It promised to be a ‘Super Saturday’ unlike any other and it’s safe to say it delivered after an absolute barnstormer as France cruelly denied Wales the Grand Slam with a last-gasp try at Stade De France, leaving themselves in the title mix with a rearranged game against Scotland to come in Paris next week.
It’s not over for Wales yet, they could still win the Six Nations Championship if France fail to beat Scotland with a bonus point next Friday and even if Les Bleus are victorious with a bonus point, Wales could still win on points difference. None of that will matter right now though, having been dealt such a cruel blow and so late on.
The game itself was an absolute delight for the neutral and will likely go down as one of the greatest Six Nations ties ever seen.
The first half set the tone for the upcoming thriller from the offset with Wales going toe-to-toe throughout a thrilling first 40 minutes. The score was deadlocked going into the break at 17-17, with both sides scoring two tries apiece with Romain Taofifenua and Antoine Dupont's being matched by Dan Biggar and Josh Navidi.
The second-half of the tie will most likely go down in Six Nations’ folklore. Referee Luke Pearce was a busy man across the night but none more so than in the game's pivotal closing stages. First, France second-row Paul Willemse red carded for touching the eyes of Wales prop Alun Wyn Jones, cancelling out Brice Dulin’s try in the process.
Then the game was turned on its head when France finished with the man advantage for the final eight minutes after Taulupe Faletau and Liam Williams were both sin-binned and gave Wales’ first two yellow cards of the entire tournament. Wales were defending a 10-point advantage, but tries from captain Charles Ollivon and Dulin's late intervention left Wayne Pivac's side stunned.
Speaking after the game, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones told the BBC, "I thought we were pretty good for 80 minutes but it was just those dying seconds. Our ill discipline brought a lot of pressure on.
"Credit to France for those last 15 minutes. When we look back, the discipline brought the pressure on as well as superb French play.
"We knew what was at stake; it's not in our hands now. We invited that pressure on, credit to how France played.
"We are proud and privileged to get on with it, and win the Triple Crown, but there was more at stake. Hopefully we made people at home proud, but it is out of our hands now."
It’s not over for Wales yet, who were absolutely brilliant tonight despite the defeat, but this one will definitely sting for a while.