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Player Ratings: France

France player ratings: With eight changes from the draw with Italy, the French needed a big performance and a record score in Cardiff against Wales will have steadied the nerves at home. There is still more to come from this French side but they will need another massive 80 minutes from their six front-row forwards to have the same kind of impact against England.

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In Nolann Le Garrec they have yet another live wire scrumhalf who can change a game and the scary thing is that he will only get better. The wonderful pair of Damian Penaud and Gael Fickou made up for some backline weaknesses from youngsters will are going to improve rapidly.

15. Léo Barré – 6
Found himself out of position for the first Welsh try but bounced back to show he could handle the high ball. Has a big boot that makes him a useful option but not the attacking force he would have wanted to be from deep.

14. Damian Penaud – 8
Wonderful running rewarded with the inevitable try-making interventions. He seems to get better every game which is difficult as he is already world-class. Gave the pass that put Fikou clear for his try and busy as always in attack and battled well for the box kicks ahead of the Welsh catchers.

13. Gaël Fickou – 8
The Rolls Royce of the French back line and his try showed his footwork and power as he left Costelow in his wake. A constant threat in the mid-field and one of the few consistent performers for France this season.

12. Nicolas Depoortère – 6
Had a nightmare for the second Welsh try as Ramos put him in a weak position. Put in a clever chip through which almost brought a first-half try and will get better with more exposure at this level.

11. Louis Bielle-Biarrey – 7
Always a threat and has real pace and wonderful footwork. He is a class performer and allied to a better and more confident outside half who gets the ball wide early then we will see even more chances for him to show his abilities with ball in hand.

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10. Thomas Ramos – 7
‘World-class kicker and a defensive problem’ sums up this player who played out of position to help the team and Wales tried to isolate him as often as possible. However, there is enough in his game to help him bounce back from his mistakes.

9. Nolann Le Garrec – 9
Great scrum half try and he grew into the game after a terrible early pass. Threw one of the reverse passes of the year in the first half which showed his skill set and his kicking was also important for the team. Antoine Dupont will be looking over his shoulder.

1. Cyril Baille – 7
Strong game in the set piece from a man who has become so reliable for his team. Didn’t make as many metres as he would have liked with ball in hand but a key man.

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2. Julien Marchand – 6
Not perfect with his line-out work but his scrum power was at the centre of the French pack’s domination of this area. He got the start this time but may miss out against England.

3. Uini Atonio – 8
Had a great first half in which he carried strongly while also giving his opposite number a real headache in the scrums and it was one of the more complete performances from the big man.

4. Thibaud Flament – 6
Not a game that saw him stand out but he competed at the line out and added his power to the scrum effort but he will have wanted to make a bigger impact after getting the jersey back.

5. Emmanuel Meafou – 7
Big and brutal and the kind of player you want to keep quiet but Wales kept kicking the restarts to him and he loved running them back. Was a real physical problem for Wales and his scrummaging was also important.

6. François Cros – 7
Is a useful line-out option and can be relied on to do the donkey work that helps the backs look good. Won a crucial turnover but missed a vital tackle on Dyer that led to the wing scoring.

7. Charles Ollivon – 6
Got more into the contest as the match wore on and it was another of those hard-nosed, clever performances from the flanker who made way in the second half as he tired.

8. Grégory Alldritt (captain) – 7
The glue that ensures the back row operates well and led by example, carrying hard and looking to offload at all times. Was still putting in the hard yards in attack and defence at the final whistle.

Replacements:

16. Peato Mauvaka – 6
There is a slim difference between the hookers in the squad but he shaded it adding to the scrum power

17. Sébastien Taofifénua – 6
Came and on kept up the scrum pressure and was active in the loose.

18. Georges-Henri Colombe – 8
A try, a turnover and also a big shift in the scrum what a talent.

19. Romain Taofifénua – 7
A charge-down try from the big man and his power from lock was also important.

20. Alexandre Roumat – 6
Line out option that was used and is like his father a mobile big man.

21. Paul Boudehent – 5
Not able to make a significant impact but added to the breakdown mess.

22. Maxime Lucu – 6
Physical option at scrum half and was able to use his boot to clear the lines.

23. Yoram Moefana – 5
Joined the late defensive action and also put pressure on the Welsh ball carriers.

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