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Rugby Union: Wales v Scotland RBS 6 Nations 2010 Preview

At half past two this afternoon, Wales and Scotland will kick off their match in Cardiff hoping to get their 2010 RBS 6 Nations off to a start at the second attempt after both sides lost in last week’s opening round.

Wales are strong favourites at 1/5 and looked to be worthy of this price after arguably outplaying England for large spells of the second half at Twickenham last week only to succumb to an unflattering defeat following too many handling errors and a – now much overstated – silly yellow card following a trip by Alun Wyn Jones.

Scotland for their part can only win this match if they somehow discover what it takes to cross the line. Their matchup with France last week was largely predictable: the Scots defended stoutly, picked up a few points from the boot, but were unable to get the five pointers that matter, and France proved too inventive with ball in hand.

And so goes the script for today’s match: Scotland will be resolute in defence, but will be distinctly unimpressive with the ball in hand. Andy Robinson can be proud of how well his men are organised at frustrating attacking play. Scotland are potentially the best defence in world rugby right now. However, that being said, no side can defend for 80 minutes, so if Scotland continue to kick away good possession, and display the lack of invention with ball in hand that was evidenced in the Autumn and last week against France, they can expect another tough time today.

Wales will be fired up for this one, but that might just bubble over and work against them. Under intense scrutiny last week, Wales proved lacking when it mattered: missing or dropping the final pass on innumerable occasions. Scotland must hope that the pressure mounts on Wales and these errors remain if they are to claim anything from today’s match.

On paper this is a 10 point game at least: I’d expect Wales to win this by around 25 points to 12, but the gods of rugby, as we so often see, may have a different idea. Scotland could feasibly come out and hold Wales to no score for half an hour. Chris Paterson could kick everything from within the Welsh half. They could go in at half time with Scotland leading by around three points. Scotland could hang on for a gritty victory. For those of you who are shaking your heads, and for Welsh fans confident of an easy time this week, there must only be one word of warning required: Australia.

Whichever way this match goes, it is genuinely exciting encounter in prospect as the inventiveness of Wales meets the determined Scots – here we have yet another example of why this year’s RBS 6 Nations matches are the hottest tickets in town.

Wales Lineup:

  1. Paul James
  2. Gareth Williams
  3. Adam R Jones
  4. Alun-Wyn Jones
  5. Jonathan Thomas
  6. Andy Powell
  7. Martyn Williams
  8. Ryan Jones
  9. Gareth Cooper
  10. Stephen Jones
  11. Shane Williams
  12. Jamie Roberts
  13. James Hook
  14. Leigh Halfpenny
  15. Lee Byrne
  16. Huw Bennet
  17. Gethin Jenkins
  18. Bradley Davies
  19. Sam Warburton
  20. Richie Rees
  21. Andre Bishop
  22. Tom Shanklin

Coach: Warren Gatland

Scotland Lineup

  1. Alasdair Dickinson
  2. Ross Ford
  3. Euan Murray
  4. Nathan Hines
  5. Alastair Kellock
  6. Kelly Brown
  7. John Barclay
  8. Johnnie Beattie
  9. Chris Cusiter
  10. Dan Parks
  11. Rory Lamont
  12. Graeme Morrison
  13. Sean Lamont
  14. Thom Evans
  15. Chris Paterson
  16. Scott Lawson
  17. Allan Jacobsen
  18. Richie Gray
  19. Alan McDonald
  20. Mike Blair
  21. Phil Godman
  22. Max Evans

Coach: Andy Robinson

About Sport Desk

Stories from the Sport Desk at The Global Herald.

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One comment

  1. what a game!!!

    we were second for most of it but what a finish. soctland were much better than we thought they would be… its the result that counts

    shane williams = wales legend

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