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03 March 2024

Wales crush Scotland 27-13 after late blitz

Dan Lydiate (left) of Wales holds off the tackle of Sean Lamont of Scotland during the RBS Six Nations match at the Millenium Stadium on Sunday in Cardiff, Wales. (GETTY)

By Agencies

Wales overcame a sluggish start to crush an error-prone and ill-disciplined Scotland 27-13 in the Six Nations on Sunday and make it two wins from two. 

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny scored two tries and kicked 12 points and wing Alex Cuthbert also touched down for the hosts as the Scots, who had more than held their own in the first 40 minutes, paid the price for having two players sin-binned at the Millennium Stadium. 

Scotland, level 3-3 at the break, rallied briefly with Greig Laidlaw getting his side's first try in five matches on his first start but it was too little too late as Wales confidently followed up last weekend's win over Ireland. 

Wales now head to Twickenham to take on England, also with two wins under interim coach Stuart Lancaster, on February 25 while the Scots must lick their wounds before hosting France a day later. 

Wales were forced to reshuffle hours before Sunday's game when captain Sam Warburton withdrew after failing to recover from a dead leg. His place in the back row was taken by debutant Aaron Shingler with Ryan Jones taking over the captaincy. 

Scotland, quick to the breakdown and demonstrating a ferocious work rate, did not let Wales settle in the opening half and the hosts suffered further injury woes when they lost hooker Huw Bennett and wing George North who had to be helped off just before the break. 

Andy Robinson's Scotland had been the marginally better side but mistakes, as they had made in the home defeat by England, cost them dearly once again.  

A knock-on close to the Welsh line cost them the chance of a try in the first half and the game was turned on its head in 14 minutes at the start of the second half. 

The Scots committed another glaring error when Chris Cusiter made a hash of gathering the kickoff to hand Wales a lineout in their opponents' 22. The ball was then worked wide for Cuthbert who brushed off a missed tackle to touch down. 

Scotland were reduced to 14 men after centre Nick De Luca was sin-binned for an off-the-ball tackle which Halfpenny, who kicked a late penalty to defeat Ireland, further punished to extend the lead to 13-3. 
Laidlaw also proved accurate with the dead ball but a rampaging Wales struck again as swift passing created the space for Halfpenny to dart over. 

Scotland were in disarray and after fullback Rory Lamont was sent to the sidelines for a professional foul, Halfpenny touched down again in the corner for his second and a third Welsh try. 

Scotland, back with a full complement of players, did at least rally in the final quarter but the game had already slipped from their grasp. 

Luckless replacement Stuart Hogg was denied a try when he was ruled to have knocked on with the line at his mercy but Laidlaw did score a consolation when he gathered from a maul and reached out for the line.