Saturday 19 January 2019

Scots set to pile pressure on Gatland

This one has try time written all over it. The Scots may have taken a shellacking in the tight in Paris. But they still kept playing the ball out of contact, writes Des Berry.

Their reward was a return of three tries for their refusal to cave in. It is a reflection of how coach Andy Robinson has got into their heads. They are still on the up.


In the red corner, Wales are, as always, one pass, one good decision away from 'clicking' into gear. They just couldn't compete with England's barnstorming pack of forwards in Cardiff.

Scotland will bring the athleticism and mobility that will suit the Welsh. Coach Warren Gatland is a man under pressure. He cannot afford too many more losses.

Still, he will not let his own personal travails interfere with the natural instinct of Wales to attack with Lee Byrne returned to full-back and James Hook to fly-half. More importantly, the stealth and intelligence of Ryan Jones will be used in place of the hair-brained, limited power plays of Andy Powell at number eight.

Verdict: Scotland

Scotland: H Southwell; N Walker, J Ansbro, N de Luca, M Evans; D Parks, R Lawson; A Jacobsen, R Ford, E Murray, R Gray, A Kellock (capt), N Hines, K Brown, J Barclay.

Wales: L Byrne; M Stoddart, J Roberts, J Davies, S Williams; J Hook, M Phillips; P James, M Rees (capt), C Mitchell, B Davies, A-W Jones, D Lydiate, S Warburton, R Jones.

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