WALES have pledged that there is plenty more to come after keeping alive hopes of defending their Six Nations title with victory in Paris.
A run of eight Test defeats on the spin was ended by Saturday’s 16-6 win in France, a success earned by determined defence and brute force.
Wales will have to play better, certainly in attack, when they head to Rome in a fortnight’s time, but there was evidence of a return to the steely determination and belief of the 2012 Grand Slam winners.
It was a win to send confidence coursing through Welsh veins and they now believe that they could be gunning for the title when England head to Cardiff on the final day.
To do that they need to make it a hat-trick of away wins but they head to Rome and Edinburgh with a spring in their step thanks to the biggest win in Paris since 1975.
“This a good starting point for us,” said hooker Richard Hibbard. “It’s a win that has put to bed a lot of demons and given us a big confidence boost.
“The coaches have been telling us that we haven’t gone from being a good team to a bad team overnight.
“We are happy with the result but there is plenty more to come from us. It’s a relief to have ended the run of eight defeats but the pressure is not off us yet and we have to follow this up.
“Italy will be almost a carbon copy of France. They will have a big, powerful front eight and we will need to do exactly the same.
“They will be fired up and it will be a fierce battle, so we need to be on top of our game out there.”
Leigh Halfpenny, who booted 11 points with a faultless kicking display, believes the boost from a terrific away win can fuel their bid to keep the Six Nations trophy in the Millennium Stadium trophy cabinet.
“The confidence we will get from this win will be immense and now we can carry on with our ambitions of retaining our title,” said the in-form full-back.
“We knew this game was key and we have not only won but won well. When you get a win the morale, spirit, confidence that breeds through the camp is immense.”
Wales now enjoy a weekend off before their clash with Italy, though caretaker boss Rob Howley has some decisions to mull over with his coaches.
They must decide whether to recall captain Sam Warburton, who missed the clash in Paris with a shoulder injury, at the expense of openside Justin Tipuric. Blindside Ryan Jones was superb and led the side majestically in the absence of Warburton.
Howley must also decide whether to bring lock Alun Wyn Jones back into the side after he made his return from injury for the Ospreys last weekend.
Newport Gwent Dragons star Andrew Coombs and Ian Evans have formed an impressive second row partnership in his absence.