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'Lamentable non-performance from Scotland. Unbelievably negative and error-strewn'

By Kim Ekin
Finn Russell /PA

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Scotland are facing the wrath of trial by social media after once again failing to back up a remarkable Test victory.

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The Scots hadn’t won in two decades in Cardiff, but were looking to follow up an opening-round 20-17 win over England and launch a championship with two straight victories for the first time in the Six Nations era.

But they fell 6-0 down after two penalties by Biggar in the opening eight minutes, only to move into an 11-6 lead thanks to Darcy Graham’s well-taken, one-handed try in the right corner and two penalties by Russell.

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Russell and Biggar traded more penalties before Tomas Francis burrowed over in the 32nd minute from a maul off a lineout to leave the scores tied at 14-14 at halftime.

The second half was an arm wrestle, with both teams kicking more and showing less attacking endeavour.

Russell’s 50th-minute penalty was cancelled out by one from Biggar eight minutes later, setting up a tension-filled final quarter.

The score was tied at 17-17 with 13 minutes left when Wales captain Dan Biggar’s rival No.10, Finn Russell, was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on – moments after Biggar had struck an upright with a long-range penalty.

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After turning down kicks at goal for a couple of attacking line-outs, Wales settled for three points via Biggar’s dropped goal from in front of the posts and held on with the extra man.

Social media was unsurprisingly unforgiving, even given Wales’ gutsy performance that has saved their campaign, which looked washed up after their hammering in Dublin last weekend.

Chiefs Sports writer for BBC Scotland, Tom English didn’t hold back in his initial take on the loss.

“Lamentable non-performance from Scotland. Unbelievably negative and error-strewn. Played zero rugby. Well done Wales. Finn Russell’s stupid yellow was the day in microcosm. Two yellows and a red in his last seven Six Nations games.

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The Scottish Rugby Podcast wrote: “Scotland shot themselves in the foot so many times there. Some utterly brainless decisions particularly in the attack. Russell and Hogg looked average today which is always a bad sign. Fair play to Wales for improvement in defence from last week.”

Popular Scotland fan and creator Graham Love summed it up thus: “This has Scotland beating France in a game that means nothing now written all over it & finishing the tournament with 2 big scalps & zero actual progress”

Maverick flyhalf Russell has turned from national hero to villain in the space of a week, after coughing up a yellow card which would ultimately see the Welsh take the lead and keep to the end. Russell attempted the intercept, but his one-handed effort was adjudged a deliberate knock on by referee Nic Berry.

One fan noted: “Only Finn Russell could get sin binned, miss a conversion, kickoff straight to touch, drop goal effort 10 metres short, kick blocked and miss touch with a penalty and still be talked about on commentary like the Jesus of rugby.”

It’s back to drawing board for Scotland and Gregor Townsend, who will no doubt lick their wounds and look to bounce back in two weeks time.

– additional reporting AAP

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