Jamie Roberts gets to grips with Nafi Tu'itavake at Eden Park. Pic: Gettys Images.

Cuthbert Strikes As Wales Come Through Tonga Test

Coach Robin McBryde hailed his youthful Wales side after their 24-6 victory over Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland.

The squad was missing 12 players away on British Lions duty in New Zealand, but came through what was at times a scrappy affair.

But an early try from wing Alex Cuthbert and a late penalty try sealed the victory in the first test of their summer tour.

It maintained Wales’ unbeaten record against Tonga.

Sam Davies also kicked four penalties but the outside-half blotted his copybook after missing with three other attempts.

McBryde said: “All in all I thought it was a performance we can be proud of.

“It wasn’t a complete performance but it was played in difficult conditions in heavy showers.

“Tonga didn’t disappoint with the physical nature they came at us. They posed threats, but I felt we looked really comfortable.

“The aim was to get the result whilst developing individuals in the process.”

The Tongas never looked like crossing the Welsh line with their points coming from the boot of Sonatane Takulua.

Wales’ starting XV included new caps in Cardiff Blues lock Seb Davies, Scarlets wing Steff Evans and Thomas Young the Wasps flanker.

Cuthbert also had two tries ruled out by the TMO.
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McBryde’s men face Samoa in Apia on June 23 in the final test of the Tour by which time several players could have been added to the Lions squad.

Davies gave Wales the lead with a penalty, but the Ospreys man hit the post with two further strikes at goal.

But Gareth Anscombe’s clever break put Cuthbert who chipped ahead and gathered to cross the line to make it 8-3 at the break.

Fierce rain did not help the players with points in the second-half coming from the boot before Wales got the late penalty try.

The conversion was given automatically as part of one of World Rugby’s new laws.

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