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Roberts: Pressure didn't get to us

Wales centre Jamie Roberts insists Wales didn't allow the pressure of playing for the Grand Slam affect them as they completed a perfect RBS 6 Nations campaign with a 16-9 victory over France in Cardiff.

Alex Cuthbert's superb solo try and three penalties and a conversion from full-back Leigh Halfpenny ensured Wales ended the tournament with five wins out of five.

"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," Roberts said on BBC1. "The World Cup brought us tighter and losing to France spurred us on to get some revenge."

A minute's silence was held before kick-off in memory of Mervyn Davies, the 1976 Grand Slam captain, who died on Thursday at the age of 65 after a long illness.

Roberts added: "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.

"We knew they were going to be good, they've played well all championship."

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."


From Belfast Telegraph