Wales were made to dig deep as they withstood a second-half onslaught from Scotland at Murrayfield to maintain their Six Nations Grand Slam hopes with a slender 18-11 victory.


Having crossed the whitewash during the opening 40 minutes for the first time in this year’s Championship – and done so twice – to build a 15-6 half-time lead, Wales barely saw the ball after the break.

But the hosts were unable to break down a resolute Welsh defensive performance more than once and Warren Gatland’s side held on to set up a thrilling Six Nations finale against Ireland next Saturday.

Here’s how the Wales players rated at Murrayfield.

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Liam Williams – 7

Imperious under the high ball, “diffusing bombs”, once again and showed glimpses of his quality in attack during the first half. Put his body on the line to stop Allan Dell early in the second period and paid the ultimate price as he was forced off with a shoulder injury.


George North – 6

Popped up to receive a short lineout from Ken Owens in the first half but other than a smart box-kick return, from which he slalomed past two tackles, was quiet with ball in hand. Penalised for a high tackle on Ali Price but came to the fore defensively in the final 10 minutes, turning Scotland over after 18 phases in the Welsh 22 before bundling Price into touch late on.

Jonathan Davies – 7

Took his try very well to cap another solid defensive performance in tandem with Hadleigh Parkes. Made a good early cover tackle on Blair Kinghorn and combined with Parkes to stop the Scotland fullback midway through the first period. Was caught out by Finn Russell’s sleight of hand in the build-up to Darcy Graham’s try, though.


Hadleigh Parkes – 8

An impressive carry in the second minute set the tone for an all-action performance on both sides of the ball. Made 15 tackles in all, stripping possession on occasion, and forming a solid defensive wall alongside Jonathan Davies. Put in two big carries in the build-up to his centre partner’s try and was part of the defensive effort that held up Grant Gilchrist over the whitewash.

Hadleigh Parkes

Josh Adams – 6

Produced a brilliant finish to score the game’s first try, side-stepping Kinghorn while tight on the left touchline, albeit the pass to him was forward. Made 65 metres with ball in hand and was eager to come off his wing and look for work, although he was let down by a couple of handling errors.

Josh Adams in action for Wales versus Scotland

Gareth Anscombe – 6

Controlled the Welsh attack well during the first half and was heavily involved in the move that led to Jonathan Davies’ try, providing the telling pass. Will be disappointed with the two kicks he missed, especially the penalty that came crashing back off the upright at the end of the first half. Showed glimpses of his ability with ball in hand, producing a couple of sumptuous offloads. Looked less comfortable when shifted to fullback.

Gareth Davies – 6

Recovered from a stuttering start that included a knock-on under no pressure and a charged-down clearance. Kept the Welsh attack moving a key times during the first half and was required to put in his share of defensive work in the second.

Rob Evans – 7

Part of a settled Wales front-row, and one that had little problem at the set piece in Murrayfield. Forced a scrum penalty from WP Nel, and also snaffled a turnover in the loose early in the first half. After the break dug in defensively before being replaced.

Ken Owens – 7

Another all-action performance at the end of a difficult week for the Wales hooker. Part of a stable scrum and connected with all but one of his lineout throws. Made 10 carries with ball in hand while completing 14 tackles as the pressure from Scotland became more and more intense.

Tom Francis – 8

Was in the right place to secure possession for Wales from kick-off and that seemed to set the tone for arguably his finest display in a red shirt. Helped to hold up Grant Gilchrist over the try line and made all 12 of his attempted tackles. Even displayed some skill on the other side of the ball as he linked well with Anscome and Gareth Davies midway through the first half.

Adam Beard – 7

Maintained his unbeaten start to life in Test rugby, making a key contribution to Adams’ opening try as he punched a hole in the Scottish defence with a strong carry. Was beaten on his outside as Dell rampaged up the pitch early in the second half but made himself a nuisance to disrupt multiple lineout drives and got over the ball to secure a vital penalty.

Alun Wyn Jones – 7

A huge defensive effort from the Wales skipper. Made an excellent cover tackle on Darcy Graham midway through the first half and got up to disrupt a Scottish lineout and force a five-metre scrum at the end of it. Gave away a couple of penalties but was a destructive force in defence and finished the game with 16 tackles.

Josh Navidi – 6

Gave away a penalty at the lineout early in the first half but this was another quietly assured defensive performance. Never seems to be far away from the breakdown whether it is his team or the opposition in possession. Made an incredible 23 tackles.

Justin Tipuric – 6

Perhaps not the blockbusting display that we have come to expect but did so much without the ball to make sure that Wales prevailed. A frankly ridiculous tackle count of 24 tells its own story but it is the way in which he holds opponents up in the tackle that makes him so adept at sapping forward momentum.

Ross Moriarty – 7

Heavily involved from the first whistle as he got up to tip back Anscombe’s kick-off and help Wales regain possession. Was influential on both sides of the ball, making 13 carries with ball in hand and completing 12 tackles – the best of which stopped Finn Russell deep inside the Welsh 22.


Elliot Dee – 6

Came on with around 15 minutes to go and made sure there was no let up in intensity. Carried well in the closing stages to help his side see out victory.

Nicky Smith – 6

Came on for the final 17 or so minutes. Was solid in the scrum and made seven tackles.

Dillon Lewis – 5
Sent on for the final quarter-of-an-hour and helped Wales get over the line.

Jake Ball – 5

Replaced Beard as a blood replacement midway through the first half and came on permanently for the final 17 minutes. Provided a big carry to take Wales deep into the Scottish 22 soon after but maybe should have passed wide.

Aaron Wainwright – 6

First thing he did after coming on for the final 10 minutes was help drive an attacking Scottish lineout backwards.

Aled Davies – 5

Had a mixed 10 minutes on the pitch. Helped North make a turnover but then kicked the ball out on the full. His well-judged box-kick helped North chase down Price and drag him into touch.

Dan Bigger – 6

Has come on to affect games with the ball this Championship, but it was what he did without it that was crucial against Scotland. Helped to hold up Gilchrist and made tackles to halt both Adam Hastings and Hamish Watson.

Owen Watkin – 5

Came on for the final six minutes and helped Wales see out the win.

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