Six Nations: Wales bring overhyped Scotland back to earth


Which makes it into your composite Wales-Scotland team?

Scotland captain John Barclay believes intimate knowledge of his Scarlets team-mates will be no help because Wales head coach Warren Gatland will play a conservative style for their Six Nations opener on Saturday.

With so many of their frontline players injured, Warren Gatland has turned nearly wholesale to the Scarlets, the PRO12 champions and the in-form team in the European Champions' Cup.

"They're considerably better odds than France and Wales to win this season's championship and our punters' activity backs this up with many backing them to claim Six Nations glory at 7/1".

Defending champions England and Ireland will begin the tournament as favourites, but Logan said: "I don't think there'll be a Grand Slam victor this year".

"They have got 10 guys who play for Scarlets but also five guys who don't".

The first half had not featured a single penalty at goal yet two minutes after the restart Halfpenny punished a breakdown offence to stretch the lead to a formidable 17 points before repeating the trick for 20-0 after 48 minutes.

"I thought we defended superbly".

"Apart from the soft try at the end our defence was outstanding", Gatland said.

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They surged into the Scottish half with flanker Aaron Shingler bursting through a gap near a ruck, and front row forwards Cory Hill, Rob Evans and Alun Wyn-Jones all showed good handling skills to strike deep into opposition territory.

By contrast Scotland, for all the attacking threat of Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell, have not won in the Welsh capital since 2002 - one reason why Saturday's clash could have such a huge bearing on their Championship.

That means Wales also had a bonus point to celebrate, and even a last-gasp try from replacement centre Pete Horne could take the gloss off this famous victory.

Europe's elite global competition gets underway this weekend, with England looking to become the first side to win three successive outright titles in the long history of the Championship.

"I said a few weeks ago that the draw was great for us".

But the result was the same - and what a result this was for Gatland and his team.

All eyes could well fall onto that fixture in the final round, with England seeking revenge for their sole loss under Australian coach Jones, with Ireland triumphing 13-9 in the final game of last seasons tournament.

Scotland continued to press against their opponents but were caught out on six minutes when Gareth Davies intercepted outside his own 22 and raced the length of the pitch to score in the corner. "We were badly beaten and it was a defeat, but there weren't many away wins in the championship a year ago (three) and now we need to bounce back".