Press conference: Wayne Pivac and Alun Wyn Jones react to unbeaten Wales’ victory over England

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Wayne Pivac singled out centurion George North for praise as Wales secured their second Triple Crown in three years with a 40-24 helter-skelter victory against England at Principality Stadium.

Wayne Pivac singled out centurion George North for praise as Wales secured their second Triple Crown in three years with a 40-24 helter-skelter victory against England at Principality Stadium.

North’s 100th international appearance ended in success as first-half tries from Josh Adams and Liam Williams put the hosts into the ascendency, before Anthony Watson pulled one back just before the break to leave Wales leading by three points at the interval.

Scrum-halves Kieran Hardy and Ben Youngs exchanged tries to leave the scores tied at 24-24 on the hour mark, before Callum Sheedy’s boot and Cory Hill’s try saw the hosts secure a 16-point victory.

Sheedy was making just his second international appearance in Cardiff, but kicked with the maturity of a man who had played on the highest stage as long as his teammate North, with both stars earning the praise of their boss.

“I thought he [Callum Sheedy] was fantastic, after missing a couple in Edinburgh, to come on in that situation, a very tight game at that stage, they weren’t easy kicks and all three of them he hit very well.

“I’m just pleased for him and I thought his general play was solid as well, I think all the boys coming on added something to the game.

“I think he handled himself as we knew George [North] would; he’s taken it in his stride he’s been very humble.

“We had a little video for him last night in the team room, and that was very touching, from family and other greats of the game passing on their congratulations.

“And I thought again George in the number 13 jersey put in another really good display and he’s feeling comfortable in that position, so I think we have a couple of options for him going forward.”

Owen Farrell and Dan Biggar kicked a penalty apiece early doors in Cardiff, before Adams put the hosts ahead by converting a cross-field kick in the corner.

Things got even better for Pivac’s side on the half-hour mark, as Williams touched down following a fortunate deflection off Louis Rees-Zammit, making the score 17-6 with 30 minutes played.

Watson reduced the arrears before the break, before Hardy and Youngs crossed to leave the match on a knife-edge with 20 minutes left to play, with both sides going hammer and tong to get the victory.

But it was Wales who emerged victorious from the bruising encounter in Cardiff, as Sheedy kept his cool from the kicking tee to add another nine points, before Hill capped off a terrific home performance by earning the bonus-point.

The 29-year-old touched down against England just as he did in the victory over the fierce rivals back in 2019, and captain Alun Wyn Jones was delighted with the lock’s performance, as he helped to keep Wales’ Grand Slam hopes alive ahead of a Round 4 clash with Italy in a fortnight’s time.

“The funny thing was he got another try against England, and it’s just nice to have that seamless transition when you have guys come off the bench, and when you’ve got Cory to come on and keep the momentum going at the set piece,” the Wales skipper said.

“To cross is special for him and it makes more competition in the second row which is obviously good for all of us.

“When it went so tight early in the second half, it could have gone either way, and sticking to plan and sticking to task is the thing and then the momentum shifts, and you’re talking a percentage either way, which in this game is a big difference.

“We’re pleased with results but anything after that is going to be muted, we go into the fallow week and sometimes when you win a game you’d like another one straight after to keep momentum going.

“But we’re faced with the challenge of the fallow week and then the big game against Italy as the previous three games have been, but we definitely won’t rely on momentum, it’s what we do and not what we’ve done.”