Experienced Wales Flyhalf Dan Biggar has come under fire for comments he made in the build-up to his side’s clash with an in-form Scotland.
Enjoying an incredible record against Scotland across his career, Biggar ratcheted up the pressure on Gregor Townsend’s side saying rather sarcastically, “Scotland played well last week against England but according to you guys they are the best team around, aren’t they?”
“We’ll have to see how they go on Saturday and let’s see if they can back it up because the pressure is all on them.
“They’re red-hot favourites, best team in the tournament, so we’ll see how they go Saturday. We don’t seem to get any credit, and other teams seem to get a lot of praise for probably not quite the success we’ve had, but that’s how it goes.
“I think our record is as good as anyone’s in this competition over the previous 10 years or whatever.”
“Medals are important when you look back at your career, and we’ve been lucky enough to fill the cabinet a few times, and it’s up to other teams to try and replicate that really.”
“And hopefully, if teams do that, then they’ll deservedly get praise but like I said, they’re a fantastic team at the minute playing with confidence, lots of good players.
“But from our point of view, it’s the same old really. In Wales, you lose a game, you get slagged off, and you win it is just sort of brushed over really. It’s one of those things where we just try and control what we can.
“But we do have a bit of a laugh that there are other teams around who get a fair bit of praise without really backing it up, I suppose.
“We have only lost to Scotland twice in my time.”
Scotland of course went on to dominate the fixture as they beat the Welsh by a record score of 35 – 7 and with it stayed on course for a potential Six Nations Grand Slam.
Responding to Biggar’s jibes whilst speaking in his post-match interview, Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie said, “I didn’t know he [Biggar] had said anything like that. Talk is cheap.
“We’ve not won anything yet – just a few games – so we’re looking forward to France.
“They [Wales] have got the better of us in the past, but today we won.
“I’m glad we backed up a good performance at Twickenham,” he continued. “We’ve been questioned on that before because we haven’t done it in the past.
“Our main theme during the week is that we want to develop consistency, and I’ll keep hammering home that a successful tournament for us is five good performances – so that’s two ticked off, and I think we improved on England last week so we’ll be looking to improve again against France.
“So, we’re delighted with the win,” he added. “It wasn’t perfect – there was a few clunky bits like there was last week, but it’s good to be winning whilst having bits to improve.
“France is our next focus. We’ve got next weekend off so not everybody will be in together, but we just spoke about recovering well and getting our prep right so we are in the best possible place to hit the ground running for the France week.”
When asked about where he felt his side got the advantage over a side they have historically struggled with, Ritchie said, “I think we just put them under pressure,” said Ritchie. “We knew that if we stuck to our game then we would create opportunities, and often when a team is under pressure you see their discipline slip.
“We knew they’d want to turn it into a messy game. That’s what you saw last year down there, so we knew if we stayed out of that and played our game then we’d create opportunities and put them under pressure.”
“It wasn’t too much change [after a disjointed first half], it was just about ‘do what we had been doing but do it better’. We spoke about bringing energy and bringing accuracy and being ruthless was a theme we spoke about before the game as well … and when there was swings of momentum, making sure we won that next moment.”
Next up Scotland travel to Paris to take on a French side that will be hurting having been roundly beaten by Ireland in Dublin.
Having now lost out on the chance to repeat their Grand Slam success of last season, Les Bleus will prove to be a stern test for Ritchie and his teammates.
Wales will continue their campaign at home to England as they look to record a first victory since Warren Gatland’s return to the top job.