Sunday, 10 March 2013

Scotland 18 v Wales 28

On a bitterly cold Edinburgh day, Scotland failed to spark yesterday and slumped fairly predictably to defeat against a Welsh side who asked all the questions. The fussy South African referee spoilt it for me by stopping play at every opportunity and awarding a ridiculous 19 penalties which dictated the scoring pattern. 

Greg Laidlaw's trusty boot edged Scotland in front at half-time but Wales deserved the lead and they took it quickly after the re-start. Scotland missed Ritchie Gray who was stretchered off after about 20 minutes with a twisted knee. Scotland won plenty of ball up front and disrupted the Welsh lineout but there was no transition to the backs who rarely got going. 

Stuart Hogg saw plenty of the ball but it was invariably from his own 20 metre line in clearing up capacity rather than breaking the Welsh line. Scotland will limp into the Stade de France next week seeking to hand the French Le Spoon Wooden and create our best finish since 2006. Meanwhile, Wales will seek a moral victory of stopping England's Grand Slam and finishing level pegging at the top of the table. 

The brightest spot of the day, of course, was the news from Huddersfield where Chris Powell's boys pulled another rabbit from the hat by winning from a fourth minute debut goal from the boy Harriott. That will do his confidence a power of good and it was also good to see we kept a clean sheet. David Button is taking his chance. I'm sure we all looked at our home record again this morning with the Addicks in 12th and found ourselves thinking, "if only....."

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