'It's a good sign that we can lose key players and not let it affect us'

Gone are the days when Wales would lose one of their superstars and wither in the fallout. Warren Gatland's young side saw not only their captain fantastic fall to injury but also their most potent weapon. Yet still they emerged victorious.

The paucity of back-up options was one of Gatland's chief concerns when he took over four years ago. When they were all there, Wales would turn up; but when they weren't, Wales would also go absent. Little wonder, therefore, that the Kiwi was so keen to emphasise the new-found resolution in his troops.

"It's a good sign that we can lose some key players and just keep our head and not let it affect us," said Gatland, who watched Sam Warburton fail a late fitness test on his dead leg and then saw George North hobble off before half-time with a twisted ankle. "We all know how young this team is, but there's a lot of maturity being shown in the side."

Like everyone at the Millennium Stadium, Gatland was impressed by Alex Cuthbert. The 6ft 6in wing enjoyed the finest game of his career so far as he took on North's mantle as high-speed battering ram. Born and raised in Gloucester, Cuthbert qualifies through a grandmother and Wales are mighty glad to have him. He has only played 13 games for the Blues and didn't take up rugby properly until he was 18.

"I thought Alex was very good today in attack and showed the faith that we'd given him by selecting him for the second week in succession," said Gatland. "Leigh Halfpenny has had to move around again because of George's injury but he's kicked his goals well."

The 27-13 win meant Wales move to the top of the Six Nations table and they next face England, also unbeaten from two games, in two weeks' time. Victory at Twickenham would 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," said Gatland.

Warburton expects to recover in time and the medics will properly examine North today. "He should be OK," said Gatland. "It's only a rolled ankle."

While Gatland's mood was in contrast to an inevitably glum Andy Robinson, the Scotland coach refused to be too downbeat. "I'm proud of the way we went out and played the game," said Robinson. "We had opportunities to score before half-time and didn't; after half-time we missed the restart and Wales took their opportunities. Credit to Wales, they had chances and took them; we had chances and we didn't."

Robinson is determined to press on with the expansive style and the manner in which the Scots contributed to a thrilling second half suggests he is wise to do so. "We have three games to go and look forward to France," said Robinson. "We believe in the way we are playing. Our guys played very well today, but it wasn't enough. And because of that they are hurting."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions