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Wales 23 – 10 Scotland

Wales made a promising start to their RBS Six Nations campaign with a convincing win over Scotland.

Wing Rhys Williams bagged a brace of tries, prop Adam Jones also went over and Stephen Jones grabbed eight points.

In response, Scotland could only manage a try from Simon Taylor and five points from Chris Paterson.

The hosts led 18-3 at the break after some dazzling back play and sealed the win over their shell-shocked visitors early in the second half.

Wales, looking to build on an impressive World Cup, assumed control from the outset and took just three minutes to show Scotland they meant business.

Iestyn Harris’ half break fed full-back Gareth Thomas before openside Martyn Williams supplied Rhys Williams to fly over in the corner.

Scotland, not yet aware of what was to come, hit back and stayed in touch through Paterson’s drop goal.

The Scots were further boosted when Stephen Jones, who earlier converted Williams’ try, missed a simple penalty attempt in front of the posts after 11 minutes.

But Wales continued to press and another flowing back move, sparked by Rhys Williams at acting stand-off, sent frizzy-haired prop Adam Jones over in the left corner.

Scotland managed to stem the red tide briefly but Wales launched another scintillating attack minutes later from their own 22, only for Thomas’ score to be ruled illegal after crossing.

And the home side maintained their momentum with a Stephen Jones penalty to lead 15-3 after 25 minutes.

The Scots enjoyed their best spell in the second period of the first half, with a Simon Danielli break setting up a series of promising phases.

But they opted to run a penalty in Wales’ 22 and came away pointless after Gareth Cooper cleared.

The visitors did manage to dampen Wales’ rampant enthusiasm before the break, though the hosts went close to a third try when Gethin Jenkins was dragged down metres short.

Seconds later, Wales increased their advantage with a Stephen Jones penalty before the half-time whistle was blown.

Wales came out in equally-determined fashion after the break, and soon had a Shane Williams try disallowed for a foot in touch before Rhys Williams made amends after a flowing move from a scrum on the right.

With the game more or less won Wales slacked off and Scotland had a chance to enjoy some possession, spurred on by young scrum-half Chris Cusiter.

The visitors spurned an attacking scrum several metres out inside the last 10 minutes, but after some late pressure number eight Taylor went over for a consolation.

Teams

Wales
G Thomas (Warriors); R Williams (Blues), S Parker (Warriors), I Harris (Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Scarlets), G Cooper (Warriors); D Jones (Ospreys), M Davies (Warriors), A Jones (Ospreys), G Llewellyn (Ospreys), B Cockbain (Warriors), C Charvis (Tarbes), M Williams (Blues), D Jones (Scarlets).
Replacements
T Shanklin (Blues), C Sweeney (Warriors), D Peel (Scarlets), G Jenkins (Warriors), H Bennett (Ospreys), M Owen (Dragons), J Thomas (Ospreys).

Scotland
B Hinshelwood (Worcester); S Danielli (Bath), T Philip (Edinburgh), B Laney (Edinburgh), A Henderson (Glasgow); C Paterson (Edinburgh, capt), C Cusiter (Borders); T Smith (Northampton), G Bulloch (Glasgow), B Douglas (Borders), S Murray (Edinburgh), S Grimes (Newcastle), C Mather (Glasgow), S Taylor (Edinburgh), A Hogg (Edinburgh).

Replacements

R Russell (Saracens), G Kerr (Leeds), J White (Sale), S Cross (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh), D Parks (Glasgow), S Webster (Edinburgh).

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 14th, 2004 at 7:59 pm and is filed under Six Nations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


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