Stunning Finish By Steff Evans As Wales Batter Scotland

6N: Gatland predicted comfy win over Scotland

And Hogg - the Six Nations Player of the Championship in each of the last two seasons - has been tipped to make a big impact following his eye-catching return from injury in the Warriors' European Champions Cup win over Exeter Chiefs on January 20. They will want to stay in the team I am sure. This time the optimism lasted for six minutes, and when the wheels came off it was to the sort of spectacular level which we all hoped had been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Barclay, who impressed in Scotland's superb November Test series when they went they went close to an historic win over world champions New Zealand, and then thumped 14-man Australia, said the size of the task facing his team was illustrated by last year's Six Nations.

Former captain Greig Laidlaw has been named on the bench, with Ali Price preferred at scrum-half, while Jon Welsh and Gordon Reid are recalled following a number of injuries. There's nothing like conceding a 60-yard interception try to knock the led out of your pencil.

There was no let up from Wales, who sent Halfpenny over for his second just after the hour, and Evans piled further misery on the away side with a spectacular winger's finish seven minutes from the end.

It was a little to early to say game over but Wales were on the brink and an increasingly shambolic Scotland and the killer blow came after 62 minutes when Halfpenny was put over down the right following some lusty charges on the line. They managed to survive through to half time without any more catastrophes, but their nerves were shot.

Things didn't improve at the start of the second half for Scotland.

Trying to make sense of the poor showing, Scotland captain John Barclay said: "I am speechless".




Principality Stadium's roof will be closed for Saturday's Six Nations opener. But the tension was gone.

The Scots haven't really discussed Wales' catalogue of injured stars and Barclay thinks numerous Welsh will be motivated to prove a point.

Not only was the scrum in trouble but the line-out - which hadn't been good all day - had careered completely off the rails.

Scotland finally managed a period of pressure inside the Welsh 22 during the final five minutes.

Gatland's side began the second half as they had finished the first, willing to take risks and attack from anywhere. There wasn't any comfort to be taken from that late score.

Steff Evans let Alun Wyn-Jones' pass slip from his fingers as he failed to round off what would have been a sensational try.

Wales launched their Six Nations campaign minus nine injured front-line players - a list of absentees that included star names like Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb - while Scotland had major front-five issues, being without their leading props and second-row talisman Richie Gray.

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