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North: Unity got Wales the win

George North believes Wales' collective mental strength was a key factor in buckling French resistance and reviving their Six Nations campaign.

North's late touchdown, his 12th for Wales, left Les Bleus floundering at the championship basement without a point from two games and away fixtures against England and Ireland still to come.

Wales, though, are up and running in their pursuit of possible Six Nations silverware for a second successive season.

Had they lost in Paris, then North and company faced a Rome appointment with Italy later this month knowing that another defeat there would equal their record run of 10 losses on the bounce between November 2002 and August 2003.

But such a demoralising scenario has now been avoided thanks to a performance at Stade de France that was laced with desire, determination and doggedness.

"Obviously it's a lot of pent-up energy that we've had, but as a squad we have stuck together. We've worked hard together, and I thought that showed in the end," Scarlets wing North said.

"We always back our fitness, and it certainly showed, but you can always hear when the crowd start to get behind France or on France, and it is always dangerous times when that happens.

"I think what was good from our point of view was that we started strongly.

"We took a lot of pressure initially, but we also exerted a lot ourselves and took the points when we needed to. Finishing as strongly as we did, the boys will be happy with that performance.

"I think everyone has taken a lot of flak, but we will stick together as a unit and go forward as a unit whatever is thrown at us.

"We said beforehand that we had to start strong to face France in Paris - an angry France in Paris - and I felt our week of preparation was great. We have stuck together through the hard times, and that really showed."

The teams were locked at 6-6 before North broke the deadlock, taking his chance superbly by gathering Dan Biggar's kick after a sustained spell of pressure that saw the French defence stretched right and left.

"A lot of hard work led up to it, and then there was a bit of vision from 'Bigs' and then it came off at the end with a nice bounce for me and I was in at the corner," he added.

"It was a little bit of panic stations at first, but then I was lucky to get the bounce and I put it over the line.

"There is still a lot to play for and a lot to achieve for us. We went blow for blow with France - a lot of pressure came through from both teams - and we came through pretty well."