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Defiant Hansen hails 'progress'
29 March 2003 17:22pm
Wales coach Steve Hansen remained defiant despite watching his side pick up the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon with their 33-5 defeat by France in Paris.
Memories of the abject displays against Italy and Scotland were in some part erased by the determination shown against England and Ireland, giving Hansen room for optimism.
"If you look at the table then we have been whitewashed, but if you study the games then you'll see that we have made progress," he said.
"England and Ireland beat us by a record margin last year so we have made progress.
"The Italy game was a painful defeat and one that we'll grow from. But all the other games were reasonably competitive.
"This time last year I was in a state of depression because we'd just been beaten by Scotland in one of the worst games of rugby I've ever been involved in."
Wales gave France an early scare when they crossed through winger Gareth Thomas in the third minute, but once the home side had settled it was all one-way traffic.
Thomas Castaignede, Vincent Clerc and Frederic Michalak all touched down as the French used their glut of possession to good effect, with Wales falling away alarmingly as an attacking force.
But Hansen was pleased with his side's efforts, adding: "It was a heavy defeat, bigger than we would like, but I'm proud of the boys."
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