France's defence coach Dave Ellis has put Wales' Grand Slam triumph down to ''five minutes of madness in Paris'' and their magnificent scramble defence.
Wales trailed France 15-6 at half-time in Paris and had lost their inspirational captain Gareth Thomas to injury but hit France with a remarkable comeback.
Flanker Martyn Williams scored twice inside five minutes of the restart and Wales' defence then held firm in the final five minutes as France applied intense pressure to seal a 24-18 victory.
Ellis believes that onslaught proved the turning point of the championship, though he reserved special praise for Wales' defence coach Clive Griffiths.
''Overall the Welsh deserved their Grand Slam - it was their excellent attacking football that made the headlines. However, it was their defence that won them the title,'' said Ellis.
''Their scramble defence against England at the Millennium Stadium and late in the second half to thwart a rampaging French team was magnificent.
''In retrospect, the five minutes of madness in the second half in Paris probably decided the final outcome of the championship.''
France, who were defending champions, finished second in the RBS 6 Nations but Ellis hailed Les Bleus' campaign as a ''huge success''.
Ellis defended Bernard Laporte's controversial selection policy and pointed to the array of exciting new talents France uncovered during the championship, including flanker Yannick Nyanga, centre Benoit Baby and full-back Julien Laharrague.
''The tournament has also been seen as a huge success for France with so many new players introduced to the competition,'' said Ellis.
''Bernard Laporte is often criticised for the number of players he has used, but to build a solid squad you need to expose individuals to international football and with only 10 to 12 games in the calendar per season it gives you few opportunities.
''The French squad now has much more depth. Perpignan's formidable prop Nicolas Mas and Sale hooker Sébastien Bruno boosts our front row strength.
''Grégory Lamboley provides flexibility, being equally at ease in the back row or forming a useful second row with Fabien Pelous, Jérome Thion or Pascal Papé.
''In the back row Yannick Nyanga and Julien Bonnaire have been a revelation and with Serge Betsen, Olivier Magne and Imanol Harinordoquy still very much on the scene, there is genuine competition for places.
''At half back, Yann Delaigue may not be everyone's favourite, he has however provided some excellent displays this year and offers a more pragmatic style compared to Frédérick Michalak's flamboyant approach.
''Dimitri Yachvilli and Pierre Mignoni are both good scrum-halves and Jean-Baptiste Ellisalde should not be forgotten.
''In the three-quarters we have unearthed two quality centres in Benoit Baby, man of the match against Ireland, and David Marty, who celebrated his debut with two tries against Italy in Rome at the weekend.
''Yannick Jauzion and Damien Traille remain an awesome combination and our midfield options appear in good shape.
''The performances of Julien Laharrague since his debut against Wales have been truly exceptional. Safe under the high kick and explosive when running the ball, Laharrague has been a major plus for the squad.''
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.