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Moriarty feared seeing red in the victory over France

Ross Moriarty has revealed he thought it would be “the end of me” had referee Jaco Peyper sent him off in Wales’ World Cup quarter-final against France.

Moriarty had only been on the pitch for 90 seconds, replacing an injured Josh Navidi, when he was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Les Bleus centre Gael Fickou.

Wales went on to triumph 20-19, with number eight Moriarty scoring the winning try – but only after an incident that left him sweating, especially when Peyper called in captain Alun Wyn Jones.

I was just thinking, ‘please, please don’t be a red’. I knew how bad that would be for the team. I’ve been in that situation before, and it is not a nice feeling.

That was definitely a big moment. I had only been on for 90 seconds and I was thinking to myself: ‘If he gives me a red card, this is the end of me’. It was a mistimed tackle. I closed my eyes and thought he was going to run round me, but he stopped and ducked under me.

I talked to him (Fickou) after the game and he was absolutely fine. We had a good laugh. As soon as I realised I had hit him in the chin – I thought I had hit him in the shoulder – I was worried.

– ROSS MORIARTY, WALES NUMBER 8

Ross Moriarty scores try

Moriarty has similarly vivid memories of his match-clinching touchdown, which followed a concerted spell of pressure near France’s line.

I was running towards the ball and just thinking ‘I can’t mess this up’. I didn’t even want to reach out in case someone came from nowhere and kicked the ball out of my hands, so I just landed on my head first and got the ball under my chest to make sure no-one could come in and get it.

It was probably the easiest try I’ve ever scored, but probably the most nervous I’ve been scoring one.”

– ROSS MORIARTY, WALES NUMBER 8

Moriarty is set to take hamstring injury victim Navidi’s place against semi-final opponents South Africa on Sunday.

This is a game I look forward to. I know what their forwards thrive on, which is being physical, and that’s what I thrive on as well. Some players go hiding when it gets tough, but I think I get better in those situations.

– ROSS MORIARTY, WALES NUMBER 8

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