Six Nations: Wales bring overhyped Scotland back to earth

Marcus Newton
February 4, 2018

As a result, Scotland were touted as favourites to prevail in Cardiff and classed by many as dark horses to lift the trophy, but their dismal away form continued as Wales benefited from a whirlwind start that saw them score twice in the opening 12 minutes at the Principality Stadium.

"The best ball you can play off is forcing turnovers and if the opposition are going to play more, that means there are more opportunities for us to get turnovers".

By then, the match was about only how big the margin was going to be for Wales' 50th win in the expanded Six Nations, and 50th win in 10 years under coach Warren Gatland.

They may have been missing certain starters Sam Warburton, Jake Ball, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Jonathan Davies but they were comfortably the better side.

Halfpenny passed 700 points in Tests as he registered his first try for five years soon afterwards, the full-back converting both scores and slotting two penalties as Wales moved 20-0 in front with half an hour to go. A driven lineout, pick-and-gos, and Halfpenny had a second try, and made a third conversion from the sideline.

Warren Gatland is closing in on a century of games in charge of Wales (Ben Birchall/PA) Who's up next?

Jonny Gray made a barnstorming run into the Welsh 22 and the Scots were just metres from the Welsh line. "It was one of great character, especially in defence and a great start".

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Scotland hand centre Chris Harris a first start, with Ali Price preferred to Greig Laidlaw at scrum-half.

They did not have to wait long, however, as Scotland were penalised for an illegal feed into the resulting scrum, allowing Wales to work it left and then back to the right for Halfpenny to crash over. But it took them until the 79th minute to put points on the board and avoid them being "nilled" in Cardiff for the first time since 1974.

Steff Evans let Alun Wyn-Jones' pass slip from his fingers as he failed to round off what would have been a sensational try.

Scotland were spared further embarrassment when replacement prop Wyn Jones was held up over the line, with no clear grounding available on replays to the TMO, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

It was a ideal afternoon for Wales but there was one man who was nervous in the stadium - defence coach Shaun Edwards.

Wales: L Halfpenny, J Adams, S Williams (O Watkin 70), H Parkes, S Evans, R Patchell (G Anscombe 62), G Davies (A Davies 65), R Evans (W Jones 50), K Owens (E Dee 62), S Lee (T Francis 50), C Hill (B Davies 55), AW Jones (captain), A Shingler, J Navidi, R Moriarty (J Tipuric 64).

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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