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Sport The France v Wales winners and losers as Louis Rees-Zammit cameo gives exciting glimpse of the future

17:20  25 october  2020
17:20  25 october  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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Louis Rees - Zammit (born 2 February 2001) is a Welsh rugby union player who plays on the wing for Gloucester in the English Premiership.

Gloucester wing Louis Rees - Zammit gives Wales an injury scare ahead of the Six Nations after limping off in the first half of Gloucester's Champions Cup clash with Toulouse. Louis Rees - Zammit is the youngest Premiership player to score a hat-trick of tries.

Saturday evening proved difficult for Wales in Paris as France ran in five tries en route to an emphatic 38-21 success.

The reverse was the fourth in a row for Wayne Pivac’s team.

A bright start promised much but proved a false dawn against opponents who boasted physicality up front and class and pace behind. It leaves Pivac with problems to solve ahead of the Six Nations clash with Scotland in Llanelli this coming weekend.

MARK ORDERS assesses the winners and losers...

Winners

Louis Rees-Zammit

It only lasted for a few seconds, but it was a sight that would have gladdened the spirits of many in this part of the world on a dispiriting night for the Wales team.

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Wales hopeful Louis Rees - Zammit hopes to hold on to top spot in the English Premiership try-scoring table after scoring his eighth in nine Gloucester games. Rees - Zammit was part of Wayne Pivac's squad for the 2020 Six Nations but did not feature in the opening four games of the competition.

Just how good is this superstar? An amazing December from the youngster has seen him earn player of the month! Subscribe and never miss the action

Louis-Rees Zammit received a pass and effortlessly moved up the gears, displaying the acceleration and poise which helped win him the Rugby Players’ Association best young player award for 2019-20.

He made 20 metres before passing inside.

OK, the world didn’t stop spinning, but a young player has to start somewhere and this was Rees-Zammit offering a dot of hope for the future.

His composure augured well.

Wales' missing stars

Adam Beard, Dewi Lake, Liam Williams. You could also throw in the name of Kieran Williams, who also played well for his region on Saturday.

But so far Wales haven’t shown any sign of piloting him into their squad.

The other three are different.

On Friday evening, Liam Williams was involved in the kind of rugby match that would have made William Webb-Ellis wonder why he picked up the ball and ran with it in the first place! Benetton v Scarlets was an absolute shocker, with little creative play to commend it.

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Последние твиты от Louis Rees - Zammit ⚡️ (@LouisReesZammit). Professional Rugby Player For @Gloucesterrugby Represented by @engagesport. @premrugby PLAYER OF THE MONTH @LouisReesZammit has been named the @premrugby Player of the Month for December!

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What inspiration there was came from Williams.

Enough to propel him back in to the Wales team mix? That’ll depend on how much value Wayne Pivac attaches to the run-out in northern Italy and whether much can be read into it.

Beard and Lake were to the fore for the Ospreys in the 23-15 win over Glasgow Warriors. Lake still needs to work on his lineout accuracy, but Wayne Pivac and Jonathan Humphreys should sit down and watch the tape of his effort at the Liberty Stadium.

He’s a player who can ruin opposition attacks with key turnovers and he carried and tackled with immense power against Glagsow. Again: another plus for the future.

Beard was named the official man of the match.

His was a big display of character crowned by a number of key interventions.

Call it a nudge to the ribs of those who left him out of Wales’ autumn squad.

Shaun Edwards

He will not have taken great pleasure out of beating Wales for the second time in eight months, but, still, Shaun Edwards is a professional coach and he will be delighted at the appetite for defence France’s players are showing.

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Adopted on September 3, 1791, France ’s first written constitution echoed the more moderate voices in the Assembly, establishing a constitutional The event marked the end of the French Revolution and the beginning of the Napoleonic era, in which France would come to dominate much of continental

They returned a 91 percent tackle success rate against Wayne Pivac’s side, with Bernard Le Roux, Charles Ollivon and Gregory Alldritt showing the way.

Meantime, Wales were ripped open by French attackers for five tries.

Were he still in charge of the Welsh defence, that would have saddened Edwards.

But with every passing game, how much he contributed to the set-up is being double underlined.

a group of baseball players playing a football game: France defence coach Shaun Edwards has made a huge impact on Les Bleus © Huw Evans Picture Agency France defence coach Shaun Edwards has made a huge impact on Les Bleus

French flair

Paris can be a magical place under lights, a point the French backs seemed keen to underline.

Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack and Virimi Vakatawa reminded us that rugby can be a sport to marvel at as they contributed moments of rare class, with Dupont, in particular, having an extraordinary game.

Wales couldn’t reply in kind or in any other kind of way.

Sometimes, a beaten team has to stand back and admit the opposition were simply too good.

Alun Wyn Jones

The Wales captain is not a man who accepts defeat glibly and the certainty is he won’t feel like a winner today.

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I always feel a sense of excitement as I turn. 19._to the corner and the tall floodlights come into view at the top of the main. 20._stand of the stadium. By the time we will get to the stadium, there are big. 21. _enough crowds, all heading in the same direction.

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But his response after copping a nasty elbow to the face from Bernard Le Roux — the organisers of the Cheap Shot of the Year award are already believed to be considering its merits for a potential podium placing — said much about the man.

“That's for other people to look at,” Jones said when quizzed about the incident.

"I'm just focusing on the game."

On a night when there wasn’t much to admire about the Welsh effort, there was something quietly admirable about the skipper’s refusal to bleat.

Sam Parry/Dillon Lewis

Parry lost the ball in contact at one point but made an impact overall.

He’s a powerful specimen who turns over opposition ball and he looked quite at home in the international arena.

Lewis? Very busy around the field and a plus on the night, though Tomas Francis’ availability for next Saturday will heighten the competition at tight-head.

Losers

The Welsh defence

They were once viewed as one of world rugby’s meanest teams, a Scrooge-like bunch who begrudged opponents even the slightest on-pitch charity.

No longer.

Wales have conceded 15 tries over their last four games and something has to be done if they are to move forward.

Are the opposition touchdowns arriving largely because of systemic defensive errors or individual failings?

Whatever, defence chief Byron Hayward has some job on his hands.

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a group of people playing football on a field: The Wales defence goes missing as France captain Charles Ollivon races clear to score © AP The Wales defence goes missing as France captain Charles Ollivon races clear to score

Samson Lee

He picked up a bump to the head and so has to undergo the relevant injury protocols this week, leaving his availability for selection against Scotland in some doubt.

It’s a shame for Lee, who had been making his return to the Test arena.

He's due a break.

Bernard Le Roux

We await with interest what sanctions, if any, await the France second row after the incident that saw him appear to elbow Alun Wyn Jones in the face.

Le Roux could argue rugby is a rough-and-tumble game that comes with bumps and bruises.

But cheap shots do no one any favours — neither the bloke dishing them out with the reputational damage he then has, nor the poor sap or saps on the wrong end of such deeds.

Close scrutiny of the Le Roux-Jones incident is needed, then.

But at first glance it didn’t look good, and we are talking understatement there.

Wales' aerial game

Wales are usually good at the aerial stuff.

In the past, they’ve even had the better of the likes of Ireland and Australia at it.

But on Saturday evening Dan Biggar, Josh Adams and Leigh Halfpenny dropped kicks, and when your three best kick receivers are struggling to deal with opposition bombs you know it's going to be a long 80 minutes.

What can be done?

Well, Liam Williams’ Twitter bio contains the line “professional bomb defuser for Llanelli Scarlets and WRU”.

Is he ready to resume at Test level yet after so long out? That is the question.

But, moving forward, he’s a heck of a player to have as an option.

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