Wales beat Scotland 21-10 in Cardiff on Saturday to win the inaugural Doddie Weir Cup.
This match was arranged in honour of the former Scotland and British & Irish lock, who is suffering from motor neurone disease. All proceeds raised will go towards Weir’s work to raise funds for MND research.
With the Test falling outside World Rugby’s designated window, Wales and Scotland were only allowed to select home-based players. However, Wales continued their stranglehold on this fixture at the Millennium Stadium by making it 10 wins in a row in Cardiff, a streak dating back to 2003.
Wales controlled territory and possession in the first half, but it was all a bit stop-start and disjointed. Deprived of the ball, Scotland were left frustrated. They conceded numerous penalties in the opening quarter and three of those were successfully kicked at goal by Leigh Halfpenny as Wales took a 9-0 lead.
A dominant scrum afforded Scotland a rare penalty in Wales’ half and Adam Hastings stepped up to pull three points back for the visitors.
The match came alive in the last 10 minutes of the half as both sides managed to score.
Wales were in possession in midfield, but their attack was static as they went from side to side. But then George North accelerated onto a ball and powered towards the line for the first try, leaving Scotland’s centres Huw Jones and Alex Dunbar in his wake.
Scotland hit back six minutes later through captain Stuart McInally, who broke free from the back of a maul to barge over. Hastings kicked the conversion to slice the deficit to 14-10 at the break.
The second half was played in stark contrast to the first. Soon after the restart, centre Jonathan Davies put one of his trademark hand-offs on Jones for a clear run-in to the tryline for Wales’ second try.
It was all Scotland after that, as they forced Wales to go in defensive mode for the remainder of the match. Unfortunately for the visitors, they could’t convert pressure into points.
Scotland camped inside Wales’ 22, but even when the hosts were reduced to 14 after hooker Elliot Dee was sent to the sin bin for streaking offside, the Scots couldn’t breach Wales’ sturdy defence.
In the end, Wales’ defence triumphed over Scotland’s probing attack.
Wales – Tries: George North, Jonathan Davies. Conversion: Leigh Halfpenny. Penalties: Halfpenny (3).
Scotland – Try: Stuart McInally. Conversion: Adam Hastings. Penalty: Hastings.
Wales – 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith.
Subs: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Adam Beard, 19 Aaron Wainwright, 20 Tomos Williams, 21 Jarrod Evans, 23 Steff Evans.
Scotland – 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 1 Allan Dell.
Subs: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Matt Fagerson, 21 George Horne, 22 Pete Horne, 23 Darcy Graham.