Six Nations Rugby | French Grand Slam makers over the years
Fabien Galthié’s men have so far swept through Italy, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with only England standing in the way of a possible hit.
However, Grand Slam tournaments are never easy, with many thrilling rugby matches in the final round of matches over the years as Grand Slam hopes have been both dashed and dramatically realized.
Here are some of France’s top Grand Slam makers.
2010 – France 12 England 10
The last French Grand Slam, which took place more than ten years ago, was decided during a nervous and exciting encounter at the Stade de France.
England were unable to win the championship after losing to Ireland and drawing Scotland, but fought hard to try and deprive France of their first Grand Slam in six years.
François Trinh-Duc opened the scoring with a drop goal before Ben Foden put England ahead with a try a few minutes later.
However, a dominating French scrum allowed Morgan Parra’s trusty boot to propel France to Grand Slam victory despite a penalty from Jonny Wilkinson creating a nervous ending.
2004 – France 24 England 21
Heading into the final day of the 2004 Six Nations, France and England had a shot at winning the championship.
France knew victory would secure a Grand Slam while England needed to win by eight points to snatch the title from Paris.
Dimitri Yachvili’s boot pushed France forward before he struck beautifully to play off Imanol Harinordoquy to score the opening try and put the hosts ahead 10-0.
Yachvili then scored his own brilliant try as France led 21-3 at half-time, but England launched a second-half comeback through tries from Ben Cohen and Josh Lewsey but it wasn’t enough because France won the championship and the Grand Slam.
2002 – France 44 Ireland 5
England had been denied the Grand Slam in their last match in 1999, 2000 and 2001, and it was ultimately France who won the first Slam of the Six Nations era.
This was almost finished within half an hour, Serge Betsen going over after two minutes and then Nicolas Brusque and Aurélien Rougerie helping to make it 25-5 after 31 minutes.
Gérald Merceron kicked penalties either side of the half, racking up 16 points in all, and Betsen and Brusque added to their scores in the first half as France eventually clinched victory.
1998 – Wales 0 France 51
France contested their second consecutive Grand Slam with a superb whitewash against Wales at Wembley.
Tries from Fabien Galthié, Stéphane Glas, Thomas Lievremont and braces from Xavier Garbajosa and Jean-Luc Sadourny saw the Blues crowned in style to win back-to-back Grand Slams.
But it was Thomas Castaignède, in his bleached blond hair, who pulled the strings under the Wembley sun.
1997 – France 47 Scotland 20
France sealed their first Grand Slam in ten years by comfortably beating Scotland on the final day of the 1997 Championship in Paris.
The crucial match had come a fortnight earlier as France fought back 20-6 at Twickenham against England to win 23-30.
Christophe Lamaison scored a try, two conversions, two penalties and a lost goal to inspire France to a stunning comeback and keep the Grand Slam dream alive.
Those dreams then came true two weeks later as France went 47 points ahead of Scotland thanks to tries from Abdelatif Benazzi, Olivier Magne, Laurent Leflamand and Franck Tournaire.
1991 – England 21 France 19
Both teams entered the final round of matches, setting up a thrilling final where either team could walk away as Grand Slam champions at Twickenham.
England had come close to the title in previous years and eventually won the championship thanks to a try from Rory Underwood and the boots of Simon Hodgkinson and Rob Andrew.
The game also saw Twickenham’s try of the century, as Philippe Saint-André went under the posts to complete a superb French move that started on their own try line.
1987 – Ireland 13 France 19
France won their second Grand Slam of the decade with a win over Ireland at Lansdowne Road.
Ireland were still unbeaten at this point but still had one game to play against Wales, but were beaten by France thanks to two tries from Éric Champ and the boot from Phillipe Bérot, who would finish the championship as the top points scorer.
1984 – Scotland 21 France 12
1984 was only the second time the two teams faced each other in the last round of fixtures, both unbeaten.
The Grand Slam was on the line at Murrayfield as France sought to win their second Grand Slam in four years.
However, they were blocked by a Scottish side who won only their second Grand Slam and their first in 59 years.
Peter Dods kicked five penalties and converted James Calder’s try to secure victory and prevent France despite Jerome Gallion’s try.
1981 – England 12 France 16
France sealed their third Grand Slam at Twickenham by overtaking England.
Two tries were key as Pierre Lacans and Laurent Pardo came over the line, while England were limited to just four penalties from Marcus Rose’s boot.
Lacans surged after recovering a superb offload to put France 9-0 ahead, and Pardo then crossed the line to complete a flowing move.
He sealed a famous victory for France at the home of rugby to secure their seventh title and a historic Grand Slam
1978 – Wales 16 France 7
It was the first time that two teams had faced each other on the final day of the championship, with both teams still in a position to win a Grand Slam.
The game proved to be one of the absolute classics, with Wales eventually claiming victory and sealing a famous Grand Slam.
France took the lead with a try from Jean-Claude Skrela before Wales replied with two tries from Phil Bennett to complete an inspired response from Gareth Edwards.
1977 – Ireland 6 France 15
The Blues sealed a second Grand Slam with victory over Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 1977.
A try from Jean-Pierre Bastiat was the difference as France sealed their sixth league title.
France also achieved the feat of winning all four games with the same 15 players, a feat that had never been achieved before and has never been achieved since.
1968 – Wales 9 France 14
The first-ever French Grand Slam dates back to 1968, sealing the deal with a 14-9 win over Wales in Cardiff.
Lilian Camberabero and Christian Carrère’s tries in tandem with Guy Camberabero’s kicks were enough for France to remain unbeaten for the first time since entering the tournament in 1910.
It also meant back-to-back championships for France under coach Jean Prat after also winning the championship in 1967.
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