Young guns made to pay for mistakes; U20s will learn vows prop Thomas.
NICKY THOMAS was in blunt mood after seeing Wales under-20s' hopes of a first ever junior Grand Slam end following a disappointing defeat to France at Parc Eirias.
Prop Thomas pulled no punches in the aftermath of the 16-10 loss, the scoreline taking a little extra gloss thanks to a late try from Ethan Lewis, converted by Luke Price.
Wales were not good enough to claim a victory over France who are now the only side capable of picking up a coveted clean sweep.
Baptiste Serin had kicked France into the lead before Ethan Davies replied to level the scores. However France extended their lead after the interval with a try from Jean Baptiste Singer, converted by Serin, who also added two further penalties.
"The boys are down, there is no doubt about it, we know we didn't turn up with some of our set principles and structures of our play," said the Swansea prop.
"But the general consensus is let's build on this, we will have a good analysis tomorrow and see our mistakes, but then brush it under the carpet because we have got a huge game against England coming up in two weeks.
"We need to learn from our mistakes, but we have got to keep a positive attitude going into the next game."
When questioned further on why Wales simply hadn't performed to the standards set in victories over Italy and Ireland, Thomas again gave a bullish response, although to his credit he refused to offer the poor Colwyn Bay weather as an excuse.
He added: "I think it was basic errors in our processes.
"The contact area wasn't good enough and that is an area we have been very good at in the last two games.
"But being clinical, some of our moves didn't come off and probably against Ireland and Italy we didn't have that issue.
"It is a big learning curve and we have got to bring that into the big games likes we did against Ireland, but we said afterwards, remember this feeling because we have got France in the World Cup.
"These conditions are what we have played in for the last two games - you could say France have had good analysis on our type of play in this weather. But there are no excuses, myself included there were just too many mistakes in our basic structures."
Wales' set piece struggled all night against France, which will be even more disappointing considering how good it had been in their opening two wins.
Ethan Lewis dives But discipline was also an issue, with Wales giving away far too many penalties, while they were also reduced to 14 men twice in the contest.
The first was when Steffan Evans hit Stephen Parez with a high tackle which could and maybe even should have resulted in a penalty try as the winger was only two yards from the line and looked certain to score, while the second was when Dafydd Howells lifted and dropped Francois Fontaine off the ball.
But Thomas is confident Wales can come back from this loss, starting in two weeks against England.
over for a Wales try "The set piece, we didn't get what we wanted, and then we haven't got the platform behind us," added Thomas, who is part of the Ospreys regional set-up. We have been pretty dominant in our set pieces in the last two games.
"France we knew were going to come at us with a huge scrum. We did our analysis on them from the England game, but we have got to learn from this and move on positively to the next game.
"We have got understand that the best teams in the world do lose games - just look at the Wales senior team and how much media pressure they had on them and they came back and put in a huge performance and are back on track.
"We just said remember what this feels like, keep a positive attitude. Things will be said tomorrow it will be blunt and it will be harsh, but as players we have got to have accountability. But it is not a blame culture in our camp and we have got to move on from this."
MAN OF THE MATCH: Steffan Hughes - the skipper led from the front, was solid in defence and looked Wales' biggest attacking threat.
Centre Harri Evans' run is halted (far left); right wing Ashton Hewitt is tackled close to the try line by Stephen Parez
Wales full-back Steffan Evans is tackled by France wing Stephen Parez during Saturday night's match in Colwyn Bay
Ethan Lewis dives over for a Wales try
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)|
|Date:||Feb 24, 2014|
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