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Late Penalties Kill Off Welsh Hopes

Late Penalties Kill Off Welsh Hopes

Two tries from Gordon Bulloch sent Scotland on their way to a first success at the Millennium Stadium.
Victory in a game that saw the lead change hands seven times was achieved until the 80th minute when Brendan Laney kicked his fourth penalty to give the visitors a 24-22 lead.
Duncan Hodge then wrapped things up with an injury time penalty to make victory secure and give the Bill McLaren, the ‘voice of rugby’, something to celebrate in his last Lloyds TSB Six Nations championship game.
Rob Howley made an early break that almost brought Wales a try at the outset. Second rows Andy Moore and Ian Gough carried on to the posts, before French referee Joel Jutge penalised Gough for holding on.
Three penalties from Stephen Jones hoisted Wales into a handy lead before Bulloch got into the action.
Both his tries came from close range line-outs with Lloyds TSB Man of the Match Scott Murray being the target on each occasion.
Msr Jutge called for the video referee, Didier Mene, to help him out on the first score, although the Welsh crowd were angry that the French official hadn’t called a knock on when the Scottish forwards dropped the ball in the drive for the line.
The second try was a carbon copy, with Bulloch just reaching the line. Once again the Welsh forwards protested they had held the ball off the floor, but Msr
Jutge ruled a try.
This time Brendan Laney added the conversion to give his side the lead for the first time and the Scottish full back brought the first half to a close with a penalty.
Wales lost three successive line outs at the end of the first half and it was no surprise four minutes after the break when Hansen changed his hooker and brought Robin McBryde into the fray to replace Barry Williams. He also introduced Iestyn Harris at the same time.
Harris slotted into the outside half berth, with Jones moving to centre in place of Andy Marinos, and it took only two minutes for him to light up the match.
Jones stole the ball at a ruck and Holwey launched a counter attack. When the ball reached Harris moving left into the Scottish 22 he skipped out of John Leslie’s tackle and sent an inside pass to Rhys Williams to give him a clear run to the posts.
Jones added the simple conversion and Wales had their noses back infront.
From there on it was a game of nip and tuck between two teams struggling to come to terms with their inadequacies. The only remaining scores came from the boot.
Laney and Jones swapped penalites for the next 20 minutes, the Scotsman twice giving his side the lead before Jones landed his fifth goal in the 78th minute to make it 22-21.
It looked as though the home side were going to hang on for a grim victory, but Msr Jutge penalised Mark Taylor for handling in a ruck infront of his own posts and Laney restored the lead.
Then Wales conceded an injury time penalty in the same place which Laney’s replacement, Duncan Hodge goaled to make victory secure.
Scorers: Wales: Try: Rhys Williams; Con: Stephen Jones; Pens: Stephen Jones 5. Scotland: Tries: Gordon Bulloch 2; Con: Brendan Laney; Pens: Brendan Laney 4,Duncan Hodge.

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