Scotland v Wales media reaction: Welsh aren’t Six Nations title contenders, Biggar ‘offered nothing in attack’ and Alun Wyn Jones given 5/10 rating

Wales pulled off a single-point victory over Scotland at Murrayfield in round two of the Six Nations, beating them 25-24.

Here’s how the UK media have been reacting.

Sir Ian McGeechan, Telegraph

Comeback kings Wales deserve credit – but I don’t think they are Six Nations title challengers. Wayne Pivac’s side have had to come from behind twice in a row – but Scotland and Ireland both looked stronger than them with full complement.

You have to say that was a magnificent Test match. It was end-to-end, breathless stuff, with some moments of real genius and some awful errors. Either team could have won. You have to credit Wales for their defence and the way they hung in there so doggedly. And the fact that they scored four tries of course. But the truth is Scotland threw that game away.

That extra man in the backfield encouraged Wales to go wider. They went wide-wide in the move that led to Louis Rees-Zammit’s second try of the game. It was a sensational finish from a sensational young player who deserved his man of the match award. But I don’t think Wales would have scored that try had Scotland had 15 players on the pitch.

Will Kelleher, MailOnline

The red-card slam is on for Wales, winning against 14 men again after Zander Fagerson was sent off for Scotland and Louis Rees-Zammit made them pay.

Rees-Lightning struck twice as the 20-year-old winger scored a stupendous double, the second a real bolt from the blue to super-charge Welsh Six Nations hopes.

With nine minutes left he went alone down the flank, chipping, chasing and scoring a classic try worthy of winning any game.

Perhaps with 15 men in the line they might have stopped him, but after Fagerson had flown into Wyn Jones – he himself sensational again at prop – with a shoulder to the face and seen red the extra man was there be exploited.

For Scotland it was one thrown away.

Steve Scott, The Courier

The high of Twickenham collapsed into the deepest of lows at Murrayfield as Scotland blew a 17-3 advantage over Wales and suffered a crushing loss in their second Guinness Six Nations match.

The Scots had only themselves to blame for this one. The red card to Zander Fagerson with Scotland ahead 17-15 midway through the second half will get the main focus and rightly so, but what really cost them was the general indiscipline and lack of composure we thought had gone for good after last week.

Surely the indiscipline of Dublin in October was not going to be allowed to return? Instead it did calamitously with four more penalties in the opening spell of the second half crowned with Fagerson’s sending off.

The prop has a confrontational style but it rarely results in him getting sanctioned like this. It was a stupid and ultimately crucial mistake given anything at all is picked up by TV match officials in today’s game.

Andy Bull, The Observer

Mercy. If you’re lucky, you’re reading this because you want to relive this match rather than because you missed it. It was a nail-biting, lung-busting, heart-pumping contest. In the end it was settled by a single point, 25-24 to Wales, after the lead had see-sawed back-and-forth.

There were seven tries, two of them by Wales’s dazzling young winger Louis Rees-Zammit, who won the man of the match, as well as a red card for Zander Fagerson, who caught Wyn Jones in the head with his shoulder at a clear-out midway through the second half. Even then, down to 14 men, Scotland gave it everything they had and but for a tap-tackle on Duhan van der Merwe in the final few seconds could well have won the game.

Alex Bywater, Mail on Sunday

Dan Biggar – 3/10: Offered his team nothing in attack and criminally missed touch at the start of the second half. Replaced by rookie Callum Sheedy he was that poor.

Gareth Davies – 4.5/10: Nearly cost his team a win against Ireland. Still started here but like Biggar was hooked after a poor display. Kieran Hardy was the man to come on.

Alun Wyn Jones (capt) – 5/10: Gave away two early penalties, perhaps because he was so easily identifiable by his garish yellow boots and his discipline was surprisingly poor. Not often he is replaced.

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Richard Bath, Telegraph

The Six Nations tables didn’t so much turn, as spin full circle during 80 epic minutes in Edinburgh in a match which encompassed one red card, seven tries, and a remarkable comeback. Scotland, seeking their fifth successive win off the back of a once-in-a-generation victory at Twickenham, were once again undone by a Wales side which has struggled for form under Wayne Pivac.

For Wales, who came back from 17-3 down, Louis Rees-Zammit proved to be their saviour. He only turned 20 a fortnight ago yet he grabbed this game by the scruff of its neck, making one try and scoring two, including the late solo score which proved to be the winner. He was rightly made man of the match as he led his side to the top of the Six Nations table.

If control and discipline were key to Scotland’s win at Twickenham, a loss of control and indiscipline did for Gregor Townsend’s side in this see-sawing match.

Mark Palmer, The Times

What a statement from Wales, what a sickener for Scotland. For 12 months we have wondered what to make of Wayne Pivac’s team, wondered what kind of identity they were aspiring to establish. It has all felt a bit messy, a tad uninspired, but here was a performance to warm Welsh hearts on a bitterly cold Edinburgh day.

For Scotland, it was one that got away quite spectacularly, through a combination of Welsh brilliance and spirit and some mightily poor stuff from the hosts themselves.

Wales have had injury troubles, though it would be pushing it to describe this line-up as patchwork, and there was an air of vulnerability around them which has not tended to be present on Murrayfield visits since the turn of the century.


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