One can easily imagine the terrible feeling of despair that must strike the Scots’ hearts after the brutal defeat of the Fifteenth Theistle’s Fifteenth Thistle at Murrayfield against Wales this Saturday. The disappointment is huge as Greg Townsend’s men showed themselves courageous and applied to try to confirm their incredible victory in England last week (11-6).
Stuart Hogg and his teammates got into the game completely and looked more aggressive and accurate than their opponents. Darcy Graham made a very nervous first attempt (19th), followed shortly after by his captain Leigh Halfpany (25th) cagade.
But just before the break and just a day before the trials of Louis Rees-Zammit (38th) and Liam Williams (51st), the Red Devils were completely revived. The red card on Xander Fagerson (see below) turned the meeting into an opportunistic Welsh void. A minute after the boycott, Wyn Jones gave his team an advantage in the match for the first time (55th, 17-20).
The Scots then redefined their efforts, to force their fate. Despite the penalty in a good position, they continued to scramble and Stuart Hogg found a decisive hiatus to regain the front (65, 24-20). But the incredible Scottish comeback came a few moments later with a personal feat of Rez-Zamit on his wings (70th). Despite Scotland’s latest heroic attacks, the Welsh made their ground, and landed jackpots, wins and offensive bonuses.
Stuart Hogg scored his 22nd try of his Scottish career. He is the third-best scorer in the history of his selection, behind Ian Smith and Tony Stanger (24 tries each) and tied with Chris Patterson (22).
Fact: lead’s red
The match changed in the 55th minute due to a harmless dodge on Zander Fagerson’s shoulder. The right pillar of Thistle’s fifteen hit his wiz-a-wiz, Wynn Jones, at face level. The referee had no choice but to exclude the Scottish number 3, whose team was then leading by double digits (17–15).
In the process, Fagerson’s victim scored for Wales who passed. Following their victory over Ireland last week, the Red Devils had their second straight game in the power play. Last week, it was the Greens flanker, Peter O’Mahony, who was gunned down, again for a shoulder charge in a ruckus.
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