France scored a match-winning try in the 100th minute of a pretty bizarre game of rugby.
The game went into the history books as one of the longest on record in the championship as England referee Wayne Barnes continually penalised the Welsh scrum as they tried to defend their line and a 18-13 lead.
The French had come out of the blocks at breakneck speed and raced into a 10 point lead thanks to a fourth minute try from centre Remi Lamerat, rushing onto a pin-point chip in the Welsh 22 by Camille Lopez, and a conversion and penalty from, Lopez.
Wales barely touched the ball in the opening 15 minutes, when they were forced to make 30 tackles to France's three.
But they managed to weather the storm and by half-time were back in touch thanks to three penalties from the unerring boot of Leigh Halfpenny.
Halfpenny's kicking was superb all game and he went on to add three more in the second half to give Wales the lead.
Lopez landed one more for France to leave the game delicately poised moving into the closing stages.
France who had had the dominant scrum all game, managed to work their way into the Welsh 22 and get into a position to try to strike for a winning try with a scrum in the final minute.
At that stage, nobody would have envisaged the game would go on for another 20 sapping minutes.
But before replacement back row man Damien Chouly crossed for the try that levelled the scores, Samson Lee picked up a yellow card, French prop Uini Atonio was controversially hauled off by the French doctor for an HIA, Georg North claimed he had been bitten at a ruck and Barnes awarded seven penalties against Wales.
So long was the final phase of the game that Lee was able to come back onto the field to pack down in place of Tomas Francis to try to defend the Welsh line. Once Chouly had levelled the scores, Lopez struck home the winning conversion.
The Welsh defensive effort was superb, but the bitter truth is that they lost to England after leading with four minutes left to play and lost to France in the 20th minute of extra time. It means they finish fifth, their lowest in the championship since 2007.
'Integrity in our game is pretty important'
Coach Rob Howley said, "Integrity in our game is pretty important, player welfare is equally important.
"What happened in the last 10 minutes of that game should not happen again on an international rugby field.
"The process leading up to the change of the French tight-head, coming off the way that the process leading up to that
"We love our rugby too much to have decision like that and ultimately the outcome of the game.