The Criticism Towards Alex Cuthbert Has To Stop
Wales’ aim to to end England’s 15 game unbeaten run came to a bitter end in the 75th minute following Elliot Daly’s try.
It was a phenomenal effort by the Welsh team, with many players putting in tremendous performances, such as Dan Biggar, Ross Moriarty and Alun Wyn Jones to just name a few.
Wales held their own for a majority of the match, leading for most of the game, showing a side to them that hasn’t been seen for a while.
The decisive moment came in the 75th minute when Elliot Daly lunged over in the corner following a superb Owen Farrell pass.
Many Welsh fans were quick to point at Cuthbert to blame, as he failed to stop Daly on his surge to the line.
Criticism is an important part of rugby, but sadly with the Gloucester born British and Irish Lion, the criticism is more like abuse, as of late.
Cuthbert has been directly criticised on various social media platforms such as Twitter over the years. Following the Wales – Australia game in the 2016 End of Year Tests, a fan suggested “He should do a Fabrice Muamba”.
He was also sent an insulting video by former Welsh International and British and Irish Lion Andy Powell, via Twitter, following the Welsh loss to South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Even in public Cuthbert has been openly criticised. Following the win over South Africa, also in the End of Year Tests of 2016, it is rumoured Cuthbert was spotted in Cardiff City Centre getting into a taxi, and abuse was hurled at him, despite not even being involved in the game, and Wales having won.
Cuthbert’s confidence has been low for a while, and today’s performance was another example of that. But the personal abuse towards Cuthbert is outrageous, and completely unacceptable. There’s constructive criticism, then there’s being a bully.
Cuthbert was deemed to be responsible for Elliot Daly’s winning try, and was very much criticised for his knock on in midfield, not long before the try.
It’s worth noting that Elliot Daly’s try would not have happened had Wales’ outside centre, Jonathan Davies, not booted the ball straight to George Ford’s hands, as opposed to row Z in the stands.
Although Cuthbert failed to stop his opposite number, people are very quick to forget he made a try saving tackle only minutes before on Danny Care.
Even if Cuthbert hadn’t started, the alternatives were Steff Evans and Ashton Hewitt, two wingers who are also liabilities in defence.
The criticism over social media platforms were once again unnecessary, how can a man improve if so many of his own people are against him? Let alone the fear of playing in front of away fans, Cuthbert has to fear playing at the Principality Stadium due to the negativity of Welsh fans.
The pattern in Wales seems to be using someone as a scapegoat for the team’s failures, with players such as Rhys Priestland once being booed when taking the field and being quite literally driven out of the country, to his current club Bath. It’s difficult to know if other players would receive the same amount of criticism for the mistakes Cuthbert makes.
Cuthbert has been a fantastic player in the past for Wales, people are quick to forget he has scored some crucial tries, including the brace he scored against England when they won the Six Nations championship in 2013. His form for the Cardiff Blues has also been brilliant at times this season.
Rugby is a team game, all 15 players must come together, and not single out any individuals. The criticism towards Cuthbert must stop, or there will be no improvement on his behalf. Although it seems that a number of fans like to see him fail, I don’t know how you could consider yourself a fan if you constantly hate one of your own players.
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