Wales resist brave Scots

Wales kept their Six Nations title aspirations alive with a hard-fought 26-23 win over Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday. 

Scotland were full value for their early seven-point lead, but after their disappointing performance against England in Cardiff, Wales showed great resilience to get past the shrewd Scots.

While Scotland did well to disrupt the visitors' lineout in the early stages, Leigh Halfpenny opened the scoring for Wales in the sixth minute with a penalty. 

The home side's response was swift, as they crossed the line four minutes later through a breakaway try by Stuart Hogg, who turned on the afterburners to go under the posts untouched. A further penalty by Greig Laidlaw had the Murrayfield faithful in full voice, as the Test swung in Scotland's favour.

But Wales chipped away at the deficit with two more Halfpenny penalties, before Scotland were reduced to 14-men when Finn Russell was sent off for bucking into an airborne Dan Biggar, who chased an up-and-under. Rhys Webb grabbed Wales' first five-pointer against the run of play, after Sean Lamont's offload didn't go to hand. The Dragons pounced and led 16-10 at the break. 

Halfpenny and Laidlaw traded kicks early in the second half, but the momentum shifted in Wales' favour when Jonathan Davies scored with 16 minutes to go.

Scotland, however, turned things around in the final quarter. They were awarded endless penalties and attacked the Welsh line continuously, but stubborn defence denied them each time. Substitute Jim Hamilton would eventually score with Russell converting, but it was too little too late.

Scotland – Tries: Stuart Hogg, Jim Hamilton. Conversions: Greig Laidlaw, Finn Russel. Penalties: Laidlaw (3).
Wales – Tries: Rhys Webb, Jonathan Davies. Conversions: Leigh Halfpenny (2). Penalties: Halfpenny (4).

Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Subs: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Alasdair Strokosch, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Greig Tonks, 23 Matt Scott.

Wales – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Subs: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Paul James, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Scott Williams.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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