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Pivac believes in Wales progress despite France loss
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  • 22 Feb 20
  • RugbyUnion
  • 4
Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales v France - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Britain - February 22, 2020  Wales head coach Wayne Pivac before the match   REUTERS/Rebecca Naden 691px 444px Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales v France - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Britain - February 22, 2020 Wales head coach Wayne Pivac before the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

CARDIFF (Reuters) - Wales coach Wayne Pivac admitted to some frustration but says there is no panic and insists his team is heading in the right direction despite a second successive Six Nations loss on Saturday.

Wales, fielding the most experienced side in Six Nations history with 859 combined caps, were outmuscled by a young and vibrant French side, who claimed a 27-23 victory at the Principality Stadium.

France stay on course for the Grand Slam, while Wales have seen their hopes of retaining the title they won last year dashed, though Pivac believes they deserved better.

"We are certainly not going to panic," he told reporters. "We created a lot today and had a number of opportunities.

"I felt we had a pretty good scrum. They (France) came with pretty good line speed but we felt good going into the final quarter. The game was pretty much how we expected it."

Pivac and captain Alun Wyn Jones were left bemused by some of the decisions from match officials, and were particularly perplexed by what seemed a deliberate knockdown from France lock Paul Willemse 15 minutes from fulltime.

It could potentially have been a penalty try and a yellow card, but in the end Wales received only a scrum.

"The slapdown... the officials may have got that one wrong," Pivac said.

"The other frustrating one was when the French tight-head (Demba Bamba) came on and went straight across in the scrum and got rewarded for that.

"We have to make sure the big moments in the game go our way. Having said that, we scrambled very well and showed a lot of character to come back at the end with players playing out of position."

Wales were, to a degree, the architects of their own downfall. What proved to be the winning try from France flyhalf Romain Ntamack came from the intercept of a loose pass by centre Nick Tompkins.

"The interception was frustrating and a big moment. I thought Nick Tompkins had a very good game and bounced back well from Dublin," Pivac added.

"We don't like losing at home, the boys had built up a proud record. But we're still confident we're heading in the right direction."

(Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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