We reflect on a rare day, in April 2002

The last time we saw a Scotland win in Cardiff during the Six Nations, Unchained Melody by Gareth Gates was number one and we were six days away from Bend It Like Beckham being released.

That’s right – Scotland men haven’t won in Cardiff, in the Six Nations, since 6 April 2002. That day Gordon Bulloch scored two, with Brendan Laney getting 12 points with the boot. The Scots held their nerve to slot kicks late and secure the win.

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Welsh hero Rob Howley was bowing out, with this his final Test before retiring from international rugby, but did not get the win to wrap it all up. That day was also significant as it was the great Bill McLaren’s last Six Nations commentary. Sitting alongside Jonathan Davies, he was reportedly treated to the crowd signing For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. 

Scotland win in Cardiff

Bill McLaren makes his final Six Nations appearance (Getty Images)

Recent Scottish heartbreak in Cardiff

Scotland have only beaten Wales six times since 2002, and never in Cardiff – though they did win in Llanelli in Covid times.

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Perhaps the most heartbreaking near miss in recent times was in 2010. Scotland had a ten-point lead with four minutes to go. But with Scott Lawson and then Phil Godman sent to the sin-bin, there was a Halfpenny score and Stephen Jones penalty to jangle nerves and square things up. Shane Williams running in a late, late winner still haunts Scots, with Wales winning 31-24.

Near misses in 2016 and 2022 will also be powering Scots motivation as they eye up a rare win in Cardiff on 3 February.

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