Six Nations 2014: Alex Cuthbert credits Wales’s forwards for France win
Six Nations 2014: Wales wing Alex Cuthbert is relishing the Red Dragon's England match at Twickenham
Alex Cuthbert believes Wales’s forwards should take most of the credit for Friday’s convincing victory over France in Cardiff.
The 27-6 win to get their Six Nations title defence back on track saw George North and captain Sam Warburton bag tries with Cuthbert’s Cardiff Blues team-mate Leigh Halfpenny kicking 17 points as Wales dominated from the opening minutes.
Fair play to the forwards, they were unbelievable and showed what they were made of
It was the best way for the reigning champions to stand up to a barrage of criticism and show they have the desire to keep winning after one of their worst performances in recent years as they suffered a 26-3 defeat to Ireland 13 days earlier in Dublin.
“We went in with a great mindset and knew the start was crucial against a side like France,” Cuthbert said.
“We couldn’t let them get their tails up and we got the scoreboard ticking over – that was what won us the game really.
“It wasn’t one of those games for wingers, I had to get involved and play my part. Fair play to the forwards, they were unbelievable and showed what they were made of. They’ve taken a bit of stick over the last couple of weeks but they did really well.”
With two rounds of the championship remaining, Wales, England, Ireland and France all have four points from their opening three game and the title could be decided by points difference with the scoreboard pressure exerted by Halfpenny’s kicking crucial.
“We knew what we had to get right and now we have two more weeks of preparation for the England game,” the 23-year-old continued.
“We had quite a bit of a lead from the first half – we needed to control it and keep the scoreboard ticking. I think we played the 80 minutes really well and didn’t let them score which is of great benefit to us.
“Winning helps, there’s a totally different atmosphere to last week. As a team there are little things we can improve on and we need to look at those.”
Wales are already preparing for their biggest match of the tournament in 11 days’ time against England at Twickenham and Cuthbert is keen to maintain his 100 per cent record in south west London.
“I’ve only played England at Twickenham once, we went there and scored in the last minute,” Cuthbert said, referring to Scott Williams’ interception try to secure the Triple Crown with a 19-12 win in 2012, which also served as Cuthbert’s breakout year after replacing retired Wales legend Shane Williams.
Wales famously demolished England 30-3 in the Six Nations decider in Cardiff last year with England on course for a Grand Slam and the talk from the England camp is one of revenge, but despite a large turnover in personnel in the England squad from last year, Wales know what to expect.
“They will be gunning for us from last year, we know what to expect and it will be a big fight,” he added.
“We’ve had ups and downs but we’ve found our form and hopefully we can hit full flow against England. It will be one of the biggest games of the tournament so far.”