Late night kick offs in Paris are “de rigueur”, providing fans with just enough time for a semi leisurely pre match dinner, or at the very least a croque monsieur and frites, accompanied by a smooth glass of red.
In Cardiff these nocturnal rugby soirées are an exception rather than the rule, a long day for the fans and players to get through before finally heading to the stadium.
On Friday night in Cardiff, as the skies darkened, the emerald green dewy grass glistened under the floodlights, even the starry sky peeped through the open roof at the Principality Stadium.
The heavenly stars were matched by those down below on lush green terra firma. Dupont, Ntamack, and Penaud just three of the blue constellation that have lit up French rugby in the last couple of years.
But it was the men in Red who almost caused a total eclipse of France Grand Slam hopes as they went tantalisingly close to causing a major upset.
Wales pressured France led superbly by Dan Biggar, they caused France to look nervous and fractious but ultimately their rock solid defence kept Wales from gaining that one crucial score that would have given them a memorable victory.
A French win in Cardiff in recent years has been seen as rarely as Halley’s Comet, but these Bleus Brothers play rugby on a different planet, and back to back wins in the Welsh capital have put them eighty minutes away from a Grand Slam.
The stars may not have sparkled as brightly as expected, but on a night when France took a step nearer a title and a Grand Slam, that has eluded them since 2010, the planets have aligned to create a mouth watering late night spectacle next Saturday in Paris against England. A victory for The Boys in blue could result in it being a very late night indeed.