Six Nations – 3rd round: Scotland v Wales

The potential for an exiting match lay ahead as the two teams cam out at Murryfield. Wales fans hoping to see a record setting try from George North, who currently held the joint title of 5 out of 6 matches.  Scotland went into the match aware that they would need to be careful in the scrum, as they are the team who have given away the most penalties at the scrum.

Scotland took to the field still without Greg Laidlaw, still out due to injury with an expected 10 week recovery period his 2017 Six Nations is over.  Scotland were seen to take an early lead of the back of a penalty.  Wales strived to test the Scottish defence but fell short when Webb  was tackled 10 meters short of the line, a later tackle on Warburton resulted in a penalty taken by Halfpenny for Wales, drawing the scores level.

Six penalties in the first 13 minutes was the forerunner for an extended period of scrappy play with no real threats at either end.  At 22 minutes a well planned and executed tackle by North backed by Biggar and Moriarty prevented a Scottish attack, and saw a Welsh driven scrum, saw Liam Williams score the first TRY of the game for Wales. Followed up by a beautifully struck wide angle conversion from Halfpenny taking the scores to SCO 3-10 WAL.

Minutes later Wales nearly got one more but were halted near the line; TMO review of action in the run up to the try line for a pull back post pass by Webb resulted in a penalty being given to Scotland and play swiftly transferring to the opposite end of the pitch. A subsequent high tackle by the Welsh resulted in a penalty for Scotland with Finn Russell adding 3 more points for Scotland. A few minuets later the reverse was seen when Halfpenny regained the lead and added another 3 points for Wales.

The third scrum of the match at 35 minutes proved as scrappy as the previous two ending in a penalty for Scotland when the scrum collapsed, resulting in the referee having words with the Welsh captain.  Scotland failed to take advantage, failure to role away giving Wales another penalty, but a miss by Halfpenny left the scores as they were.

Scotland looked strong in the counter attack as they surged towards the try line.  A line out gave them the chance, just before half time, as the clock went red they held the penalty advantage, when Warburton failed to role away Scotland were awarded a penalty and Finn Russell closed the gap to SCO 9 – 13 WAL.

Second half started out as the first half left off with more scrappy play back and forth; at 43 minutes Scotland made an attempt on the try line; Seymour though he had claimed the try; which after referral  to the TMO, it  was confirmed the try could be awarded, a subsequent successful conversion giving Scotland the lead.

At 54 minutes Finn Russell extended the lead with another penalty for the Scottish side. Wales tried to fight back shortly after but remained 6 points behind when the TMO confirmed ‘no try’.

As the clock passed the 60 minute mark, Wales continued to try and put pressure on the Scots; in attempt to inject new vigour into their game replacements were made. Another collapsed scrum gave Scotland another penalty, resulting in a Scottish line out in the Welsh half. Scotland surged through the midfield and pushed towards the line, allowing Scotland to break out and another try for the Scottish side, complemented by another  conversion from Finn Russell.

As the clock went down the score board continued to go up with another Scottish penalty in the 72nd minute pushing the scores to SCO 29-13 WAL.  Wales were to concede another penalty in the 74th minute, giving Scotland possession as Wales remained with out points in the second half.

Sadly George North didn’t get his record breaking try, but as John Lacey blew the final whistle the Scots were celebrating a rare win against the Welsh.

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