Welsh suffer Six Nations thrashing at Murrayfield

“I was just doing my job and making other guys look good,” Russell said after being named player of the game. It was a great game and result. We know we’ve struggled to secure wins in the past. The boys did a great job here.”

Ahead, Dan Biggar, the opposing half, asked why Scotland deserved so much praise without supporting them. “Scotland played well against England last week but look, you guys say they’re the best team around, don’t they?” said Biggar. “We have to see how they run on Saturday, see if they can support it. The pressure is on them. They’re the absolute favourites, the ‘best team of the tournament’ so we’ll see how they develop.”

He also promised a response from Wales. “It’s a really difficult question, but I think this country and this group of boys responds very well when we have our backs to the wall and we have to fight,” Biggar said.

Hmmm. Biggar wasn’t nearly his best and didn’t do himself any favors as he rolled over Rio Dyer early on for an erratic pass. It’s not the way to inspire confidence in a 21-year-old and just before the break the winger failed to secure a pass that could have led Wales 14-13 at the break.

As a result, Biggar missed a penalty off the post when his team was 6-0 down. In many ways, that summed up the mess as their record has been losing 11 of their last 14 games and six of their last seven.

Gatland has to wonder what he’s encountered on his return after agreeing to replace Wayne Pivac in December. After a similar shellac to Ireland’s first weekend, he moved on to the next generation of players – dropping the likes of Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric while benching Taulupe Faletau – and despite Dafydd Jenkins, young Exeter Lock, and Blindside Christ Tshiunza showed promise and the back row as a whole competed, little to be seen but gloom as England travel to Cardiff in two weeks.

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This is the first time in 16 years that Wales have lost their opening two Six Nations games. It wasn’t even close. Wales have conceded 69 points and scored 17, but in both encounters they had enough requests from their 22 opponents to make that deficit slightly ridiculous. What are they doing with Gatland’s resume, let alone his legacy?

Ken Owens, the captain who scored the Welsh try, tried to turn the positive. “We put in a really good performance in the first half and maybe we were a bit unlucky not to have easily taken the lead at half-time. In the second half we put pressure on ourselves and they punished us,” he said

“When you’re winning and you have momentum, it’s hard to lose and there’s a downside to that. It’s still early days with a new coaching staff and some new players coming on. We have to work hard and we have. We have to find a win. We believe in what we are trying to achieve. Greanden will come our way before England joins us in two weeks.

The Scottish captain’s mood was inevitably in direct contrast. “It wasn’t perfect, but we did enough to get the job done,” said James Ritchie. “We believe that if we do our best, we can beat any team. Like I said, it wasn’t perfect, we have a lot more in us and we’ll try to improve when we go to Paris.”

game details

Rating: 3-0 Russell Pen, 6-0 Russell Pen, 11-0 Turner Try, 13-0 Russell Con, 13-5 Owens Try, 13-7 Biggar Con, 18-7 Steyn Try, 20-7 Russell Con, 25- 7 Steyn try, 30-7 Kinghorn try, 35-7 Fagerson.

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Scotland: S.Hogg (B.Kinghorn 12); K Steyn, H Jones, S Tuipulotu (C Harris 72), D van der Meurwe; F Russell, B White (G Horne 58); P Schoeman, G Turner, (F Brown 58), Z Fagerson (WP Nel 64), R Gray, G Gilchrist (J Gray 64), J Ritchie (Captain), L Crosbie, M Fagerson. Yellow card: Turner (33)

Wales: L Williams; J Adams (A Cuthbert 58), G North (A Cuthbert 34-40), J Hawkins, R Dyer; D Biggar (R Patchell 56), T Williams (R Webb 56); W Jones (R Carre 52), K Owens (Capt), D Lewis (L Brown 64), A Beard, D Jenkins (R Davies 65), C Tshiunza, J Morgan (T Faletau 52). Yellow card: Williams 56, Webb 80

Referee: A bracket (irl).

Participation: 67,144.

When it happened


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