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What Wayne Pivac says he's seen in illegal England try

By PA
PA

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Wales boss Wayne Pivac questioned the legality of England’s decisive second-half try following his team’s 23-19 Guinness Six Nations defeat at Twickenham.

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Wales hooker Ryan Elias overthrew to a defensive lineout and the ball was caught by England number eight Alex Dombrandt, who claimed his team’s solitary touchdown alongside six Marcus Smith penalties.

But Pivac said: “If we had an opportunity to review that try, it probably wouldn’t have been given, so that was frustrating.”

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Asked if he thought Wales lock Adam Beard had been pushed out of the lineout, Pivac added: “Yes, he was.

“He was chased down the lineout and bumped, which you can’t do, but unfortunately it wasn’t picked up and the try stands.

“The replay we’ve seen, there was an offence there, we thought.”

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Wales rallied from 17 points down, claiming second-half touchdowns from Josh Adams, Nick Tompkins and Kieran Hardy, with captain Dan Biggar adding two conversions.

But after losing to Ireland in their opening game, hopes of a successful Six Nations title defence are all-but over ahead of remaining games against unbeaten leaders France and then Italy.

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“The first half we were disappointed with the discipline – we gave away eight penalties at the breakdown,” Pivac said.

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“You can’t really get a foothold in the game, and going 17-0 down wasn’t the way we wanted to start in the second half. It was a very good end to the game, but a very frustrating try that we conceded.

“But to the players’ credit, they got straight back on the horse and came back with two very good tries and we were right in at the death trying to win the match.

“You are always trying to build on the performance, and there is plenty to take out of that game that was pretty positive.

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“In the second half, we built phases, got the ball in hand a lot more, we started to win some collisions and we looked dangerous.”

Both Pivac and Biggar heaped praise on Wales wing Alex Cuthbert, who marked his 50th cap with a blistering individual performance.

“I thought Alex in his 50th game was immense,” Pivac said.

“He was the guy coming off his wing, he was taking the ball down the right flank, then within a couple of phases he was taking the ball down the left flank in the 80th minute of the game. He was superb.”

And Biggar added: “He was unbelievable. It was almost a bit like the 2013 and 2014 Alex Cuthbert.

“He looked in his prime today. He can be really proud of that on his 50th cap. If we were on the right side of the scoreboard, he is man-of-the-match every day of the week.

“We are very disappointed with the first half. It shaped the way the game went in terms of us having to chase it.

“We couldn’t retain the ball in contact, and breakdown penalties stopped any attacking flow for us.

“We are pretty disappointed with the start, but we found some real shape in the second half and played some really good rugby and stretched England.

“Ultimately, the main headline is going to be that you can’t start poorly in places like the Aviva Stadium (in Dublin) and Twickenham and expect to pick up results, really.

“It’s the starts for us away from home at the moment. When you are ahead on the scoreboard, it’s a lot easier to dictate play.”

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