Captain Sam Warburton departed the action at half-time but saw his team run out winners
Warburton and Lydiate hail huge defensive effort
17 March 2012, 5:50 pm
Wales captain Sam Warburton admits France squeezed every drop of effort out of his side as their gritty 16-9 RBS 6 Nations victory secured the Grand Slam.
Flanker Warburton had to depart the contest at half-time after injuring his shoulder and had to watch nervously from the sidelines as France fought back in the second half.
Even in his absence, Wales mustered a monumental defensive effort to keep Les Bleus at bay.
There was little of the free-flowing Welsh flair on offer but Warburton maintains the result was the only thing that mattered.
“You have got to give a lot of credit to the French,” said Warburton.
“They were quick off the line in defence and it was difficult to get our game going. But we won at the end of the day, that’s all that counts.
“It is an unbelievable achievement, I never thought it was going to happen.
“It really makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.”
Leading the defensive effort was Warburton’s back-row colleague Dan Lydiate, who made a number of momentum turning tackles which earned him the RBS 6 Nations man-of-the-match award.
And in a week in which Welsh rugby was plunged into mourning after the death of Mervyn Davies, Lydiate was quick to dedicate the victory to the legendary Welsh No. 8 who won two Grand Slams in the 1970s.
“The boys put their bodies on the line today, this is awesome,” said Lydiate.
“We are quite a young team and this is the first chance for a lot of us to win anything.
“We are over the moon, at home in the last game of the Six Nations, it couldn’t be better.
“He (Mervyn Davies) was a legend of the game and this is for him.
“We will have one or two tonight, I think just the same as everyone else.”