World Rugby

Scotland Survives Storming Welsh Comeback To Claim Victory In Cardiff

Scotland Survives Storming Welsh Comeback To Claim Victory In Cardiff

Scotland triumphs with a nail-biting 27-26 victory against Wales in Cardiff, marking its first Six Nations win there in 20 years, despite a Welsh comeback.

Feb 3, 2024 by Philip Bendon
Scotland Survives Storming Welsh Comeback To Claim Victory In Cardiff

Scotland secured its first Six Nations victory over Wales in Cardiff in over 20 years with a 27-26 win Saturday. 

Leading 20-0 at halftime, Scotland appeared to be home and dry. This was solidified further, as Duhan van der Merwe sprinted over for his second try of the evening early in the second half to take the Scots to a 27-0 lead. 

From here, it was all Wales, which scored 26 unanswered points. James Botham, Rio Dyer, Aaron Wainwright and Alex Mann scored tries to secure a bonus point and put immense pressure on Scotland. 

Clearly now chasing their tails, Finn Russell and his team looked out on their feet, before calming things down with an extended period of kicking, followed by a powerful scrum. 

Ending the match on a positive note, Scotland charged toward the Welsh line, with van der Merwe eventually being held up over the line to end the chaos. 

Speaking post-match, player of the match Aaron Wainwright felt his team had let one get away following their appalling first half. 

"We probably wanted the game to go on another five minutes," Wainwright said. "We left ourselves too much to do and were probably not accurate enough in the first half. A lot of their ball came from our errors. As the scoreboard kept ticking down, the belief grew, but first-half inaccuracies cost us." 

Echoing his teammate’s sentiments, Welsh captain Daffyd Jenkins was disappointed that his team couldn’t close out their comeback. 

“Extremely disappointing result, but also extremely proud of the way we came back," Daffyd Jenkins said. "We could have given up, but we showed fight. Second half, we sped up the ball a bit. In terms of having a young team, there’s no fear, and we’ll be looking to build on this. This Scotland team is one of the best, but yes, extremely disappointed.” 

On the flipside, Scotland captain Finn Russell was visibly frustrated by his team’s complacency. 

“I’m a little bit disappointed, to be honest," Russell said. "The win’s brilliant, but that second half was nowhere near where we need to be. First half, we played really well, we controlled the game. When we scored that try early second half, we probably got a little bit complacent, to be honest. 

“Fair play to Wales; they came back and put us under a lot of pressure. There are a lot of positives, but we need to be a lot better. 

“One of the main points I was making [to his players] was: leave the ruck. And we kept going in, and got a yellow card. 

“If the message is ‘leave the ball’ [in rucks], and players are still going for it, those individuals need to look at their games, because it was putting us under a lot of pressure.” 

Next up for Wales is a trip to Twickenham to face an England team that held off Italy by three points in Rome. 

Scotland, on the other hand, will welcome a French team reeling from a hammering at the hands of Ireland in Marseille on Friday.

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