Who would you pick in a combined Wales-Scotland team?

by Ben Pena February 4, 2018, 1:04
Who would you pick in a combined Wales-Scotland team?

Two tries from Leigh Halfpenny and touchdowns from Gareth Davies and Steff Evans turned Scotland's Six Nations ambitions upside down.

They may have been missing certain starters Sam Warburton, Jake Ball, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar and Jonathan Davies but they were comfortably the better side. A driven lineout, pick-and-gos, and Halfpenny had a second try, and made a third conversion from the sideline.

There's a fair chance it will be a close game, but I think if Wales play loosely it will suit us because Scotland want to play a very fast game.

It was a one-sided game that ensured the crowd was slightly subdued in the second half yet it looked set to be a cracker in a breathless opening. John Welsh, Stuart McInally and Gordon Reid make up the Scottish front row, with Ben Toolis and Jonny Gray at lock.

However, it was Wales who scored first as Ali Price, the Scotland scrum-half, delayed a long pass too long and his opposite number Gareth Davies intercepted and ran 60 yards untouched for the try in the left corner.

It had been five years and 34 Test matches since Halfpenny crossed the whitewash for Wales, but he answered his critics with a brace and landed every kick.

Wales and Scotland had been expected to contest a tight affair under the roof of the Principality Stadium but the visitors found themselves 14-0 down inside 15 minutes.

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The hosts - with flankers Aaron Shingler and Josh Navidi everywhere - were making much better decisions than the Scots in a frantic first quarter that had both sides breathing heavily. But it took them until the 79th minute to put points on the board and avoid them being "nilled" in Cardiff for the first time since 1974.

Someone said to me at the Six Nations launch that apart from the games against Italy, only England won an away game in last year's tournament with that last-minute try in Wales. However, after a couple of offloads in the tackle nearly put through Alun Wyn Jones, his final pass to Steff Evans was knocked on and the chance was lost.

Wales' inspirational captain Alun Wyn Jones - who was denied a try in the second-half after being held up on the line - credited Wales performance.

It was a ideal afternoon for Wales but there was one man who was nervous in the stadium - defence coach Shaun Edwards.

The Scots haven't really discussed Wales' catalogue of injured stars and Barclay thinks numerous Welsh will be motivated to prove a point.

Adams will be joined in the back three by school friend Steffan Evans and British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny, while Hadleigh Parkes and Scott Williams link up in midfield.

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