Scots come out firing after the interval to leave Wales stunned

(Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)
(Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

SCOTLAND discovered some self-belief to take a famous victory at Murrayfield.

In the first half, it looked like Vern Cotter’s men simply didn’t think they could beat Wales for the first time in a decade.

Shorn through injury of their skipper, scrum-half and goalkicker in the shape of Greig Laidlaw, their first-choice props, their biggest ball-carrier and a Lions tourist wing, the Scots seemed to have bought into pre-match predictions of another Wales win.

But, after a first half in which they were only kept in the hunt by three penalties from Man-of-the-Match Finn Russell, they suddenly remembered that inner core of steel that has developed in this side of late and simply blew Wales away, adding 20 points to their own tally and nilling their visitors in the second period.

Before the break, Scotland had had no quick ball at all with the Wales back row doing their job at the breakdown superbly in slowing any Scots possession.

Wales had obviously done their homework and identified where any Scots attacks would come from, and were effective in shutting the danger down at source.

Stuart Hogg, Russell and Ali Price’s gas was kept at a peep, and any attempt to put pace and width on the game to release Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser was smothered at birth.

Wales basically built a red brick wall in midfield and the Scots couldn’t find a way through, over or round it.

In contrast, Wales scored the simplest try you’ll see when the Scots scrum coughed up a free-kick and the ball was shipped down the line for Liam Williams to dot down.

Dan Biggar added the conversion, as well as two penalties, and you’d have got huge odds against that being the sum total of Wales’ points haul for the afternoon — but it was.

Scotland had hardly fired a shot in anger in a strangely-lifeless first half and the hope was they were keeping their powder dry for an explosive second 40.

And that proved to be the case as they finally got quick ball along the line and Visser – who had his best game for Scotland – stood up his defender and slipped Seymour in for the try.

Then Scotland patiently went through the phases and showed cool heads with a series of pick-and-drives sapping the Welsh defence until Russell span the ball out to Hogg who popped it on to Visser who rounded his man to score.

With the clock ticking down and the crowd sensing victory, Russell sealed it with a long-range penalty – he had a 100% day with the boot notching two conversions and four other penalties – taking the Scots more than two converted scores ahead.

Scotland – Hogg; Seymour, Jones, Dunbar, Visser; Russell, Price (Pyrgos 56); Reid (Dell 52), Brown (Ford 71), Fagerson, R Gray, J Gray, Barclay (capt.), Hardie (Watson 25), Wilson. Unused replacements – Berghan, Swinson, Weir, Bennett.

Wales – Halfpenny; North, J Davies, S Williams (Roberts 63), L Williams; Biggar (S. Davies 69), Webb; Evans (Smith 69), Owens (Baldwin 69), Francis (Lee 58), Ball (Charteris 57), Jones (capt.), Warburton, Tipuric, Moriarty (Faletau 63). Unused replacement – G Davies.

Cancel