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Wales 26-27 Scotland: Narrow triumph over Wales in nail-biting Six Nations clash

SCOTLAND triumphed over Wales in a nail-biting Guinness Men’s Six Nations clash at Cardiff, securing their first victory on Welsh soil since 2002 and retaining the Doddie Weir Cup. This win, reminiscent of the resolution of the week’s news featuring ‘Honshu’, the escaped Japanese macaque from the Highland Wildlife Park, symbolised Scotland lifting a longstanding burden with their triumph at the Principality Stadium, a venue that had eluded them for over two decades.

The match was a spectacle of rugby prowess and strategic gameplay, with Wales edging the try count four to three. However, Scotland clinched the victory by the slimmest of margins in a contest that will be remembered for its sheer intensity and exceptional display of skill and determination.

The game commenced with both teams displaying palpable tension, indicative of Wales’ search for a rare championship win and Scotland’s quest to overcome years of disappointments in Cardiff. Under the leadership of Finn Russell, known for his unorthodox play but demonstrating unexpected maturity, Scotland orchestrated a first-half performance that laid the groundwork for their historic win.

Scotland’s assertive play was rewarded early on when Wales was penalised for offside, allowing Russell to open the scoring. The visitors’ relentless pressure soon paid off with Pierre Schoeman’s try, further extended by Russell’s precision kicking. Wales mounted attacks through Nick Tompkins, but Scotland’s defence remained unyielding, showcasing their tactical discipline and resilience.

The narrative of Scotland’s dominance continued into the second half, with Duhan van der Merwe and Russell combining to extend their lead. However, the Welsh spirit, undeterred by the deficit, ignited a remarkable comeback, with tries from James Botham, Rio Dyer, Aaron Wainwright, and debutant Alex Mann bringing the match to a tantalisingly close finish.

Despite Wales’ valiant efforts and a tense final few minutes, Scotland managed to secure possession and defend their slender lead, culminating in a victory that marks a significant milestone in their Six Nations campaign.

The match was not just a testament to Scotland’s strategic evolution and resilience but also highlighted individual brilliance, with Aaron Wainwright’s performance earning him the Guinness Player of the Match. This encounter, witnessed by a crowd of 74,500, will undoubtedly be etched in the annals of Six Nations history as a classic, symbolising Scotland’s resurgence and the unyielding spirit of Welsh rugby.

Scotland’s victory in Cardiff signals not just the end of a long-awaited triumph but the beginning of a promising campaign in the Guinness Men’s Six Nations, setting the stage for an enthralling season ahead.

Full-time: Wales 26-27 Scotland

Wales: Cameron Winnett; Rio Dyer, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Sam Costelow, Gareth Davies; Corey Domachowski, Ryan Elias, Leon Brown, Dafydd Jenkins (capt), Adam Beard, James Botham, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Kemsley Mathias, Keiron Assiratti, Teddy Williams, Alex Mann, Tomos Williams, Ioan Lloyd, Mason Grady.

Scotland: Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Warriors); Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu (all Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby); Finn Russell (Bath Rugby, captain), Ben White (Toulon); Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Richie Gray, Scott Cummings (all Glasgow Warriors), Luke Crosbie, Jamie Ritchie (both Edinburgh Rugby), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors).

Replacements: Ewan Ashman (Edinburgh Rugby) (for Crosbie, 50 mins, temp.), Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs) (for Schoeman, 62 mins), Elliot Millar-Mills (Northampton Saints) (for Z Fagerson, 70 mins), Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) (for Gray, 31 mins), Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) (for Ritchie, 62 mins), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) (for White, 70 mins), Ben Healy (Edinburgh Rugby) Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) ((for Crosbie, 72 mins).

Referee: Ben O’Keefe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Doleman and Angus Mabey (both New Zealand)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

Crowd: 74,500

Guinness Player of the Match: Aaron Wainwright (Wales)