Wayne Pivac has admitted his frustration after Wales were beaten by France in the final act of play to deny them a Grand Slam.
Wales looked to have had one hand on the Six Nations trophy after French lock Paul Willemse was red carded with 13 minutes to go, as France trailed their visitors by 10 points.
However, a remarkable comeback saw 14-man France score two tries in the final five minutes of the thrilling encounter in Paris, after Taulupe Faletau and Liam Williams were both sent to the sin bin.
One that will live long in the memory – for many different reasons.
Diolch am gredu a chefnogi.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) March 20, 2021
The Wales head coach was speaking to Sky Sports after the gut-wrenching loss, and admitted that his side were let down by their poor discipline in the closing stages of the game.
“It’s quite a numb feeling. The boys have put in such a fantastic effort. It wasn’t to be. It came down to the last play of the game,” Pivac said.
“We were down two players, down on the penalty count and on a final warning. It was hard to defend at that point but the guys had done tremendously well to hold out.
“It was one too many attacks. Certainly our discipline didn’t help us in the last 10 minutes. At the end of the day, the penalty count got up and we knew what would happen there with a final warning.”
‘We have to be proud of the effort’
While the Welsh squad will be devastated after having the Grand Slam snatched away from them in the last second, the team can be happy with the improvements that they’ve made since last year.
Wales came fifth in last year’s Six Nations and also came fifth in the Autumn Nations Cup, and are still in with a very good chance of winning this year’s Six Nations despite losing to France.
Pivac admitted that the loss was difficult for everyone in the Welsh camp to take, but acknowledged that his players put in an excellent performance in Paris.
“There was a major point for us where we got a big drive going. There was a yellow card but I was expecting a penalty try. If that happens, it’s probably championship and Grand Slam,” Pivac said.
“The players were so close and yet so far. It’s a tough time, but we have to be proud of the effort,” Pivac commented.
“To go from a Grand Slam to waiting for six days is frustrating. But there’s nothing we can do now but sit back and watch next week.”