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30 November 2023

Williams scores twice as Wales end bleak run

Nick De Luca of Scotland attempts to tackle Shane Williams of Wales as he scores a try during the RBS 6 Nations Championship match at Murrayfield in Scotland on Saturday. (GETTY)

By Reuters

Shane Williams scored the only two tries of the match as Wales finally showed glimpses of the form that has eluded them in recent games to beat Scotland 24-6 in their Six Nations encounter at Murrayfield.

Scotland rarely threatened the Welsh apart from a spell in the first half when the visitors were reduced to 13 men as referee George Clancy brandished two yellow cards.
Andy Robinson’s team, who beat world champions South Africa last November, have now lost their opening two matches in the tournament.
Wales, in decline since they stylishly outclassed Scotland in the same fixture two years ago, soon showed their liking for Murrayfield.
James Hook, playing at flyhalf in an international for the first time in two years, was the man behind their excellent start.
Coach Warren Gatland was hoping that the Ospreys man would add some imagination to a Wales side who have been too regimented in recent games and Hook soon justified his faith.
Neat footwork by Hook and three unconvincing Scottish tackles enabled Williams to go over for his first try after only six minutes.
Hook converted and capitalised on indiscipline by the Scotland forwards to add three more penalties and give the visitors a 16-0 lead after only 22 minutes.
Scotland had enjoyed little possession by this stage, but finally gained a foothold in the game thanks to Clancy.
Bradley Davies went to the sin bin in the 20th minute and was soon followed by Lee Byrne, leaving Wales with 13 men for six minutes.
However, the Scots failed to capitalise as handling errors robbed them twice of try chances and they managed to reduce the deficit by only three points through a Dan Parks penalty.
Parks missed another penalty with the final kick of the half as his standing foot slipped and the ball finished metres short, summing up an unhappy 40 minutes for the home side.
Wales were content to stifle Scotland in the second half, with Hook and Parks exchanging penalties and Scotland’s hopes of a recovery vanished in the 70th minute when Williams raced on to Jonathan Davies’s kick ahead to claim his second try.
It was Wales’s first win in eight games since beating Italy last March and followed defeat in the opening round against England last week.
“We’ve been a wounded animal since the England game,” captain Matthew Rees told the BBC. “We were down to 13 men at one point and to come away 24-6 was a great result for us.