WELSH hearts were broken in Paris on Saturday night as a last-gasp try from Brice Dulin sealed an epic 32-30 bonus point win for France - to deny captain Alun Wyn Jones his record fourth Grand Slam, and revive the hosts’ own Six Nations Championship hopes.

With 10 minutes to go, Wales were 10 points ahead, with Paul Willemse having just been shown the red card for France - but yellows for Taulupe Faletau and Liam Williams were followed by a converted try by captain Charles Ollivon to set up a grandstand finish.

Wales’ 13 men dug deep in the closing stages, and when France knocked on, they had 90 seconds to navigate with the ball – but when replacement Corey Hill conceded a penalty for sealing off, France kicked to touch and Dulin ultimately stole victory at the death.

It was of little consolation that Wales remain five points clear at the top of the table, having played their final game, whilst France host Scotland in Paris next Friday needing to win by 21 points, along with a bonus point to steal the title from Wayne Pivac’s men.

All that felt academic on Saturday, as this match was all about the achieving an unexpected Grand Slam - and to be denied their fifth successive win in the final play of a remarkable campaign was all-the-more heart-breaking for Wales Pivac’s men in the city of romance.

A fascinating match had seen the two sides locked at 17-17 at the interval, with Romain Taofifenua and Antoine Dupont's tries being matched by scores by Dan Biggar and Josh Navidi, with Biggar and Romain Ntamack each slotting both conversions and a penalty.

A flying start from France had seen prop Cyril Baille driven over the Wales line, but scrum-half Gareth Davies managed to deny the prop - but when Paul Willemse’s giant frame was propelled to within inches, Romain Taofifenua burrowed over for the opening try.

Matthieu Jalibert converted, but within a couple of minutes Davies and Louis Rees-Zammit exchanged passes from a clever set move - but the Wales number nine was brilliantly denied a try by French skipper Ollivon, after consultation with TMO Wayne Barnes.

Wales’ reply did arrive soon enough after, however, as Dan Biggar went over on the crash ball, and he converted, only for France to restore their lead when Dulin’s delightful left-footed chip bounced kindly for his fly-half, and a swift pass scrum-half Dupont go over.

Back came Wales again, with the forwards showing real intent, and back rower Navidi went over to level things up with a try, converted by the outstanding Biggar, who exchanged penalties with Ntamack to ensure it was all square at the end of a pulsating first half.

The second half started with similar tempo as Biggar slotted a penalty, before Josh Adams scrambled his way over for a try, with Biggar converting and exchanging a penalty with Ntamack- and Wales’ 10 point lead looked safe, even with Louis Rees-Zammit’s wonderful finish being scrubbed out.

The ball was deemed to have been grounded at the base of the corner flag, so play went back for the penalty, for which Mohammed Haouas was yellow carded – but the three points from Biggar should have been seven for a penalty try, for a deliberately collapsed forward drive.

This was one of several key decisions by referee Luke Pearce, with Adams’ try having been given after lengthy discussion over the grounding with TMO Wayne Barnes - but when Marchand crashed over, it was ruled that the Wales defence had held the big man up.

Full-back Dulin also went over for France, but after another lengthy look at it on the camera angles, second row Willemse was rightly red-carded for sticking his fingers into the eye of Wales prop Wyn Jones as he cleared him out at a ruck, and the try was duly disallowed.

Wales looked to be in the driving seat, but France threw caution to the wind - and under real pressure, Ollivon got over the try line, only to also be held up - but in the build-up Faletau was offside, and with Wales on a warning, he was sent to the sin bin.

Further pressure saw Liam Williams also binned for the remainder of the game, after going off his feet in France’s next possession, and when Alldritt was stopped short by an overworked Wales defence, captain Ollivon went over from a few feet out.

Ntamack converted to make it 27-30, and late indiscipline proved Wales' undoing right at the death as deep into added time, France spread the ball wide for Dulin to dramatically end Welsh dreams of a first Grand Slam secured on foreign soil since 1971.

FRANCE: Dulin; Thomas, Vakatawa, Fickou, Penaud; Jalibert, Dupont; Baille, Marchand, Haouas, Taofifenua, Willemse, Cretin, Ollivon (capt), Alldritt. Replacements: Chat for Marchand (69), Gros for Baille (59), Atonio for Alldrit (60-70), Rebbadj for Taofifenua (22), Jelonch for Cretin (51), Serin, Ntamack for Jalibert (30), Vincent for Thomas (57), Serin for Dupont (74).

WALES: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, J Davies, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; W Jones, Owens, Francis, Beard, AW Jones (capt), Navidi, Tipuric, Faletau. Replacements: Dee for Owens (68), Smith for W Jones (77), Brown for Francis (68), Hill for Beard (57), Botham for Navidi (77), T Williams for G Davies (49), Sheedy for Biggar (68), Halaholo for J Davies (68).

Match officials: Referee: Luke Pearce (England). Touch judges: Matthew Carley (England) and Christophe Ridley (England). TMO: Wayne Barnes (England).