Lydiate: Still work to do for Wales
Dan Lydiate insists Wales will not be distracted by any RBS 6 Nations title talk after they kept the pressure on pace-setters England and Ireland by beating France in Paris.
Although Wales are outsiders in what has become a three-horse race for Six Nations silverware this season, their 20-13 victory over Les Bleus continued an impressive recovery since losing at home to England last month.
And flanker Lydiate was a key figure as Wales defeated France for a fourth time in succession, highlighting his performance by delivering a brilliant reverse scoring pass to fly-half Dan Biggar for the 60th-minute touchdown that gave Sam Warburton's team priceless breathing space.
"We are not going to get ahead of ourselves, because we know there's plenty to work on," Lydiate said.
"We got the win but we have a big game coming up the weekend after next (against Ireland).
"After the first game against England it was all doom and gloom, so we will just stay focused on the challenge in hand. It is a lot more positive after this game than it was after the first match.
"We got a result in Scotland and the win over France gets the ball rolling again. We are back in the hunt."
Lydiate was part of an outstanding display by the Wales pack, combining tireless defensive work with a ravenous appetite for work in the loose either side of his memorable assist for Biggar's first try in Wales colours.
"I was keeping it for a rainy day!" added Lydiate, reflecting on his role in the try-scoring move. "I got on the end of a pass and shipped it along as best I could.
"I have said I want to work on my handling and it was just a pass that came off. It is more about the team performance.
"The defence at times was heroic, the way we dug in at the end. Defence is my main thing and seeing the boys put their bodies on the line time and again was a really pleasing thing."
Lydiate was on the receiving end of a 28-9 thumping when he last lined up for Wales in Paris four years ago, but those memories were emphatically erased as the visitors claimed a fifth victory from nine visits to Stade de France.
"It was a bit of a slug-fest, but it was brilliant," he said.
"Sometimes you put that much effort in and don't get the result, so to get the result for the team was superb. It's a really hard place to come and win.
"I didn't play in Paris two years ago when the boys won. The last time I played at Stade de France we got battered and that wasn't a good feeling.
"It's nice to get praised but we know where we are as a team and we are not the finished article by any means.
"We will get back to the drawing board this week, keep our heads down and look forward to the next one. We are not going to get ahead of ourselves, but we are pleased with the result."