The captain scored the winning points after Finn Russell was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on
Wales snatch dramatic win with Dan Biggar drop-goal
Oh the drama. This Six Nations match delivered a breathless finish as Wales pipped Scotland 20-17 at the Principality Stadium.
It was a tight contest throughout, both sides having periods of dominance but the defences also standing firm, and ultimately it was decided in a couple of second-half minutes.
And who should provide the winning points? Dan Biggar, on the occasion of his 100th Test appearance. The Wales captain, who looked to be hampered by a knee injury in the second half, described it as “one of my best victories in a Welsh shirt”.
The scores were tied at 17-17 at the hour mark, both sides having scored first-half tries – Darcy Graham for Scotland and Tomas Francis for Wales – and the respective No 10s slotting four penalties apiece.
Then just as the momentum seemed to be petering out of the game, with replacements and reset scrums slowing the tempo, it sparked back into life.
Finn Russell was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on in the 67th minute after a long-range Biggar penalty had rebounded off the bar but handed Wales possession in the Scotland 22.
The hosts worked the phases to get close to the Scottish line and Alex Cuthbert did get over in the corner, but the try was ruled out by the TMO as the winger had a foot in touch.
However, as footage was reviewed, Russell’s knock-on in the build-up came under the spotlight. He’d launched himself forward as the ball was passed to Dillon Lewis and knocked the ball on with one hand. Referee Nic Berry ruled it a yellow card offence due to “the vicinity to the goal-line”.
From the subsequent penalty, Biggar opted for a five-metre lineout and when another penalty was awarded for a maul offence, he went for the lineout once again.
Wales were able to keep the ball for several phases this time but couldn’t get across the line and Biggar slotted a drop-goal to give Wales a narrow lead going into the final ten minutes.
Scotland conceded several penalties soon after, meaning they couldn’t build attacks of their own, albeit that they were down to 14 players, but that wasn’t the end of the drama.
The Scots were awarded a penalty in the last minute for a Taine Basham high tackle on Sam Skinner in their 22 – it was reviewed by the TMO and on-field officials, with Berry determining that it deserved just a penalty rather than a card.
From there Scotland kicked upfield and retained possession for double-figure phases as the thousands of Welsh supporters in the crowd quietened to see if Wales could hold on for the win.
In the end, those in red prevented Scotland from making significant metres and an impressive counter-ruck as Stuart Hogg tried to make ground resulted in a Wales penalty. Win secured.
It was quite a turnaround for Wales after they were dismantled by Ireland in their opening fixture, while the confidence generated from Scotland retaining the Calcutta Cup will have been dented by this result. Ill-discipline in the final quarter proved costly – and their two-decade wait for a win over Wales in Cardiff goes on.
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