MX23RW : Friday, September 21 18:07:38

Result: Wales 8-9 France

Result: Wales 8-9 France
© PA Photos
France manage to hold off a strong Welsh performance to progress to the final of the Rugby World Cup.

France are through to the Rugby World Cup final after edging past Wales in Auckland.

Wales began the game brightly and took an early three-point lead via the boot of centre James Hook and continued their early domination until captain Sam Warburton was sent off.

The 23-year-old flanker was adjudged by referee Alain Rolland to have dangerously tackled Vincent Clerc as he lifted the winger off the floor with a mighty hit.

England's conquerers France then began to have more possession of the ball and edged ahead at half-time thanks to two Morgan Parra penalties.

The lead was extended with Parra again, sending a kick between the posts before the Welsh scored the first try of the game.

Fly-half Mike Phillips broke through the French defensive line to break clear and leap over the try line but Stephen Jones missed the resulting conversion to leave the Welsh just one point adrift.

The Welsh continued to press the French despite their one-man disadvantage but were unable to score.

France will now face the winner of tomorrow's second semi-final between Australia and New Zealand.

> Live Commentary: Wales vs. France

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