Six Nations: French flop gifts Kiwi Wayne Pivac championship at Wales helm

With former Auckland coach Wayne Pivac at the helm, Wales have claimed their second Six Nations title in three years, with France losing 27-23 to Scotland in the last game of the championship.

France looked set to win their fourth match, when they won the ball in the last play in stoppage time, only for Brice Dulin to run with it, instead of kicking it out, in an ill-advised attempt to secure a fourth-try bonus point.

Dulin had scored the decisive try in last Saturday's dramatic 32-30 victory against Wales. 

'Les Bleus', who scored tries through Dulin, Damian Penaud and Swan Rebbadj, lost it again and Scotland went on to score a last-gap try through Duhan van Der Merwe to seal victory.

The result still left Scotland in fourth place, despite beating England at Twickenham and France in Paris, just behind Ireland on points difference with 15 competition points.

Wales have 20 points from four wins, with France, who needed a win by 21 points and with a bonus point to leapfrog them for their first title since 2010, second on 16 points.

England are fifth on 10 points, with Italy taking the wooden spoon having lost all their games, without a bonus.

Scotland needed to win by eight points for their highest finish in the championship since they won the last Five Nations in 1999.

They came up just short, but left the pitch with pride, after Van der Merwe's two tries, another by David Cherry, and points from the boots of Finn Russell and Adam Hastings.

With the game being played outside the international window, coach Greg Townsend could select only five players from English clubs, meaning former Crusader Sean Maitland and prop Jamie Bhatti missed out.

Both teams resorted to kicks early on and France were the first to score, through Romain Ntamack's penalty.

But they found themselves facing a higher mountain to climb, when Scotland moved 7-3 ahead, as van der Merwe picked the ball from a ruck and touched down, with Russell converting.

Russell added another penalty.

Les Bleus made basic errors and could only see Scotland's try line from a distance, until Dulin dived over, after being found on the inside by Damian Penaud, as France were rewarded for a long domination spell.

Scotland paid for their ill-discipline, with a Stuart Hogg yellow card on the stroke of halftime.

After a first foiled attempt, France grabbed the second try, when Penaud grabbed Virimi Vakatawa's brilliant offload, before chipping it over and touching down to extend the lead to eight points.

But the visitors went ahead again with a penalty and a try by Cherry, who leapt over from a maul, before Russell converted.

France hit back, when Antoine Dupont set up Rebbadj close to the line.

Russell was then sent off with nine minutes left for elbowing Penaud in the throat, but France lost their advantage, when replacement scrumhalf Baptiste Serin was sin-binned three minutes later.

Dulin lost the plot in stoppage time for a memorable error that gave Scotland a last chance, which they made a feast of, as Van der Merwe managed to dive over in the corner.

"I'm so proud of the team," says coach Gregor Townsend, a tryscorer in Scotland's last Paris win 22 years ago. "We've come here with a bit of adversity, not a full squad, got an injury on Wednesday, got a red card, yellow card and we've had to come back against a very, very good side.

"They showed courage, togetherness, determination and skill to win, so it was a great end to a really promising season for us."

Regarding the last gasp assault, he says: "It took a lot of knocking on the door, which is credit for France's defence, but the players found a way.

"I'm so proud of them and even though we've finished fourth' it feels like one of our best-ever seasons.

"Over the last two years, we've been competitive in every game and the players will take confidence from that."

By guiding Wales to the crown, Pivac has achieved something World Cup-winning All Blacks coaches Sir Graham Henry and Sir Steve Hansen could not during their respective tenures with the same team.

After steering Auckland to national titles in 2002-03, as well as the Ranfurly Shield, the former Takapuna policeman helped Fiji to a World Cup Sevens crown and succeeded Warren Gatland as Wales coach, after taking Scarlets to PRO12 success.

Former All Blacks hooker Gatland presided over four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, from 2007-19.