Lydiate dedicates win to Davies
March 17, 2012
Wales flanker Dan Lydiate secured his second Man of the Match honour of this year's Six Nations © PA Photos
Wales flanker Dan Lydiate dedicated their Grand Slam victory to Mervyn Davies.
Wales made if five wins out of five in the Six Nations with a 16-9 victory over France in Cardiff today. A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Davies, the 1976 Grand Slam captain, who died on Thursday at the age of 65 after a long illness. "He was a legend of the game, our thoughts go this family, this one's for him," man-of-the-match Lydiate said on BBC1.
Alex Cuthbert scored the only try of the match in the first half, while Leigh Halfpenny added the conversion and three penalties to seal the win. Lydiate added: "We're just over the moon to be honest. The boys put their body on the line, you have to do that to win a Grand Slam. We're quite a young team so this is the first chance for a lot of us to win anything, we're over the moon."
Captain Sam Warburton, who went off with a shoulder injury, said: "You've got to give a lot of credit to the French, they made it very tough for us. But we won at the end of the day and that's what counts."
Jamie Roberts also admitted it was an emotional success. He said on BBC1: "It's a pretty special feeling, just one of those games when you have to dig deep, it wasn't pretty. We spoke in the week it was going to be emotional with the passing of Merv."
Wales were knocked out of the World Cup in New Zealand last autumn by France and Gethin Jenkins was pleased to turn the tables in Cardiff. "We knew they were going to be good, they've played well all championship," he said. "The occasion didn't get to us as much as they would have hoped. The coach (Warren Gatland) has given us freedom to go out and play. The World Cup brought us tighter and losing to France spurred us on to get some revenge."
Matthew Rees won his 50th cap against the French, having fought back from a calf injury to play his part in the campaign. "I've worked so hard to get back," he said. "My second Grand Slam, 50th cap, I think I'll be doing some partying tonight. It was frustrating for me with the calf injury, for me personally it was just about getting myself back fit and being part of a successful team. We're still a young side, there's plenty still to achieve and we're looking forward to the World Cup in 2015."
Cuthbert added: "I thought we deserved it more than France. The feeling I'm feeling now I don't think I'll ever feel again."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column