Maxime Lucu of France celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s fifth try. Getty

France put in a dominant second half performance to earn a 45-24 bonus point victory over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday in a seesaw contest in which the lead changed hands numerous times before the visitors pulled away in the final 20 minutes.

France’s five tries came via centre Gael Fickou, scrum-halves Nolann Le Garrec and Maxime Lucu, prop Georges-Henri Colombe and Romain Taofifenua. While it was a far from perfect performance, under pressure coach Fabien Galthie will be relieved with the win.

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Wales have now been victorious in only one of their last 12 Six Nations matches but were in the game for an hour as they scored tries through wing Rio Dyer, scrum-half Tomos Williams and centre Joe Roberts. They have lost all four games in this year’s championship.

France move to 11 points from their four games, five behind leaders Ireland.

They must beat England with a bonus-point in Lyon next Saturday and hope Scotland upset the Irish in Dublin to stand a chance of lifting the trophy, though their inferior points difference will count against them.

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