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Pivac lauds Cuthbert after impressive landmark display

Alex Cuthbert

Wayne Pivac paid tribute to Alex Cuthbert for a superb display on his 50th cap but admitted Wales left themselves too much to do after a slow first half at Twickenham.

Cuthbert was one of the standout performers for Wales in their 23-19 loss to England, causing absolute havoc out wide, as well as popping up regularly in midfield to get his hands on the ball.

While he did not score himself, he was one of the most impressive Welshmen on a day when the visitors outscored their opponents three tries to one, but had to settle for a losing bonus point.

And Pivac was particularly impressed with the winger.

He said: “I thought Alex in his 50th game was immense. He was the guy who was taking the ball down both flanks and was superb throughout.

“He enjoyed the opportunity today and played well.

“There were some good performances, I thought a lot of the bench came on and added impact, so that was very, very pleasing.

“It was just frustrating we didn’t get a result for those players.”

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Wales struggled to get going as England opened up a 12-0 half-time lead, the home side dominating at the breakdown and turning turnover penalties into points.

Alex Dombrandt’s try immediately after half-time made it 17-0 as the game seemed to be getting away from Wales, but they hit back through Josh Adams and Nick Tompkins.

Josh Adams celebrates scoring a try with Liam Williams

Kieran Hardy’s late try then set up a grandstand finish, but Pivac admitted his team paid the price for a poor first half.

He said: “It was two different halves wasn’t it? In the first half we were disappointed with the lack of discipline.

“I think we gave away eight penalties at the breakdown – that was with and without the ball – so we talked about that at half-time.

“Obviously at that point you are chasing a half then. You can’t get a foothold in the game, and we conceded points.

“Going 17-0 down, obviously, wasn’t the way we wanted to start the second half so that was frustrating.”

Wales will now turn their attentions to Guinness Six Nations leaders France, with Les Bleus having made it three wins from three in impressive fashion up in Scotland.

The teams will meet in Cardiff on a Friday night in Round 4, and Pivac is desperate to bounce back against the Championship’s in-form side.

He added: “We’d like to finish the competition strongly, particularly at home and we’ll look to try and pick up a good result against France who are playing very well at the moment.

“We’ve had two fantastic matches against them over the past two Six Nations.

“They are a very good side, improving all the time and I heard they played very well today.

“It’s going to be a fantastic match between two great sides – if the last two meetings are anything to go by.”