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Wales comeback denies impressive Scotland

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Wales 27

Scotland 23

George North: Delighted to end his international try drought

George North: Delighted to end his international try drought

JAMIE ROBERTS and George North came up with second half tries to haul Wales back from a three point deficit into an 11 point lead to set up a ninth successive win over Scotland. Gareth Davies had given Wales a fantastic start with a breakaway try after seven minutes, but the Scots hit back to lead at half-time and took the lead three times in an enthralling match. But Wales took the spoils in the end to retain their unbeaten tag in the 2016 RBS 6 Nations.

The Scots arrived in the midst of their worst run in the championship since the 1950s, with eight successive defeats following their 15-9 loss to England at Murrayfield in the opening round, and facing a ninth successive defeat to Wales.

The last time the Scots won in Cardiff was 2002 and their last win over Wales was in 2007. So they must have had a sinking feeling early in the game when Welsh scrum half Gareth Davies raced 48 metres to score his sixth try in 11 internationals.

The try began with a chip kick ahead over half-way by Dan Biggar and Jamie Roberts leapt high to knock the ball back towards his supporting players. Davies picked up the loose ball and veered to the left away from two defenders to give Wales a flying start in the seventh minute.

Biggar added the conversion and the Welsh fans roared their approval of the first scores at the newly named Principality Stadium. But if the home fans thought that was going to be the cue for business as usual for the fixture, they were given a quick reminder of why Scotland came so close to reaching the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup earlier in the season.

Having worked their way through successive phase from half-way to deep in the Welsh 22, Finn Russell kicked wide to the right over the rather narrow Welsh defence to allow Tommy Seymour to gather in-goal and score a try which the skipper Greig Laidlaw converted to level the scores.

The Scots had the better of the exchanges and looked very composed, although the Welsh scrum won a couple of penalties with their power. The only other scores in the first half were kicks, one from Biggar’s boot and two from Laidlaw’s to give the Scots a 13-10 half-time lead.

Biggar levelled the scores again at 13-13 with a simple penalty off the 22 six minutes after the re-start, but the battling Scots hit the front for the third time in the game through Laidlaw’s boot when he hit the mark after a power scrum from his forwards.

The Scots attempted to pin Wales back in their own territory with some strategic kicking, but when John Hardie lost the ball in a tackle just inside the Welsh 22, Tom James snapped up the loose ball and sprinted up the left touchline. At one stage it looked as though he might go all the way as he left his opposite number for dead, but a brilliant cover tackle from Duncan Taylor just cut him down with less than 10 metres to go to the line.

That run gave Wales a foothold in the Scottish 22 they need to launch their revival and after some tight Scottish defence had held up Jamie Roberts, Ken Owens and Jonathan Davies, Sam Warburton opted for a scrum in front of the posts instead of taking the simple three points.

It was a brave decision, but the right one, because moments later Roberts shrugged off two defenders to crash over for his 10th try for his country. Biggar’s conversion hoisted Wales back into the lead and six minutes later George North raced 30 metres to bag his 24th try with a great solo effort.

Biggar added the extras and from being three points down in the 55th minute, Wales found themselves 11 points clear in the 71st. That proved to be a winning margin, even though Taylor showed off some great footwork to get past Gareth Anscombe and score a lovely try which Duncan Weir converted with a minute left to play to cut the gap to four points.

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Haverfordwest County ask fans to stay away as football returns to Bridge Meadow

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HAVERFORDWEST COUNTY has asked fans not to attend the Bridge Meadow Stadium today, March 6, as the club restarts its JD Cymru Premier campaign.

The Bluebirds take on Cardiff Met in a game that kicks off at 2:30pm but, like all fixtures in the Cymru Premier, the game is being played behind closed doors.

A club statement asks fans not to congregate outside the stadium and adds that there are ‘rigorous protocols’ for those who must attend.

A spokesperson said: “Haverfordwest County AFC would like to urge all fans to stay at home for (the) fixture against Cardiff Met. For the foreseeable future, all matches will remain behind closed doors.

“The club, along with Welsh Government guidelines, explicitly forbids the congregation of fans outside the stadium to watch the game. There are numerous precautions in place to ensure that those who must attend the game, stick to rigorous protocols to remain safe.

“All match highlights will be available post-match, via Sgorio. We look forward to welcoming fans back to the Bridge Meadow, when it is safe to do so.”

The Club says that this will apply to all future home matches.

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Signed Wales shirts gifted to RNLI go up for auction

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FOLLOWING a winning start to the Six Nations Tournament, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) have scored a winning try for the RNLI, gifting six signed rugby shirts to help save lives at sea.

Each rugby shirt has been signed by the full WRU squad and are accompanied by a certificate of authentication – a winning prize for any Welsh rugby fan.

To avoid a ruck for the WRU shirts the charity has placed all six signed shirts on an online auction, ensuring a fair game for all who wish to win the golden prize. The auction will be live until Wednesday, March 31, which allows plenty of time for supporters to bid for the team in red.

Each signed shirt includes Wales Captain, Mumbles RNLI supporter and the most capped international player of all time Alun Wyn Jones; as well as Louis Rees-Zammit, the Man of the Match in the nail-biting Scotland v Wales game.

Nick Evans, RNLI Fundraising and Partnership Lead said: ‘On behalf of the charity I would like to say a big thank you to the Welsh Rugby Union for donating these fantastic prizes to the RNLI. RNLI volunteers are on call 24-7 and are often called away from important events such as family celebrations – or international rugby tournaments – to respond to the pager if someone is in trouble at sea.

‘Like all charities, 2020 was a challenging year for the RNLI when all traditional fundraising had to stop – all our shops were closed, there were no collections and all events had to be cancelled. This is why we at the RNLI are so grateful to all the team at WRU for their ongoing support. The auction is now live and we would like to encourage all Wales rugby supporters to throw the RNLI a lifeline and place their bid for the winning prize.’

To place a bid or find out more about the charity auction please visit https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/rnliwru.

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Five subs to be allowed for JD Cymru Premier clubs

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THE FAW’s National Leagues Board has confirmed that JD Cymru Premier clubs will be permitted to make five substitutions in matches, in accordance with the Laws of the Game, until the end of the 2020-21 top-flight season.

FIFA extended the use of the rule, which was first introduced following the COVID-19 outbreak, citing “player welfare” as part of the reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3 of the Laws of the Game.

FIFA stated that “Some competitions which resumed in 2020 may have a shorter-than-usual recovery/preparation period before the start of their next season.”

“For many competitions, the 2020/21 season will involve matches being played in a condensed period due to a delayed start and the inability to end later than usual because of major international tournaments.”

With the JD Cymru Premier set to restart on March 2, the National Leagues Board has approved the use of the rule in the JD Cymru Premier until the end of the current campaign.

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