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Scotland 35 Wales 7: Second half romp has Scotland two-from-two with a record win over Wales

Finn Russell's brilliant offload sparked Scotland to their record win.
Finn Russell's brilliant offload sparked Scotland to their record win.

Scotland have started a Guinness Six Nations with two wins for the first time ever after a second-half surge and Finn Russell’s brilliance led them to a record win 0ver Wales.

Two tries from Kyle Steyn, both supplied from Russell’s box of tricks, finally turned what was a pretty poorly played and dull game for 45 minutes into a cruise for the Scots.

Blair Kinghorn, an early replacement for Stuart Hogg, scored the fourth try and Matt Fagerson a late fifth as the Scots went bonus for the second week in a row. George Turner had their first-half try.

The 35 points scored – Russell missed three conversions – equals the 35-10 win in 1924, Scotland’s highest total against the Welsh. The margin of victory was an all-time record over Wales.

Just a brief glimpse of a chance for Wales

The much-changed Welsh side actually got a glimpse of a chance only just before half-time. But they looked punchless with a fair amount of ball they had within the Scottish 22.

For Scotland, it was a fairly laboured performance until Russell really clicked in the second half. His magnificent offload for Steyn’s first try, falling forward in a tackle as he went for a gap, really opened the floodgates.

From that moment the stand-off had the game under total control. Scotland cut out the silly mistakes and poor decisions across the team as they romped to victory.

The first half was a pretty dreadful affair, with too much loose ball and precious little invention from either side.

It was a tentative start full of long kicks before Scotland opened out from their own half. Sione Tuipulotu’s short pass looked suspiciously forward, but sprung Huw Jones through a gap.

The centre went 40 metres but couldn’t find support, and Russell’s cross kick to Kyle Steyn led to nothing. A penalty where Jones was felled allowed the stand-off to put Scotland 3-0 ahead.

Hogg’s early exit

Scotland lost Stuart Hogg to a head knock before Russell doubled the lead after 13 minutes.

Rio Dyer’s pass in his own 22 eluded Dan Biggar and the Welsh stand-off sliced his clearance. Scotland’s lineout move wasn’t the greatest but Tommy Reffell infringed going for the turnover. Russell landed his second easy penalty.

Wales then had a 10-minute spell of dominance but couldn’t score from two setpieces inside five metres. Biggar hooked a penalty wide, Richie Gray stole a lineout and Jamie Ritchie won a key turnover.

The siege lifted, the Scots went straight up the other end and broke through.

Steyn was tackled at the corner flag but there was a penalty advantage. Gray took the resulting lineout, the Scots drove and Turner spun off to score after a TMO check, Russell converting.

But Scotland immediately handed back the momentum with a guddled restart reception. Turner was yellow-carded for a high hit on George North, and Wales finally drove a lineout successfully for skipper Ken Owens to score.

Biggar added a conversion and only a loose pass behind Dyer stopped Wales from another score as the clock went red.

The second-half surge sparked by Russell

Scotland completed the yellow card without further damage. A break by Blair Kinghorn took them into the Welsh 22, but Turner couldn’t hold the ball as he went for his second try.

A brilliant pass out of the back by Jones for van der Merwe in space at last. The wing carried into the danger area, and the Scots won a penalty.

The lineout drive was stalled this time. But after the Scots pounded the goal-line, Russell took it close and delivered his glorious offload for Steyn to score.

Russell converted and on Scotland’s next attack Liam Williams saw yellow as van der Merwe threatened.

Scotland kicked to the corner again and with Wales undermanned as the ball came back, Russell picked out Steyn again with the crosskick this time.

Wales got back to full compliment but Russell was pulling the strings now. A cross-kick to the other wing allowed van der Merwe to feed the supporting Kinghorn for Scotland’s fourth try.

Fagerson’s score came from a trademark long loop pass from Russell. His three missed conversions were his only black marks from his brilliant second half.

Att 67,144


Stuart Hogg (Exeter); Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Sione Tupilotu (Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh); Finn Russell (Racing 92), Ben White (London Irish); Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors); Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh); Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors).

Replacements: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors for Turner 59), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors for Schoeman 65), WP Nel (Edinburgh for Z Fagerson 65), Sam Skinner (Edinburgh for Gilchrist 65), Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors for Crosbie 48), George Horne (Glasgow Warriors for White 59), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh for Hogg 12), Chris Harris (Gloucester for Tuipulotu 72).


Liam Williams; Josh Adams, George North, Joe Hawkins, Rio Dyer; Dan Biggar,  Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Dillon Lewis; Dafydd Jenkins, Adam Beard; Christ Tshiunza, Tommy Reffell, Jac Morgan.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (for Owens 66), Rhys Carre (for W Jones 53), Leon Brown (for Lewis 66), Rhys Davies, Taulupe Faletau (for Morgan 53), Rhys Webb (for T Williams 58), Rhys Patchell (for Biggar 53), Alex Cuthbert (for Adams 59.

Ref: Andrew Brace (IRFU)