Player Ratings: Rees lightning
OPINION: You sensed Wales came to Scotland with their tails up but little did they know they would they once again benefit from another red card dismissal.
But this Wales team is starting to fire up and do justice to its enviable talents.
Ian Cameron rates the Wales team
1. WYN JONES – 7.5/10
A perfect set-piece start for Jones, who won an early penalty off Zander Fagerson and the pair traded penalties thereafter. Was delighted with his try which pushed Wales ahead in the 56th minute.
2. KEN OWENS – 7
Owens claims for a Lions starting spot remains strong, with no obvious weakness to his game. A solid shift again.
3. TOMAS FRANCIS – 6
A typically industrious game for the big man, albeit with the sizeable caveat that Scotland did get the better of the scrums, with Sutherland nicking their personal battle.
4. ADAM BEARD – 7
A brilliant rip in defence in the opening quarter. Presented for carrying duty when needed even if significant meterage isn’t really his gig. A real handful for Scotland to deal with – all flailing arms and legs.
5. ALUN WYN JONES – 6
Gave away an early penalty to give Scotland their opening points. Took a heavy knock early in the second half and maybe didn’t quite recover.
6. AARON WAINWRIGHT – 5.5
Eager to impress in his first Test match of 2021, the flank was let down by his handling skills on occasion. Put in some massive defensive hits on Wales’ line and got better as the game wore on.
7. JUSTIN TIPURIC – 7
Has a McCaw-like ability to be one step ahead of every other player on the field. With much more ball, he didn’t get into the 20s with his tackling like last week.
8. TAULUPE FALETAU – 6
After a mixed bag against Ireland, Faletau was everywhere early on for the Welsh. Provided some much needed go forward, making 63 metres with ball in hand.
9. GARETH DAVIES – 6
Barring one or two wayward passes, a solid shift for the Davies. Off after 49 minutes.
10. DAN BIGGAR – 6
His kick-compete game was on the money, although Russell maybe edged the kick tennis. Interestingly subbed off for young Turk Sheedy after just 48 minutes, which might suggest Pivac felt Biggar wasn’t being creative enough in attack. Wales immediately scored.
11. LIAM WILLIAMS – 7.5
A wily old fox, Williams presented his usual high level of pest factor. Was the easiest try he will ever score and his handling helped put LRZ (LOUIS REES-ZAMMIT) away for his first try.
12. NICK TOMPKINS – 6.5
A typically busy performance from Tompkins on both sides of the ball, though at times maybe tried too hard to make things happen. A street-smart basketball pass put LRZ through in the 38th minute.
13. OWEN WATKIN – 5.5
A rare start for Watkin, the centre carried ably in opening exchanges and pulled off a brilliant possession strip. On the other side of the ledger struggled to contain beefy Scottish centre Harris and will have nightmares from his missed tackles on Hogg. His last play tap tackle, however, was worth his weight in gold, potentially saving the game for Wales.
14. LOUIS REES-ZAMMIT – 8.5
An awful miscommunication directly lead to Stuart Hogg’s try, with Rees-Zamitt’s field position forcing Halfpenny to cover him. Did his best to make up for it with a brilliant finished try in the first half, which was followed by a second-half solo effort which was individual brilliance personified.
15. LEIGH HALFPENNY – 5
Punished Scottish profligacy with his famous siege gun boot. Caught out positionally by the brilliance of Ali Price’s kick for Graham’s try. A 25th-minute spill when covering Rees-Zammit gifted the Scots their opening try. Took a heavy knock in the 32nd minute and was removed, not to return.
22. CALLUM SHEEDY – 8
Wales scored a minute after he came on and he had a hand in it. More Welsh tries followed there after, which reflected on a game that was loosening up, but also on Sheedy ability to take the ball to defenders.
23. UILISI HALAHOLO – 7
Great hands in the lead up to Williams’ try and also to out ‘Zammo’ into the danger zone for his match-winning try.
By Ian Cameron, @RugbyPass