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.
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales U20 head coach Byron Hayward and back row Will Boyde believe defence will be the key when they face Ireland tomorrow in the second pool game of the Junior World Championship being held in New Zealand.
Tension was palpable as players waited to hear the announcment of the Wales touring squad of South Africa. Matthew Morgan was one of four uncapped players named in the squad after impressing in the Wales Senior Trial.
Wales Trial, Principality Premiership Awards evening and Wales U20s in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Jamie Roberts and Matthew Rees about the Wales Trial, captain Dafydd Lockyer talks about Pontypridd dominating the Principality Premiership awards, while ahead of the start of the Junior World Championships we talk to Tom Williams, Steffan Hughes, Jack Dixon and Nicky Smith.
Coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde today confirmed their Probables and Possibles teams to take part in Friday's Wales Senior Trial at the Liberty Stadium and both are predicting some mouth-watering head-to-heads.
Possibles coach Robin McBryde has given his team a licence to thrill in Friday's Wales Senior Trial match. He tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie that his side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers against the favourites, the Probables.
We look at the squads for the Wales trial, European finals weekend and Wales U20 on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on the trial, full back Hallam Amos on his summer hopes, Wales legend Ieuan Evans welcomes European rugby finals weekend to Cardiff and Wales U20 hooker Ethan Lewis looks ahead to the Junior World Championships.
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says last night's 31-19 win over Scotland was a crucial building block as the Junior World Cup rapidly approaches. WRU TV's Liz Jones gets his post match reaction.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards relives London Wasps triumphs in the Amlin and Heineken Cups in 2003 and 2004 and looks ahead to this year's Heineken and Amlin finals in Cardiff, as well as the Wales trial match.
WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey delivers his forward-looking review in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. He looks at the future of the game in Wales along with National Rugby Development Manager Jason Lewis and National Performance Manager Gethin Watts. Warren Gatland and Gethin Jenkins look back at the Six Nations, Paul John talks about his new role at the Blues after leaving Wales Sevens, while we also talk to Wales Sevens coach Gareth Williams and captain Adam Thomas.