Women's Rugby World Cup 2014: France 26-0 Wales

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport in Marcoussis, France
Wales scrum-half Amy Day tackles France full-back Caroline Ladagnous
Wales scrum-half Amy Day tackles France full-back Caroline Ladagnous

Wales began their Women's Rugby World Cup campaign with a 26-0 defeat by hosts France in Marcoussis.

Two tries from wing Marion Lievre and one for centre Shannon Izar gave the home side a 19-0 half-time lead.

Despite a spirited effort from Wales, Elodie Poublan scored a late fourth try to give France a bonus-point victory.

Defeat is a blow for Wales' hopes of reaching the semi-finals, with only the three pool winners and the best runners-up making the last four.

To have any chance of progressing Wales must win their next match on Tuesday against Australia, who beat South Africa earlier on Friday.

As hosts and reigning Six Nations champions, France have been touted as one of the favourites for the World Cup and they were expected to make light work of Wales.

Les Bleus swept Wales aside earlier this year, although Rhys Edwards' side battled valiantly in a frantic opening quarter on Friday.

Their initial good work was undone, however, when fly-half Elinor Snowsill's pass was intercepted by Lievre, who ran the length of the field for the opening try midway through the first half.

Buoyed by the breakthrough, France began to play with more freedom and scored two tries in quick succession shortly before the break through Izar and Lievre.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, Wales digging deep to thwart France' attempts to claim a bonus point-clinching fourth try.

But their resistance was broken in the dying minutes as replacement Poublan dived over in the corner to secure for France what could prove to be a precious bonus point.

France: Caroline Ladagnous; Marion Lievre, Shannon Izar, Marjorie Mayans, Camille Grassineau: Sandrine Agricole, Jennifer Troncy; Helene Ezanno, Gaelle Mignot, Christelle Chobet, Marine De Nadai, Assa Koita, Coumba Diallo, Laetitia Grand, Safi N'Diaye.

Replacements: Lise Arricastre, Elodie Portaries, Manon Andre, Koumiba Djossouvi, Elodie Poublan, Christelle Le Duff, Yanna Rivoalen.

Wales: Laurie Harries; Adriana Taviner, Elen Evans, Rebecca De Filippo, Philippa Tuttiett; Elinor Snowsill, Amy Day; Caryl Thomas, Lowri Harries, Megan York, Jenny Hawkins, Shona Powell-Hughes, Catrina Nicholas, Rachel Taylor, Sioned Harries.

Replacements: Carys Phillips , Jenny Davies, Catrin Edwards, Nia Davies, Sian Moore, Robyn Wilkins, Dyddgu Hywel.

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