Wayne Pivac determined Wales will not lose focus following Triple Crown triumph


Wayne Pivac says there is no danger of Wales allowing themselves to be carried away by a Triple Crown triumph and thumping victory over England.

Wales’ 40-24 Guinness Six Nations victory in Cardiff was the most points they have ever scored against their fiercest rivals.

And they are now closing in on the Six Nations title, with Italy and France to be tackled away from home next month.

Two more wins would also secure a Grand Slam and, if Wales beat Italy with a five-point maximum and results elsewhere work for them, they could possibly land the title a week early.

While Wales clinched the first major silverware of head coach Pivac’s reign in bonus-point fashion, his opposite number Eddie Jones saw England’s title hopes reduced to ruins.

Josh Adams, Liam Williams, Kieran Hardy and Cory Hill scored tries for Wales, while replacement Callum Sheedy kicked 13 points, including three late penalties, and Dan Biggar booted a penalty and two conversions.

“We talked about it being a special day for a lot of reasons – George North’s 100th Test match, some silverware on the line and the opportunity to go deeper into the competition and push on,” Pivac said.

“It was a special day, the weather was good and we went out there and got a bonus-point win. You have to be proud of the performance.

“We have already spoken briefly about the importance of the next game. It would undo a lot of very good work if we didn’t focus on that game and that game alone.

“We have to make sure we go out there (to Italy) and put in another solid performance and hopefully get the points. The last weekend will take care of itself.

“Because we haven’t really played the house down yet, we have well and truly got our feet on the ground. The players have talked about that already.

“We will be working really hard, looking at the Italians and doing all of our usual reviewing of our performance and previewing them.”

Pivac praised Bristol fly-half Sheedy’s contribution after he punished England’s indiscipline.

“I thought he was fantastic,” Pivac added. “After missing a couple of kicks up in Edinburgh, to come on in that situation, a very tight game, he had three difficult kicks and hit all three of them well.

Callum Sheedy kicked 13 points for Wales

Callum Sheedy kicked 13 points for Wales (David Davies/PA).

“I am just pleased for him. His general play was solid. I thought all the boys coming on added something to the game.

“Callum is doing everything that we are asking of him, and he is enjoying being in the environment.

“He is just a young guy that is really enjoying the environment, he is expressing himself and he’s doing very well, along with a lot of other players.

“We want to have competition across a lot of positions, and we want that selection headache every week.”

England’s poor discipline surfaced repeatedly, with lock Maro Itoje a particular culprit.

Wayne Pivac felt Maro Itoje (centre) was lucky to avoid a yellow card

Wayne Pivac felt Maro Itoje (centre) was lucky to avoid a yellow card (David Davies/PA).

Asked if he had expected a yellow card for Itoje, Pivac said: “Yes, probably before half-time on the fourth one (penalty conceded).

“That is a lot of penalties for one player. He is pushing the boundaries, clearly, but he is a world-class player. Sometimes world-class players get away with a little bit more than others.

“A lot of people may have thought that, at 24-24, England were coming pretty strong at us. But our guys found another gear again and we are very pleased with that.

“For me personally it’s about the players and providing them with an environment where they can come in and get the job done, keep improving.

“Hopefully, we are doing that and people are seeing that the hard work is starting to pay off. But there are still two big games to go.”

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