Richard Hibbard denies Wales conned ref against England in Six Nations decider

Wales won the match 30-3

Hooker Richard Hibbard has rejected suggestions the Wales front-row conned referee Steve Walsh during their RBS 6 Nations victory over England.

Wales' dominance at the scrum was a key element in their record 30-3 success in Cardiff nine days ago, with Walsh awarding the home side a slew of penalties and free-kicks at the set-piece.

England have since asked the International Rugby Board for "clarification" of certain areas of Walsh's performance, including his officiating at the scrum.

Red Rose forwards coach Graham Rowntree was particularly outspoken in his criticism, and it has also been said Wales privately admitted to collapsing the scrum themselves on six occasions.

Ospreys number two Hibbard, who could yet work with Rowntree on this summer's Lions tour, refused to be drawn into a slanging match on the subject when asked for his opinion, but rejected any suggestion of Welsh skullduggery.

He said: "I can't comment on that (Rowntree's remarks), but no-one would be happy to lose a game that heavily and get dominated at the set-piece. He is looking out for his players ahead of their next game.

"I would like to think we are the most honest scrum around, so to say they were conned is just water off a duck's back for us."

Hibbard will return to the Millennium Stadium this weekend with his region to face Cardiff Blues as part of a double-header of Welsh derby clashes at the national stadium.

But Hibbard will not allow his mind to drift back to securing Six Nations glory, instead he will look to help the Ospreys close in on a RaboDirect Pro 12 play-off place as they seek to defend their title.

"We need a full house of four wins from our last four games," he said. "We don't want to leave it in anyone else's hands.

"It will be tough, we don't have any easy games, so we are not taking anything lightly.

"It was magical at the stadium last week with the lights going out for us to lift the Six Nations trophy, but we are under no illusions we are going there to do a job and push for a play-off place."

PA

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