Results in international sporting contests are decided by fractions of an inch. The ball hits the crossbar with the goalie beaten. The umpire lifts his finger when the ball was flying a millimetre over the off stump - or doesn't when it wasn't. It was like that in the Millennium Stadium tonight.
Let's ignore the wayward Hook pass that was intercepted - and the more unlucky offload by Shane Williams that gifted another try to the French - and the penalty that never was. Despite all that, Wales could still have won. Should still have won. Two crucial penalty kicks to touch from the otherwise excellent Lee Byrne that missed their mark. If only Charteris had caught Hook's floated pass. If only Jamie Roberts had passed to Hook. We had our chances to win tonight.
But no good moan. For most of the game the French looked solid, even if nonthreatening. They are a powerful and efficient and sometimes uninspiring team - that wins. Its the way England used to be. Disappointed to lose, but we went down with our heads held high. And we had that wonderful bit of magic from Shane Williams to finish off. Being a Wales fan this year is an exhausting business.