Old heads offer no excuses

Paris defeat prompts much soul searching for Wales

Last Updated: 20/03/11 3:26pm

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Night to forget: Byrne was part of a well beaten side in Paris

Night to forget: Byrne was part of a well beaten side in Paris

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Experienced duo Lee Byrne and Ryan Jones led a chorus of condemnation over Wales' Stade de France no-show that produced another RBS Six Nations finish outside the top three.

"It will be a while now before we can pull the jersey on again and make things right. Hopefully, we can go out here next time and compete better, because it was shocking at times."
Lee Byrne Quotes of the week

For a 10th time in 12 seasons of since the expansion to six teams, Wales found themselves in the table's bottom half, dropping like a stone from second to fourth after Les Bleus blew them away 28-9.

They went into battle knowing an improbable 27-point winning margin would give them the title at England's expense, but Wales ended a sobering night in St Denis reflecting on their heaviest Six Nations defeat for five years.

Not since Ireland crushed them 31-5 at the old Lansdowne Road had Wales experienced such Six Nations misery, and neither full-back Byrne nor 2008 grand slam captain Jones were in a mood to hold back.

Shocking

Byrne said: "France came out fired up from their defeat last week (against Italy) and they did a job on us, to be honest.

"We just didn't turn up. We know we are a better team than that, so it is a disappointing finish after the hard work we have put in.

"It will be a while now before we can pull the jersey on again and make things right. Hopefully, we can go out here next time and compete better, because it was shocking at times.

"Physically, we are in great shape, but the killer instinct is something we can get better at."

Honest

And number eight Jones added: "We've got to deal with it, and reflect on it. It's a big (World Cup) year.

"All in all, we have made some improvements, but collectively we have got to be far better on the big occasion.

"They are all going to be big games (at the World Cup). First and foremost, we've got a warm-up series in the summer that we've got to be firing on all cylinders for.

"There is going to be finger pointing, we've got to be honest and true to each other and make sure we come back as a better team."

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