Wales to show championship class

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:52
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George North believes top sides are judged on their reaction to defeat and is confident Wales can get their Six Nations campaign back on track against France on Friday.

George North believes top sides are judged on their reaction to defeat and is confident Wales can get their Six Nations campaign back on track against France on Friday evening.

Whilst discussing the disappointment in the performance against Ireland, North stressed that the best remedy will be for the squad to show what they are capable of against France.

"I'm a big believer in sides being judged on how they react to setback and the game against France is a chance to show how we can bounce back,” said North.

"It's a sign of a good side to turn things around and bounce back and that's what we need to do, we need to react next week.

"The defeat was a massive disappointment.

"In Wales we have massive pride in rugby and as players we are all really disappointed.

"We met back up at the start of this week and the defeat was still ripe in the boys' memory but we reflected and had a few meetings to review the performance.

"When you lose you look at your performance with a fine toothcomb and target the areas you need to work on.

"As a squad that is what we have done, we have reviewed and put things in place and begun our preparation for France.

"It's important to remember that we proved last year that defeat doesn't mean it's all lost.  We have a lot to play for, we have made it more difficult for ourselves but we have to knuckle down, keeping working as hard as ever and focus on what we can do.

"We are an experienced squad that has already been through so much together and that means a lot.

“Reflecting back we have lost just two of our last 12 games in the competition so our form has been good overall.  We were outplayed last week but we know how to come back and know what needs to be done.”

North scored the only try in a 16-6 victory over France in Paris in last year's competition and he believes it will be another close contest in Cardiff this time around.

"France will be a huge challenge,” he added.

"They have started really well with two wins from two and are looking good.

"They have got a big pack and a big scrum which showed up well against Italy last week.

"Their backline is firing well as well. Mathieu Bastareaud and Wesley Fofana are both on form at the moment and the back three are looking sharp and running in tries as well.

“It's a very potent backline and we will have to keep our eyes on them.

"There is nothing like the Six Nations to bring out big performances and that is what we need on Friday.

"It's going to be great atmosphere in Cardiff, there is nowhere better to play and an evening kick-off will just add to the atmosphere.

"The support is always outstanding. Obviously the fans will be as disappointed as we are with last week but when they get behind us on Friday it will be a huge lift to the team and will help us kick on in this Six Nations.

"It's all about pushing on from here and that starts against France.”

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Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 4 0 1 8
England 5 4 0 1 8
Wales 5 4 0 1 8
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 1 0 4 2
Scotland 5 0 0 5 0