Author: Dafydd Jones
Wales couldn’t end their Six Nations campaign on a high, as they succumbed to a narrow 14–10 defeat to Scotland at Parc y Scarlets.
Stuart McInally’s second-half try made the difference for the visitors, as they spoiled the party in Alun Wyn Jones’ record-breaking appearance.
Jones made his 149th Test appearance, beating Richie McCaw’s record to become the most capped rugby union player of all time.
The defeat is Wales’ fifth in-a-row and it means they pick up just one win in this year’s Six Nations campaign.
Scotland end a run of three consecutive defeats against Wales, earning their first win on Welsh soil since April 2002.
The victory is Gregor Townsend’s side’s third win of the Six Nations campaign, having also defeated Italy and France.
Scotland came out of the blocks quickly and took a 3-0 lead on 9 minutes, as Wales hooker Ryan Elias was penalised for an accidental offside.
Finn Russell, returning to the starting XV, made no mistake with a penalty in windy conditions to put the visitors ahead.
Gregor Townsend’s side continued their positive start, with 70% possession and 85% territory in the opening 20 minutes.
Wayne Pivac’s side’s defensive display was much improved from last week’s loss to France, reducing Scotland to just three points in a period of ascendancy for the visitors.
The momentum shifted in Wales’ favour with 30 minutes played, as an over-thrown line-out was taken by Elias, whose cantering run fell short.
Wales weren’t to be denied however, with Cardiff Blues prop Rhys Carre scoring his first try for his national team in his 10th cap to get the hosts on the board.
Scotland were dealt a huge blow shortly after Wales took the lead, as Finn Russell was forced off with an injury, replaced by Adam Hastings.
The substitute fly-half was immediately called into action, as James Davies was penalised for being off his feet.
Hastings was successful with his first effort at goal despite challenging kicking conditions to ensure the score at the break was 7-6 in Wales’ favour.
In a tight and scrappy second half, Scotland looked to be building momentum and took the lead with 20 minutes to play.
Townsend’s side earned a penalty at the scrum and kicked for the corner. In an impressive driving maul, Stuart McInally went over for the visitors.
Fly-half Adam Hastings failed to convert the conversion, as the score remained 11-7 to Scotland.
Wales replied instantly, earning a penalty just minutes later for Leigh Halfpenny to reduce the deficit to just a point.
Despite Pivac’s side’s best efforts to snatch the win, Wales couldn’t break through a resolute Scotland defence, as Jonathan Davies was penalised in the dying minutes for holding on.
Stuart Hogg kicked off as the clock went red to secure a significant victory for Scotland.
(Featured Image: Lewis Sharpe)