Saturday, February 13, 2010

6 NATIONS RUGBY: Scotland v Wales

Scotland v Wales in Cardiff (6 Nations)

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Venue: Millennium Stadium

Both Scotland and Wales lost their first 6 Nations International Championship rugby games in the first round last weekend. Whoever loses this game will almost certainly be out of Championship title contention.

Both sides have also lost their way in the past few months. Scotland were bullied in the forwards by France last week and find winning at Cardiff difficult whilst the loss of Nathan Hines will limit an already limited forward pack. The return of Euan Murray will be a blessing.

Wales allowed silly, costly errors to let their game slip away against England last week. Where is that mighty team that won the 2005 Grand Slam? The controversy over on open roof request by the canny Scots may well be a blessing if the Welsh fans show their displeasure if Wales lose.

The prospect of two struggling sides clashing will be of interest although I suspect the quality of play will be limited by both the weather and of both teams ability to player powerful rugby. This could be a close, dull contest.

Last Five Encounters
08.02.2009 Wales 26-13 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
09.02.2008 Wales 30-15 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
10.02.2007 Scotland 21-9 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
12.02.2006 Wales 28-18 at Cardiff (6 Nations)
13.03.2005 Wales 46-22 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)

Scotland last defeated Wales in Cardiff in 2002 when they won 27-22.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Scotland 6th, Wales 9th
Europe Table-Wales 4th, Scotland 5th

Prediction: Wales to finally edge out the Scots by 6 points.



15 Lee Byrne
14 Leigh Halfpenny
13 James Hook
12 James Roberts,
11 Shane Williams
10 Stephen Jones
9 Gareth Cooper
8 Ryan Jones, Capt.
7 Martyn Williams
6 Andy Powell
5 Alun-Wyn Jones
4 Jonathan Thomas
3 Adam Jones
2 Gareth Williams
1 Paul James
16 Huw Bennett
17 Gethin Jenkins
18 Bradley Davies
19 Samuel Warburton
20 Richard Rees
21 Andrew Bishop
22 Thomas Shanklin
Head Coach: Warren Gatland

Coming off the bench, Richard Rees made his test debut last weekend against England.
Also off the bench, Jonathan Thomas made his 50th test appearance for Wales last week.

15 Christopher Paterson
14 Thomas Evans
13 Sean Lamont
12 Graeme Morrison
11 Rory Lamont
10 Daniel Parks
9 Christopher Cusiter, Capt.
8 John Beattie
7 John Barclay
6 Kelly Brown
5 Alistair Kellock
4 ames Hamilton
3 Euan Murray
2 Ross Ford
1 Alastair Dickinson
16 Scott Lawson
17 Allan Jacobsen
18 Richard Gray
19 Alan MacDonald
20 Michael Blair
21 Philipl Godman
22 Max Evans
Head Coach: Andy Robinson

Christ Paterson will make Scottish rugby history by being the first Scotsman to play 100 tests. He will become the 13th player to reach the 100 tests milestone. His three penalty goals last week gave him a total of 750 test points for Scotland, the leading Scottish test point scorer. His 750 points places him in 11th place for all time world rugby test point scorers. His 22 tries places him at the head of the list of test try scorers for Scotland.
Richard Gray made his test debut for Scotland off the bench last weekend v France.

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