Even if Wales can pick up the full five points in their final pool game against Fiji on Wednesday it will only take them to nine points. There are already four teams on 10 points – France, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand – while two others – Argentina and Ireland – could also hit double figures in Round 3.
It means Wales will need to beat the Fijians to guarantee playing in the play-off group for Places 5-8 for the fifth year in a row. Only three times have they reached the top four play-off, in 2008, 2012 and 2013.
“You can’t hide from the fact that the French are a quality side. I was really impressed by them and you have to give credit to the French Federation for developing such a good team over the last couple of years,” said Williams.
“That’s where we want to get our pathway to. I thought we defended heroically at times given the territory and possession the French had, and the pressure they put us under.
“The work that Andrew Bishop has done with our defence has been exceptional and to only concede 32 points against a quality team like that meant he should have been a very proud man.
“We turned up and we were right there and there were decent levels of execution in the first half. There were a couple of moments when we let go and didn’t take an opportunity to pressurise them.
“It was a well executed try from Tomi Lewis in the first half, but they were all very comfortable on the ball. Now we have to pick ourselves up, learn the lessons from this game and move on to the next one.
“We’ve spoken a lot about this being a five match series and now we have to get ready to face another quality side in Fiji.”
The Fijians, who returned to the top-flight tournament for the first time in five years after winning the World U20 Trophy title last year, have gone down to successive defeats to France (36-20) and Argentina (41-14), but remain a very dangerous side.
It means the Welsh defence will have to be on red alert once again on Wednesday when they clash in Santa Fe. The Welsh players are fully aware of the task facing them.
“There is plenty for us to take into the next game against Fiji. We have plenty to offer out wide and there are more opportunities for us to showcase that,” said Wales outside half Cai Evans.
“We have got to look forward to each game. The French game got away from us, but they took advantage of their purple patches – any sniff they got they took advantage of.”
Wales U20 Fixtures 2019
June 4: Wales 30-25 Argentina
June 8: Wales 13-32 France
June 12: Wales v Fiji (5pm BST)