9 Oct 2011

France beat England to book Wales semi-final

5:06 am on 9 October 2011

France will meet Wales in the first semi-final of the Rugby World Cup after beating England and Ireland respectively in their quarter-final matches.

At Eden Park France beat England 19-12 and in Wellington, Wales beat Ireland 22-10.

Seven days ago France were awful in their loss to Tonga, on Saturday night they were superb against England.

Attacking wide the French scored two first-half tries to Vincent Clerc and Maxime Médard to lead 16-0 at half-time.

They then defended well for the majority of the second half, conceding 2 tries, but holding on for another of those giant-killing victories they're known for at the World Cup.

Earlier Wales produced superior pace, power and purpose to beat Ireland 22-10 to reach their first semi-final since the inaugural tournament in 1987.

The Welsh scored three tries to one and while Ireland threatened in the second half they made too many mistakes to challenge.