Wales recorded their first win of this year’s 6 Nations Championship as they overcame Scotland at Murrayfield 24-6 despite being reduced to 13 men at one point.
Wales, with James Hook at fly-half, looked to be playing with more purpose in a match between two sides that had failed to win on the opening weekend. This was despite Scotland managing to score three tries against France in the Stade de France.
It was a very different match this week however, as the home side failed to cross the line, their only points coming from the boot of Cardiff Blues’ fly-half Dan Parkes. In comparison Wales scored two tries, both through winger Shane Williams, while Hook kicked four penalties and a conversion to see out the match.
Wales took a deserving 16-3 lead in at the break following a try from Williams that had been made by Hook. The Perpignan fly-half, who has failed to find a position at the Ospreys, broke the Scotland defence before passing to his regional teammate Williams who was on hand to go over the line for the opening try of the match.
The only points of the half came from a Parkes penalty, although he could have doubled the home side’s lead on the stroke of half time as he lined up a second, long range, penalty however a slip during the run up saw the kick fall short.
The second half was dominated in the early stages however they could not take advantage, much in the same way that they were unable to do so in the first half when Wales were down to 14 men after first Bradley Davies and then Lee Byrne were sin binned; and when Jamie Roberts intercepted the ball and sped up the pitch on 65 minutes it appeared that Wales were to run away with the match. That would have been the case had Sean Lamont not made a try saving tackle, however none the less a penalty followed shortly as Wales began to edge out the match with just over ten minutes remaining.
If the match was almost over before, then it was definitely over moments later as Sam Warburton won the ball in the tackle. It came to Jonathan Davies who calmly chipped over the top and Williams was on hand to race behind the Scottish back three to collect his second try of the match, his 53rd in Wales’ colours, and with it Wales first win of this year’s Championships.
Scotland on the other hand will be left wondering what went wrong on a day when they were unable to capitalise on their performance last week in France and were unable to conjure anything up against Wales who were, at one point, missing two players.