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6N: Dreams turn to dust for Scotland against rampant Wales

04 February 2018

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says Chris Harris has earned his place in the starting line-up of their NatWest Six Nations opener in Cardiff.

Scotland thrashed Australia and gave world champions New Zealand a major scare towards the end of past year - but they were lambs to the slaughter in Cardiff.

Substitute back Peter Horne scored a consolation 79th-minute try for Scotland that Finn Russell converted, but the damage had always been done.

A breathless, frantic start saw them attempt to take the game to Wales but instead they were hit by two damaging setbacks inside 10 minutes.

"Last year, there was X-amount of years they hadn't had a win against us and we went up there and we lost", said the 32-year-old.

With Scotland missing up to six front five players through injury, hooker Owens insists Wales will attempt to gain the upper hand in the scrum.

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Scrum-half Gareth Davies bookmarked a scintillating start to the game in Cardiff with an interception try, while Leigh Halfpenny, who was flawless with the boot (four conversions and two penalties), crossed for a brace, youngster Stef Evans then going over for a bonus-point score.

"We are very conscious of the brand of rugby they are playing at the minute, and their evolution over the last 18 months".

He expects two of his injured Lions - George North and Liam Williams - back next week for England at Twickenham, a much harder assignment.

"We should be criticized for this performance", coach Gregor Townsend said.

"That is probably one of the big lessons for us from a year ago: the autumn form".

Then flanker Aaron Shingler blew through a huge gap, and captain Alun Wyn Jones was galloping to the line.

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But Scotland skipper John Barclay is sometimes captain of that team as well as his country, and he thinks that their particular style is one that may not fit in Gatland's philosophy.

Scotland dominated the near half-hour to halftime but lapsed into error after error: Dropped passes, knock ons, a penalty kick not finding touch, crooked throw-ins, and the backs shuffling sideways to be easily contained by Wales. He fed Price, before debutant Wales wing Josh Adams came from nowhere to smash him and put an end to the attack.

Parkes' 13 runs was also third most in the Wales ranks and he made 78 metres, second only to Evans' fine 114, while only Evans (six) made more clean breaks.

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Wales kept threatening: Replacement prop Wyn Jones was held up by Scotland's Huw Jones, and replacement flyhalf Gareth Anscombe dropped a try-scoring pass from Alun Wyn Jones.

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6N: Dreams turn to dust for Scotland against rampant Wales