How the world media reacted to Wales' dramatic 20-19 Rugby World Cup quarter-final win over France in Oita:

Two contentious moments overshadowed what was an otherwise enthralling clash between the Welsh and French, according to some of the world's leading media organisations.

The sending off of French lock Sebastien Vahaamahina for an elbow to an opponent's face in the 49th minute, followed by the controversial match-winning try with a little over five minutes left to play marred the Welsh victory - in a cruel reversal of the 2011 battle between the two Northern Hemisphere heavyweights.

The result sees Wales advance to the final four where they will meet either South Africa or hosts Japan.

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WalesOnline said the Dragons managed to "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat" and acknowledged the red card shown to Vahaamahina was the turning point.

"Wales somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to reach a World Cup semi-final with a dramatic win over France.

"When Ross Moriarty was sent to the sin-bin 90 seconds after coming on as a first-half replacement, the tide swung back in favour of the French. Virimi Vakatawa went over to extend their lead at the break.

"However, a red card for Vahaamahina for a shocking elbow on Wainwright looked to have turned the tables - only for France to produce a defensive display that frustrated Wales."

Wales take sensational victory over France after moment of madness. Video / Spark Sport

According to the UK Telegraph, the Six Nations champions staged a "stunning fightback" to win a gripping quarter-final.

Ross Moriarty's 74th-minute try led to an agonising wait, however, with replays suggesting the ball travelled marginally forward from a stripping tackle before Wales picked up the loose ball on the full and scored the decisive try on the next phase.

"A Wales win looked unlikely for long periods as an often flamboyant and brilliant French team dominated. But the game changed course after Les Bleus lock Sebastien Vahaamahina was sent off in the 48th minute for elbowing Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright in the face," The Telegraph said.

Ross Moriarty of Wales scores his team's second try. Photo / Getty Images
Ross Moriarty of Wales scores his team's second try. Photo / Getty Images

Respected British journalist Paul Eddison called the Moriarty try a "shocker of a call".

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Eddison had a go at South African referee Jaco Peyper and his assistants for awarding the five-pointer.

"I wonder whether France would have held on for those last five minutes. Probably not, but they have gone out to a shocker of a call there. Vahaamahina takes most of the blame, but if you're not giving that forward, then you shouldn't be reffing World Cup knockout games."

Australia's news.com.au also lamented the decision, saying the moment overshadowed the Vahaamahina "brain snap".

"France was devastated after bravely defending with 14-men for more than half an hour before the controversial strip finally broke their backs."

Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones acknowledges the crowd. Photo / Getty Images
Welsh captain Alun Wyn Jones acknowledges the crowd. Photo / Getty Images

The call was also questioned by several social media users, including former England test outside back Ugo Monye.


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