Dan Biggar (right) set up George North's crucial try
Wales got back to winning ways at the Stade de France on Saturday as George North's late try guided them to a 6-16 win in their RBS 6 Nations encounter with France.
With England the only side unbeaten after two rounds of this year's competition, Wales' defence of their 2012 crown now looks altogether more feasible ahead of trips to Italy and Scotland and a tantalising meeting with England in Cardiff.
Leigh Halfpenny added three penalties and a conversion to seal the win for Rob Howley's side in a much improved performance by the men in red.
And prompted by Mike Phillips and Dan Biggar at halfback, Wales ground out a vital win which will see them travel to Rome a week on Saturday in confident mood.
Amid a number of impressive performances, Phillips' physicality suited the game perfectly. The scrum half was at his spiky best as he took on a physical French pack. It seems les Bleus bring out the best in the Bayonne man as he probed around the base of the ruck, a constant menace to the opposition back row.
One early break set up a great platform for the Welsh forwards and although the ball was knocked on in contact a few phases later, Phillips' intent was clear.
With the game dominated by the contact area on a poor pitch, Phillips' aggressive intent was exactly what Wales needed and another clean break just seconds after the break caught the French napping.
The former Ospreys man could have been pleased with his performance after leaving the pitch to be replaced by Lloyd Williams with little less than 10 minutes remaining.
Another Wales man, who still calls the Liberty Stadium home, also enjoyed a solid performance. Given the injury to Rhys Priestland, Dan Biggar looks set for a run as Wales' first choice fly half and he showed plenty of signs in Paris that he is more than capable of running a game for his country.
Biggar's sublime chip through for North's late try not only won the game for Wales but was also the one moment of pure class in a game dominated by the boot and forward battle.
There were other positive signs. A huge clearance kick gave Wales field position deep inside the French half from where Halfpenny put his side's first points on the board while when the ball did go wide, Biggar's confident hands were always looking to release the likes of North and fellow wing Alex Cuthbert.
In a game where the score was locked at 6-6 for most of the second half, the halfbacks' control of the game was vital and Phillips and Biggar both stood up to be counted.
Like the rest of the Wales side, they will now be eagerly looking ahead to the clash in Rome a week on Saturday.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.