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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wales get much needed win over Scotland at Murrayfield

Wales get much needed win over Scotland at Murrayfield

Wales finally broke their eight-match losing streak with a hard-fought 24-6 RBS 6 Nations victory over Scotland at Murrayfield this weekend.

Wales, who had not won an Test match since March 2010, ran out victors in a scrappy game that was littered with handling errors and penalties.

They got the dream start when fly-half James Hook punctured the Scottish defence and off-loaded to the supporting Shane Williams for a converted score. Perpignan-bound Hook then slotted three more penalties to give Wales a 0-16 advantage over the home side.

Dan Parks got Scotlands first points with a penalty, although several try-scoring opportunities went begging: Joe Ansbro knocked-on when Wales were reduced to 13 men following yellow cards to Bradley Davies and Lee Byrne, and then John Barclay failed to hold-on to the ball near the whitewash.

The sides remained dead-locked for large portions of the match, as the Scots couldnt find a cutting edge to penetrate an impressive Welsh defensive effort.

Sean Lamont was the standout player for the Scots, whilst Jamie Roberts looked to have regained some of the rampaging form that made him the 2010 Lions player-of-the-tour.

The game was eventually sealed when Williams touched down for his second score, chasing a Jonathan Davies kick, which put the win beyond the reach of a stuttering Scottish side.

Following the game, Welsh Captain Matthew Rees said: "We've been a wounded animal all week after the England game and we knew it wasn't an easy task coming up here to get a result.

"The commitment, the endeavour, everything was there for us, especially going down to 13 men at one point. Discipline was a bit of an issue, but to come away with a 24-6 win was a great result for us."

A fuming Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: "We made too many errors particularly in that first 20 minutes. That is unacceptable, what happened today. We've gone back a couple of steps."

If you fancy a game with a bit more excitement, have a look back at last year's fixture between the two sides, which was packed with action from start to finish. View that here .


Time: 03:51

Posted at 7:15 pm | 28 comments

Viewing 28 comments

Anonymous February 13, 2011 6:49 pm

woo hoo first! haha who actually cares.. onto the game, shocking from a scottish point of view.. was literally falling asleep at it

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Bau February 13, 2011 6:56 pm

Scotland was UNABLE to make 3 passes in a row.
They also need a fly-half that can actually, make plays and let the game flow, not just kick

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FlyHalf February 13, 2011 6:59 pm

The try saving tackle is unbelievable!!

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taco taco February 13, 2011 7:28 pm

Anonymous, you call this "shocking"? Unfortunately, this is what I expect from Scotland nowadays. They are more than capable of having one of the strongest defenses out there, but too often, it doesn't matter because eventually, the other team will score tries.

Scotland seem to just play with no real confidence.

You're right though in that the match was rather boring.

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 8:08 pm

I wouldn't say that the performances have been woeful. Their record is:

South Africa-lost
NZ-lost
NZ-Lost
Australia-lost
Fiji-Draw (bad result/performance but it was not their best 15)
South Africa-Lost
NZ-lost
England-lost

No wins can lead to a lot of media critisism and a lack of confidence but they have decided to play the best in the world and not take an easy schedule list. They should be better for it when the WC comes along.

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Colombes February 13, 2011 10:02 pm

didn't see the match but i didn't recognize this very entertaining scottish side vs France.
Wales have 2 talismans with Hook and Williams, they can be the welsh locomotives for the next world cup.

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Noms February 13, 2011 10:18 pm

Where was Stephen Jones, is he injured or no longer playing for the national side?

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John F February 13, 2011 10:23 pm

Sadly not a good game to watch at all.

Think I was day dreaming watching most of the second half.

6 Nations does dish up some stinkers, I'd love this not to be the case.

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taco taco February 13, 2011 10:43 pm

Which record are you referring to, Anonymous?

The last time they played SA, they won.

But that's because their defense was incredible and SA couldn't stop giving up penalties. They did score a try last week as well, but a couple of tries every dozen games and rock solid defense won't get the results Scotland seem to have the talent to achieve.

I don't know what it is that they're missing (other than confidence), but I hope they find it soon.

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Guymun February 13, 2011 10:55 pm

Does anyone know where I can watch extended highlights on the web? I live in Sydney, and the time difference is killing me!!

Great to see the boys get back on track too :)

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Anonymous February 13, 2011 11:20 pm

Shanes still racking up the tries.

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Will February 14, 2011 1:26 am

I'm quite an avid Scotland fan and was really hoping to see them put in a decent performance. (let's not forget that they came off quite well against France, they did well in the autumn games and Wales seems to be doing badly) so to see then get spanked like that was quite sad.

It was quite incredible that Scotland who is renowned for the strong defence, had such a poor defence.... Obviously not the whole time but it was patchy and unorganised at times (fantastic try saving tackle by Lamont though)

On the subject of Lamont, I think he was the best Scottish player on the day.

But the stats told the story. Nearly 20 errors I believe (trying to recall) and an incredible amount of penalties.

Onto penalties. I thought Scotland deserved a yellow card for the boot in the face.. As the commentators were saying, injury or no injury that was a yellow card. However I was rather disgusted with the football attitude the welsh player had. He went down clutching his forehead.

