France coach Bernard Laporte admits his team's failure to build on their half-time lead against Wales could have cost them their RBS 6 Nations title.
However, he wants his team to put that disappointment behind them and finish their campaign with a flourish when they travel to Italy next weekend.
France can still retain the RBS 6 Nations crown they won last year, although they need to beat the Italians by at least 50 points and hope Ireland win in Wales, the only team in contention for the Grand Slam.
After victories over Scotland and England, and a flawless first half against Wales in front of home support at the Stade de France, Les Bleus were on course for that honour themselves.
However, the French failed to hold on to their 15-6 half-time advantage against the Welsh, quickly conceding two tries after the restart, before succumbing to a 24-18 defeat.
"The Welsh did what they had to do to win this year," said Laporte. "They are on the verge of experiencing a great moment in Welsh rugby history.
"We have regrets. During the first five minutes of the second half against them we had the means to do something but we did not.
"That is sport. There is no need to live with regrets but we've talked a lot about that with the players."
Laporte is clearly determined to make sure his side remain focused at the Stadio Flaminio, knowing the Azzurri present a much more challenging proposition than in years gone by and are certainly a team capable of embarrassing them.
"We should not dream and should keep our feet on the ground instead," the French boss added.
"But we must win against Italy, even if we don't beat them by 50 points.
"It's not like before anymore. We must take them seriously, their pack is strong. I watched them play and they have improved a lot, that's obvious. They have real potential."
Laporte has made no changes to his starting XV from the side that earned victory in Ireland in their last outing.
Hooker William Servat makes a return to the bench after shaking off his knee injury and centre Benoit Baby, who scored a try on his first international appearance last Saturday,
remains in the starting line-up despite being cited by the independent match commissioner after an incident in the Ireland match.
Baby's case will be heard on Wednesday in London so he could miss out on the match in Rome through suspension.
Team manager Jo Maso, who gave Baby his full support, has made no bones about France's intentions in Italy, and is philosophical about missing out on the Grand Slam.
"We travel to Rome to win," he added. "Winning a Grand Slam is always tough.
"France have won only eight of them in 100 years, which shows how hard it is. It is true we would have liked to win it again this year but that's the way it is."
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.