France captain Fabien Pelous admits his side were caught napping by a Wales blitz as the RBS 6 Nations champions saw a 15-6 half-time lead become a 24-18 defeat at the Stade de France on Saturday.
After their magnificent comeback against England at Twickenham a fortnight ago, it was Les Bleus turn to be on the receiving end of a dramatic turnaround as Wales scored two early second-half tries to stun their hosts.
France had completely dominated up to the interval but, like England two weeks earlier, found themselves unable to turn their pressure into points. However, Wales were well worth their win after an equally inspired start to the second period.
Pelous said: "We performed greatly in the first half but then we let them take control and we got stunned by their game. They took advantage of our weaknesses and lack of vigilance at the start of the second half.
"I don't think we played badly because we created more chances than them and we produce a great showdown but at the end of the day we lost.
"Our offensive efficiency was far better than against Scotland and England but we lost and that's disappointing."
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.