Paris: It seemed a ‘‘surreal’’ experience for Wales fly half Callum Sheedy when they were assured of their second Six Nations rugby title in three years following France’s 27-23 defeat by Scotland in a dramatic finale on Friday.
France needed a bonus-point victory and a winning margin of at least 21 points against Scotland to become champions but fell short as they finished second in the championship race on 16 points, four points behind Wales.
“I still think I’m going to wake up and it’s all going to be a dream,” Sheedy told the BBC. “It’s all a bit surreal. We’re chuffed to be champions.
“The more people write us off and tell us how bad we are the better we play. When we have our backs against the wall, we come out fighting, and I think that’s what the Welsh nation is all about.” It was Wales’ sixth Six Nations title since 2000 and their first under coach Wayne Pivac.
“We might not have the most talent in the world, but we’re up there with having the most heart,” Sheedy added.
“It’s all happened so quick the last year. I’m really enjoying the ride and long may it continue.
Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie, meanwhile, said France’s pre-match boasts about winning the Six Nations was “fuel to the fire” as they won in Paris for the first time since 1999 on Friday.
The late 27-23 victory at the Stade de France put an end to Les Bleus’ title hopes, which were resting on scoring four tries or more and a winning margin of more than 20 points.
“I wouldn’t say it frustrated it us, it fuelled us. They were talking about winning by 20 points,” Ritchie said.
“We were confident going into the game. When they start talking about winning by 20 points it’s fuel to the fire.
“I wouldn’t say it was upsetting, it was good for us,” he added.
The Dark Blues finished fourth in the Championship after home defeats to Wales and Ireland.
Ritchie said the next step for the team was to battle for higher up in the standings. “I think potentially putting ourselves in a position to be in that top end of the table. I think if the Wales game (25-24 loss) goes the other way we win the tournament,” he said.
“We’ve been in every game we’ve played even if we haven’t been at our best. I think about Ireland. We were still in within touching distance.
“For us the next level is in those games where maybe we’re not at our best we grind out wins and put together performances week after week. The next level is, we’re yet to see, but we’re going in the right direction,” he added.