Six Nations: Wales maturity pleases coach Warren Gatland

Wales wing Alex Cuthbert breaks through against Scotland for his first Test try
Wales wing Alex Cuthbert breaks through against Scotland for his first Test try

Wales coach Warren Gatland praised his players for their growing maturity after the 27-13 win over Scotland.

A 22-point haul from Leigh Halfpenny, including two tries, and wing Alex Cuthbert's first Test try sealed Wales' second win in this year's Six Nations.

Captain Sam Warburton withdrew before kick-off, while wing George North limped off just before half-time.

"It's a good sign that we can lose some key players and just keep our head and not let it affect us," Gatland said.

"We know how young this team is but there's a lot of maturity being shown in the side.

Leigh Halfpenny scores his second try against Scotland

"I thought Alex Cuthbert was very good today in attack and showed the faith that we'd given him by selecting him for the second week [in succession].

"Leigh Halfpenny has had to move around again but he's kicked his goals well, so it's pleasing."

The win in Cardiff on Sunday, added to last week's success in Ireland, saw Wales move to the top of the Six Nations table and they next face England, also unbeaten from two games, on 25 February.

Victory at Twickenham would secure the Triple Crown and keep Wales on course for a third Grand Slam in eight years.

"There's still things to work on but we're two from two and we've got a chance at a Triple Crown by going to England in a couple of weeks, and maybe a bit more," Gatland added.

The game at the Millennium Stadium had remained finely balanced until Scotland's Nick de Luca was sent to the sin-bin for hauling down Jonathan Davies without the ball.

Halfpenny crossed for his first try soon after and touched down again after Scotland full-back Rory Lamont was yellow-carded for tackling a Wales player as he came back from an off-side position.

Man of the match Dan Lydiate accepted that Wales were the beneficiaries of Scotland's indiscipline.

"Yellow cards are always crucial, you've got to be squeaky-clean in this day and age and everybody's got to work on their discipline," said the Dragons flanker.

"Scotland came back into it and it was touch and go, at the end we were under the cosh.

"But we're delighted with the win and we've got to be confident going into that game against England."

WALES SQUAD

Backs: Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Gavin Henson (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Lee Bryne (Clermont Auvergne)

Forwards: Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Ospreys), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Lou Reed (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Sam Warburton (capt, Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets).

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