France and Wales women met for the first time in a senior international for world ranking points, the hosts running out 14-4 winners at the Stade Albert Domec in Carcassonne.
France head coach, Romain Maillot, commented: “That was a win that reflects the work we’ve put in over the last few games. We are very pleased with our defensive attitude and we stuck to our principles. We still need to grow as a team if we’re going to make our presence felt against stronger opposition. Congratulations to Wales who didn’t give up until the last minute.”
Welsh errors in each of their first four sets in possession provided France with an extended period attacking the visitor’s line. Despite some heroic defence to keep them at bay, the pressure told in the twelfth minute, Laureane Biville scooping up a loose pass to open the scoring and finish a flowing move.
Wales were still to complete a set within the first quarter and the weight of territory told once again when hooker Dorinne Samarra dummied her way over from close range, Mahault Pommier converting to give the French a 10-0 lead at the break.
The errors continued at the start of the second period stopping the game from finding any real rhythm but on the hour mark, France showed good composure to get the ball into the hands of winger Perle Ramazeilles who went over in the corner.
A late try by one of six Welsh debutants, York’s Georgia Taylor, was reward for their efforts. Lowri Norkett-Morgan went close in the left-hand corner and the ball was spread to the right where Taylor evaded the cover.
“It’s an important learning period, putting ourselves in tough environments against seasoned opposition as we continue our preparations for World Cup qualifiers,” said Wales women head coach, Tom Brindle. “There were some good things today, and improvements we’ll be looking to make ahead of facing England at the weekend.”
Manon Samarra, Margot Canal, Christine Song Puche, Laureane Biville, Perle Ramazeilles, Mahault Pommier, Laurianne Canet, Elisa Akpa, Dorinne Sammara, Salome Segala, Ines Legout, Stecy Bessiere, Leila Bessalhi
Subs: Alice Rieunaud, Sarah Menaa, Elodie Pacull, Justine Roses.
Tries: Biville (4), D. Sammara (19), Ramazeilles (59)
Goals: Pommier 1/3
Kathryn Salter, Eleri Michael, Lowri Norkett-Morgan, Ashlea Prescott, Georgia Taylor, Carys Marsh, Rhi Parker, Sara Jones, Amy Price, Katie Carr, Bethan Dainton, Charlie Mundy, Molly Reardon
Subs: Shaunni Davies, Hannah Jones, Ffion Jenkins, Jasmine Gibbons
Try: Taylor (76)
Goals: Salter 0/1
Referee: Jordi Crespo
Half time: 10-0