Hopefully this was a blip in scotlands progression.

However I must admit the welsh defence was solid. There was no way through for the scots.

Congrats to wales, they deserved it!!

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Krang February 14, 2011 4:14 am

Good for Wales to get the win in, even if Scotland made it easier for them, with their errors.

@Will, yes, Sean Lamont gave a good performance with his runs and try saving tackle, he still make one costly error though if I remember rightly.

Also, Lee Byrne definitely made quite a drama of being taken out in the air, even though he kinda left his boot sticking out when jumping for the ball. Can't accuse him of doing it deliberately though. I think anyone who goes in on a guy rising to catch a high ball runs the risk of injury to both himself and the catcher, as well a yellow card. But on the other hand Lee Byrne has caught a fair few people with a knee to face or as we saw yesterday, boot. I wouldn't wish another injury such as that to the other Evans brother.

I think Hook deserves another start at fly half. Good offensive play with ball in hand. Not great kicking though. Also, he bounced off a few tackles but was fortunate enough that the rest of the team were tackling well so he wasn't exposed.

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Tom February 14, 2011 5:03 am

Scotland are capable of the odd battling victory against world class opposition.
But most of the time this is what you get. They're tough, not an easy team to break down, but unless the ball bounces their way (and they get the favour of the ref), they're almost always gonna go down in the end to quality teams.
They are limited.

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Berto February 14, 2011 9:14 am

Can anybody tell me why isin't Johnnie Beattie starting at eight? Last year he was the best backrower with imannol.

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Jonny H February 14, 2011 10:30 am

I'm sorry, but I don't buy this yellow card nonsense about Soutwell (although I was f***ing glad when he went off). If you watch in slow mo, he's chasing his up and under, and has his eye on the ball the whole way, exactly as you're coached to catch a kick. At the last second he looks forwards, sees the taff in the air and you can see him panic and try to stop. Nowhere there does he make a tackle.

I can see the arguement that it's dangerous to be anywhere near the man in the air, but what are you going to do, ban people from challenging on their own kicks? It was equally, if not more, dangerous for the welsh player to jump with his studs facing forwards, as it was for Southwell to do what he did, but I don't see anyone shouting for him to be carded.

Additionally, I believe it's an offence to intentionally jump into the tackle, presumably so that you can't deliberately milk a penalty. As far as I can see, this is a very similar situation. Don't get me wrong, I think a deliberate tackle on the player in the air should be a card, but saying someone like Southwell, who was just challenging for the kick, should be carded just because the catcher landed on him is pretty hypocritical.

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Nick February 14, 2011 10:30 am

This was a shocker. Everytime the scottish put a couple of phases together they went backwards and so many simple passes were blindly thrown. Parks needs to move towards the gain line or they need a change of 10, they are really suffering from a lack of front foot rugby.

It was good to see Roberts get into the game but respect to Lamonts try saving tackle.

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Stu February 14, 2011 11:32 am

can i just say that we haven't been on an 8 match losing streak, we didn't lose to fiji in the autumn, its a 2 match losing streak

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Stu February 14, 2011 11:36 am

jonny h - the player is perfetly entitled to 'protect himself' by raising his front leg up. its what you are encouraged to do as a fullback as it stops idiots running into u when your are in the end, and also gives u extra stability. the fact that he was looking at the ball all the way doesn't matter he still took the player out in the air. the only way it wouldn't have been an offence is if he jumped as well. fully deserved his boot in the chops! however, i didnt like byrnes theatrics when he was on the floor in pseudo pain

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 12:54 pm

Most horrible game of rugby i've seen in a long time!

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Bealy February 14, 2011 4:02 pm

199 passes by scotland and 1 line break.....

Awesome defense? or poor scottish attack?

Bit of both i think.

Also some big hard hits by the two young flankers for wales Warburton (7) and Lydiate (6). Lydiate has really put that horrible injury behind him when he broke his neck.

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Anonymous February 14, 2011 4:06 pm

I'm a full back and can tell you that raising your knee/boot when you leave the ground to take a high ball is what you're coached. Claiming that Lee Byrne has a reputation for catching people like this surely counts as praise, since he's making a technically sound attempt to catch the ball.

Southwell may well have had his eye on the ball for some time but he took his eye off it in the final five yards of his approach and he did make an attempt to wrap his arms around Byrne, so I'm not buying any of this 'accidental challenge' crap.

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Guy February 14, 2011 6:30 pm

Didn't the same sort of thing happen to O'Gara for the lions? Caught Habana(?) in mid air and it cost them a penalty, the match and the series. Did not seem intentional either but I guess that is not always important when player-safety is involved.

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David February 14, 2011 7:24 pm

Can we have a little video dedicated to the big hits from this match? There were plenty! :)

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DUFF February 15, 2011 3:55 am

is lee byrne trying to take out the entire evans family?

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Andy M February 15, 2011 6:12 pm

What an incredibly boring match!!! I stuck with as much as possible but in the end....yawn!

A win for the Welsh (to be expected really against the Scots).

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