Red card proves costly as Scots edged out by Wales
Turning point: Zander Fagerson is sent off (pic: SNS Group).
Scotland 24 Wales 25
Scotland came crashing back to earth following their Twickenham heroics after Wales edged a thrilling Six Nations contest at Murrayfield.
The hosts went into the game with confidence high after their historic victory over England last weekend.
However, hopes of building on that win in Edinburgh were dashed by the Welsh, who took full advantage of the Scots having Zander Fagerson sent off early in the second half.
Things had looked so good for Gregor Townsend’s side after tries from Darcy Graham and Stuart Hogg had them 17-8 ahead at the interval.
The match turned, though, in the 53rd minute with Fagerson’s dismissal for dangerous play with Scotland 17-15 in front.
The prop was deemed to have made contact with Wyn Jones’ head after coming in from distance to clear him out, many observers thinking it was a harsh call by English referee Matthew Carley.
Wales took full advantage of the extra man to stretch their lead with another unconverted try but the never-say-die Scots roared back with Hogg going over for his second try of the game, Finn Russell converting to drag his side within a point.
Scotland gave everything to snatch a win in a pulsating encounter.
Hogg slipped when he threatened to burst clear of the Wales defence, and Duhan van der Merwe denied what looked like a match-winning try in the final seconds by a tap tackle from Owen Watkin.
Wales now have two wins from their opening two matches but it was a sore one for the Scots, who will reflect on Fagerson’s red card as the moment which cost them dearly.
“I thought we were excellent in large parts of that game,” Hogg told BBC Scotland.
“We talked a lot during the week about our discipline. Conceding one penalty is fine, conceding four on the bounce is unacceptable.
“Wales were outstanding, they took their opportunities but we gave them to them.
“It’s pointless me whinging about the red card, what’s done is done.
“We challenged each other for last 25 minutes to show some character. Should we have gotten into that situation? Probably not.
“We have to get ready and get back to it in a few weeks’ time. It’s going to be a long couple of weeks waiting for the next game.”
England bounced back from the defeat to Scotland with a 41-18 win over Italy at Twickenham, while France defeated Ireland 15-13 in Dublin to move to the top of the table.
Scores: Scotland – Tries: Graham, Hogg (2); Conversions: Russell (3); Pens: Russell. Wales – Tries: Rees-Zammit, L. Williams, W. Jones; Conversions: Sheedy; Pens: Halfpenny.
Scotland: Hogg (capt); D Graham, Harris, Lang, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Sutherland, Turner, Z Fagerson; Cummings, J Gray; Thomson, Watson, M Fagerson. Replacements: Cherry, Kebble, Nel, R Gray, G Graham, Steele, Van der Walt, H Jones
Wales: Halfpenny; Rees-Zammit, Watkin, Tompkins, Williams; Biggar, Davies; W Jones, Owens, Francis; Beard, AW Jones (capt); Wainwright, Tipuric, Faletau. Replacements: Dee, R Jones, Brown, Rowlands, Botham, Hardy, Sheedy, Haloholo.