Dan Biggar was encouraged by Wales’ display despite a narrow 13-9 defeat to France at Principality Stadium in Round 4 of the Guinness Six Nations.
Anthony Jelonch’s try gave France an early advantage, but a battling Wales trailed by just one point at the interval, the score 10-9.
After a Melvyn Jaminet penalty early in the second half, Wales dominated possession in the final 25 minutes and came close to scoring a try on multiple occasions, though ultimately could not break France’s defence.
The loss was a third of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations for Wales, after previous losses against Ireland in Round 1 and England in Round 3.
Yet Biggar, who converted three penalties to help Wales take a losing bonus point, admitted that despite the disappointment there were positives to take.
“I’m so proud of the lads in terms of how well they stuck to it, against probably the form team in world rugby at the minute,” said the Wales captain.
“We’re really pleased with the effort. That’s a bit more like us in terms of the attitude and probably something we didn’t quite show in the first half against England and Ireland in the last few games.
“[I’m] really, really pleased but ultimately when you play against big teams and good teams in tight Test matches, one or two moments decide it and we didn’t quite come on the right side of it.”
It was the second match in a row where Wales were trying to rally from an early deficit, having narrowly failed to chase down England in a 23-19 loss at Twickenham two weekends ago.
And while Biggar believes that they may have ridden their luck had they won that match, he thinks victory against Les Bleus was there for the taking.
He said: “Ultimately we’re very, very disappointed. We said in the huddle there that we would probably have been a little fortunate to have maybe come back and nicked it at Twickenham last week, whereas this week I thought we were the better team for large periods of the game.
“One or two big moments is what big Test matches hinge on. We didn’t quite nail those moments and we paid the price.”