Wales denied historic Six Nations Grand Slam win after crushing late defeat to France in Paris

Wales have missed the chance to win their first Six Nations Grand Slam on away soil in 50 years, after a crushing late defeat at the hands of France.

Their Six Nations hopes, however, do remain alive although it is out of their hands.

Wayne Pivac’s side put in a valiant effort in what was an extraordinary, nerve-shredding contest, as they chased yet more success in the competition and attempted to win their fifth Grand Slam in the Six Nations era. 

Although after a storming campaign that took many fans and pundits alike by surprise, the Grand Slam was just not to be for Wales at the Stade de France.

Adam Beard attempts to stop France's Antoine Dupont Credit: PA Images

France took the lead early on through a converted try, Romain Taofifénua making an intense early spell of French attacking play count before Matthieu Jalibert converted.

Although it did not take long for Wales to hit back with a converted try of their own courtesy of Dan Biggar.

Antoine Dupont, a real threat in the French side, then quickly restored his side's lead after a clever piece of play opened up space for a clear cross.

It was shaping up to be a seriously pulsating, end-to-end contest; both sides clearly wanted this.

Again Wayne Pivac's side were quick to respond, Josh Navidi finding a way through the French defence for another try then converted by Biggar; 14-14 with less than 20 minutes played.

Dan Biggar scores Wales' first try in their clash against France Credit: PA Images

Dan Biggar was again involved as his side took the lead for the first time in the evening, his penalty edging Wales in front.

Substitute Romain Ntamack levelled the scores through a penalty. There was to be no mistaking how much this colossal clash meant to both sides.

The second half began much like the first, Wales came out the blocks early on and again edged themselves in front through another Dan Biggar penalty.

Josh Adams then scored another try after some neat work and an exchange with Tomos Williams.

Dan Biggar converted the try to open up a ten point lead.

France, in what was becoming something of a theme in this clash, hit back almost instantly, Ntamack's penalty reducing the deficit.

Jonathan Davies kicks clear as Wales opened up a lead over France in the second half Credit: PA Images

In what looked to be a decisive moment in the match, France were temporarily reduced to 14 men after Mohamed Haouas received a yellow for illegally bringing down a Welsh maul.

Dan Biggar put the resulting penalty over to restore Wales' ten-point lead. It had begun to look like this would be Wales' night in the French capital.

But a sustained wave of French pressure eventually counted, Brice Dulin scoring France's third try of the evening; Wales' lead reduced to five points with 14 minutes to play.

Although, in this breathless encounter, it looked as though the French comeback effort was at risk of imploding.

Lock Paul Willemse was sent off for making contact with Wyn Jones' eye, and in the process that led to Brice Dulin's try being disallowed for foul play.

Credit: PA Images

But it was not to be so simple, this was to be the tensest of endings to this Grand Slam bid.

Charles Ollivon's late try brought France to within touching distance of sealing their comeback, it was clearly not going to be a finale for the faint-hearted.

As France mounted pressure and desperately went for the win, Wales buckled and conceded a penalty for sealing off at a ruck.

And then, in the dying minutes of this unbelievable contest, France worked themselves into a try-scoring position before Brice Dulin broke Welsh hearts; France clinching the win by 32 points to 30.

France take on Scotland next week and will be crowned Six Nations champions if they secure a bonus point win.

Wales could still win the title on points difference, although after France's performance on Saturday night many will think the title is theirs for the taking.