Here’s how the national press is reacting to the defeat of the Six Nations of Wales against France.
Sir Clive Woodward, The Mail on Sunday
What a fantastic classic of six old-fashioned nations down in Cardiff with the French, deservedly in my opinion, only to beat him against Wales. There have been some close calls, but I think the two officials have got it right.
Two things in particular impressed me. First, the French defensive set of five or six minutes just before the break that kept Wales at bay. This has written Shaun Edwards everywhere, the firm determination that the opposition will not pass, with players hopping to get back on the defensive line.
And secondly the coldness of Romain Ntamack. He didn’t have a perfect match and on second thought, he made a little mistake last time against Italy, but this is a young man who has that inner confidence to make crucial interventions in important moments.
There was a lot to appreciate in Wales and they came back from defeat in Ireland. They were vigilant and moved the ball well, and with a two week break I can see them posing in England a lot of problems in two weeks.
Ian Malin, guardian
The trip to Cardiff would always have been the acid test for the French revolution in Galthié, even if the closed roof of the Principality stadium spared France and everyone else, the threat of more than the terrible climate that spoiled the championship of this ‘year. .
Now France has a new sense of purpose and has Shaun Edwards, who may not know French too much but can organize a defense. Edwards’ return to Wales would always have been the main plot of this gripping drama. And the French defense was the star of the show.
The victory had Edwards’ mark everywhere and the French Renaissance was the true story of the Six Nations this year.
James Corrigan, Telegraph
This time there would be no resurrection of the dragons, this time Les Bleus would not have blown out. Inspired by a defense that Shaun Edwards had written all over, young French revolutionaries kept their Grand Slam dreams alive in a pulsating match that clung from start to finish.
He returned to haunt Welsh Rugby Union officials who believed it was wise to offer him a two-year contract to stay, compared to the four years he accepted through the channel.
Gatland men possessed resistance and steel suddenly disappeared. Wales have two games to choose some respectability from the rubble, but there is no silverware to play for and as reigning champions they expected much more. On the contrary, France goes to Scotland with the title in sight.
Will Kelleher, Daily Mail
And so the fortress fell.
After 10 years of shooting in Cardiff, the French revolution is truly alive as Les Blues stormed a previously insurmountable castle with an epic victory to end their decadent decade.
Forget the fraternity, sometimes the Frenchman has channeled the brutalité-inspired Shaun Edwards into defense here.
The champions are now out of the question, the era of Wayne Pivac on earth with a double hit.
Not since 2017 have they lost back to back in this championship.
The atmosphere broke, crackled and burst under the roof: it seemed that I had been transported to the Stade de France with a lid.
Stephen Jones, Sunday Times
We have waited for real France for what seems like decades, and if the search is not over at all, this has been in some parts the best French team that has appeared in Cardiff for centuries.
Wales will have to be much better with their kick-off at Twickenham, but they have the talent when everyone is in shape, with the possibility that Liam Williams will be able to return – Halfpenny was brave but not as big a threat as he once was.
Charlie Morgan, Telegraph
Shaun Edwards has a habit of inspiring totemic shows in Cardiff.
This time, Edwards was in the blue corner, which must have seemed strange after more than a decade in the red corner. It was his team from France who tried to challenge a fervent atmosphere and shatter the party. They did it quite brilliantly.
Another win in Wales, again in Wigan – and this for France.
Jack de Menezes, independent
In what has been the biggest affirmation of the French title credentials so far, half fly Romain Ntamack has inspired his team to their first win against Wales in Cardiff in a decade, with this interception proven halfway through the second half proving fundamental in making it three out of three for the youth team of Fabien Galthie and revenge for the defeat in the quarterfinals of the rugby World Cup.
After the home wins over England and Italy, a victory on the road in Cardiff has shown the greatest indication that this fearless but fierce side – perfectly prepared by Galthie and the return of Shaun Edwards – is no longer one to look forward to but one for the here and now, and with Ireland facing a severe test on Sunday in Twickenham, France sits pretty high on the table.