France began the Six Nations as one of the tournament favourites yet after just their first home game they face a stiff task to avoid the wooden spoon.
In a word France's performance in Saturday's 16-6 defeat to Wales was lamentable.
Coach Philippe Saint-Andre kept faith with 13 of the team that lost in Rome the previous weekend but was rewarded with another spiritless display.
Saint-Andre will doubtless not be spared from the post-mortem critics either after a one-dimensional gameplan that left his men looking ponderous and unwilling.
It all meant that Wales, who were suffering on the back of an eight-game losing run, were able to wrestle away the initiative in a winning display that owed to guts and determination.
In truth, they hardly needed to do much else as Les Bleus were left to exit a Stade de France pitch ringing with boos from the home fans.
With Ryan Jones inspiring as captain in place of the injured Sam Warburton, the visitors ground out a win that was sealed by the only moment of creativity when George North dived over late on.
It reminded the Welsh faithful of why they are the reigning champions, and Grand Slam winners, and inspired confidence ahead of a trip to Italy in a fortnight..
Where the game was won and lost
Even the most ardent Wales fan would not have given their side much hope in a city where they had won just three times since 1975.
After France's disjointed performance against the Azzurri the weekend before the assumption was the hosts would come out full of fire. In reality, it was the visitors who displayed the required desire to win Test match rugby.
Ryan Jones typified Wales's performance as he busied himself all over the ground. With the aid of some helpful referring and a heavy pitch Wales were able to slow the ball enough to ensure France never gained any sort of momentum.
Wales's determination to defend first was understandable as they tried to at least lay a foundation to end their barren run.
So with the visitors playing cleverly at the breakdown and casting a defensive wall the onus was on the French to supply the creative spark.
That never looked likely as their half-backs looked short on ideas again.
Maxime Machenaud did not last an hour before being hooked while only Saint-Andre's stubbornness in selection could reprieve Frederic Michalak at fly-half.
It meant a ponderous French backline ended up relying on giving the ball to burly centre Mathieu Bastarenaud - starting for the first time in three years - and while he made a couple of bullocking runs Wales did enough to stop him finding the try-line.
One moment of creativity
While Wales hardly broke through the France line themselves their ability to stick tight galvanised them as the match ticked down with the score locked at 6-6.
As the hosts started to panic it was the clear head of Dan Biggar who kicked through for North to touch down for the game's only try on 73 minutes.
It was a relieving moment, not just for Wales, but the neutral fans in an otherwise attritional contest.
Leigh Halfpenny's long-range penalty moments later ensured there was no France comeback and sealed Wales's biggest win in Paris for 38 years.
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