North hails players' unity as squad respond to criticism
GEORGE North didn't quite go as far as quoting the motto of the Musketeers, but the sentiments were pretty much the same.
"We have always believed from day one that we stick together as a unit and whatever comes we will take it as a unit and go forward as a unit," said the young Scarlets wing, whose 12th Test career try saw Wales to a 16-6 victory in the Parisian suburbs on Saturday evening.
Unity was a common theme in the post-match interviews at the Stade de France, as it was in the build-up to Saturday's clash.
"There has been a lot of negativity for the boys to deal with, but as a squad we have stuck together, worked hard together as a unit and stayed strong. I thought that showed out there today," said North.
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"It has been a tough few weeks and everyone has taken flak, but in fairness, the coaches have got some strong chins on them.
"You boys (press) don't make it easy, but we can now look forward to a week off then a big week for Italy."
North's try in the 73rd minute of an error-strewn contest was the pivotal moment of a match that always looked like it could be decided by one moment of inspiration.
That was delivered by fly-half Dan Biggar.
It was the Osprey's perfectly weighted crossfield kick that sat up invitingly for the onrushing North.
He still had a bit to do, but the 17-stone North Walian gave replacement full-back Francois Trinh-Duc the speed bump treatment before touching down in the corner.
"There was some great vision from Biggs and a nice bounce as well," added North.
"The match was frustrating initially. We went eye for eye, blows to blows, there was pressure both ways, but when it started to open up I thought we came through pretty well.
"Afterwards there were a lot of happy faces in that changing room, but a lot of relieved ones as well.
"The boys have really stuck together through the hard times and we have come out strong."
The win maintains Wales's hopes of retaining their Championship crown with trips to Rome and Edinburgh to come before England roll up in Cardiff on the final weekend.
"It is never over, I guess," added North.
"There is all to play for and more to achieve."