their cool in defence will be key.

41min: Parra slices a drop goal attempt just wide.

44min: Shane Williams knocks-on to hand France a scrum in the Welsh half. The French change up their front row.

46min: France come close but Toby Faletau forces a turnover. Stephen Jones replaces James Hook at 10 to win his 103rd cap.

50min: A big French maul results in a penalty on the Welsh 22 line. Parra makes it three from three. Wales 3-9 France.

53min: Wales are struggling to take possession out of their own half. An extended game of aerial ping pong gives Wales a line-out.

55min: Ryan Jones comes on for Dan Lydiate.

56min: Kicking pressure from Wales forces a line-out just outside the French 22. Wales pick and drive.

58min: TRY! Mike Phillips breaks down the line and goes over in the corner. Stephen Jones can't convert. Wales 8-9 France.

60min: Wales are on the attack again and the French look stunned. Jones attempts a drop goal but it's deflected off players.

62min: Attacking scrum to Wales in the French 22 but it is struggling to set properly.

63min: Wales break from the scrum and attack. Ryan Jones is bundled into touch.

65min: France's kicking game is pushing Wales back into their own half.

69min: Wales's pick and drive edges over the half-way line. Jones makes a massive kick into the French 22.

71min: A clearing kick from Yachvili hands Wales a line-out and they win it. Pick and drive now and Wales set up for a drop goal.

72min: France win a penalty in their own 22. They kick to touch down to the half-way line.

74min: Wales have a penalty on the half-way line. Halfpenny to take. It falls under.

76min: Roberts tries to break down the wing but is pushed into touch.

78min: Wales push forward into the French half.

79min: They advance inch by inch on the pick and drive.

80min: Time is up and Wales are still going through the phases.

80min:FULL TIME. Wales lose the ball and France kick it out. This match will make the headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. France will advance to the finals and the whole of Wales will feel a huge sense of injustice. Wales 8-9 France.

James Hook
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