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Wales scrap to beat Scotland: Wales 20 – Scotland 17

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THIS was better.
Much, much better.
Scotland’s 20-year wait for a win in Cardiff continues.
Against a Scotland side full of confidence after defeating England the previous week, Wales showed determination and grit to hold off Scotland for a priceless home win.
The Welsh players upped the intensity from their dismal drubbing in Dublin. They defended demonically, especially in a nail-biting final eight minutes.
The Welsh front five performed solidly, pressuring a Scottish pack with two Lions props on the bench at the start of the game and vigorously contesting the breakdown.
The Welsh lineout functioned well against the much-vaunted Scottish jumpers. The rejigged Welsh back row (with much more physical oomph following Ross Moriarty’s return to the starting XV) were abrasive and rugged at the second phase and willing ball carriers in midfield.
Ryan Elias fully deserved his man of the match award for an all-action display. He was a pest in the loose, scrapped for the ball on the ground, and Wales’s improved first phase play owed a lot to him.
So much of what was missing in Dublin was present that it was hard to believe that so few changes had been made to Wales’s core personnel.
The defensive pattern appeared stable after a shaky first couple of minutes. The Welsh line speed and commitment in the tackle were markedly increased from the previous game. Even when scrambling to repel Scottish attacks, Wales looked calm and organised.
That said, Wales did not create much and too seldom got the ball beyond the 13 channel to free Alex Cuthbert and Louis Rees-Zammit.
Welsh pressure forced repeated Scottish errors. The Scottish midfield, strong and threatening in the first half, was closed down by repeated pressure on Scotland’s mercurial outside-half, Finn Russell.
Russell, whose kicking game and distribution are important to Scotland’s recent success, was inconsistent. Lucky to stay on after a knock-on in the first half, he saw yellow for a deliberate knock-on as Wales piled the pressure on the Scottish line with fifteen minutes to go.
His departure capped a day when the Scottish fly-half’s abilities were matched by his failings. A match-winner when things go his way, Welsh pressure increasingly told on him as the game progressed.
With Wales 6-0 ahead thanks to Dan Biggar’s trusty boot, Scotland showed their chops with their first meaningful assault on the Welsh line.
The visitors relentlessly recycled the ball in the Welsh 22. A marvellous 20-yard miss pass from Russell created an opportunity for winger Darcy Graham. With Rees-Zammit having to cover two players out wide, Graham’s footwork and balance told as he forced his way over.
As the first quarter wore on, Scotland began to step it up and managed to force a five-point advantage as Wales conceded a penalty at a rolling maul.
Scottish indiscipline at the breakdown conceded an opportunity for Biggar to slot over another kick. Moments later, Russell kicked Scotland into a 14-9 lead.
Back Wales came; a probing kick by Liam Williams put Wales in a good attacking position. That rarest of Welsh beasts – a successful catch and driving maul from the lineout – resulted in a fine Tomas Francis try.
With it 14-a-piece at the half, the Scottish still looked more threatening with ball in hand.
After a cagey start, a strong surge by centre Sione Tuiplotu led to a Welsh infringement at the breakdown, allowing Russell to regain the lead.
Dan Biggar, the roundhead to Russell’s cavalier, was impressive in his 100th international match. The Welsh fly-half asserted increasing influence on the game by marshalling the Welsh midfield and making hard yards when it mattered.
His fourth kick at goal restored parity, and Wales came close to scoring through the willing Cuthbert when a fifth penalty attempt rebounded back into play.
With ten minutes to go, the Welsh pack recycled the ball smartly to Biggar waiting in the pocket, and he coolly slotted over a drop goal to give Wales a slender lead.
As Scotland ran through phase after phase trying to seize the win, Welsh players stymied them with skill and composure in a situation where the slightest disciplinary slip would have cost them dearly.
Speaking on BBC Wales’s coverage, former England skipper Martin Johnson summed up the Welsh performance: “Twenty minutes in, you feared for Wales. But they just battled and battled. They turned the game into a street fight.
“Scotland didn’t back off, but they got involved in something they probably didn’t want to get involved with.”
As spot-on assessments go, you can’t get more on target than that.
Now Wales have the chance to rest and reset before taking on England and Twickenham in a fortnight.
To compete against England, Wales must, as a bare minimum, maintain the intensity shown against Scotland and reduce the penalty count.
Keep England close, and, as Scotland showed in the opening round of fixtures, anything can happen.

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Tenby: Air Ambulance medivac patient with suspected broken leg

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PARAMEDICS asked for assistance, and the Wales Air Ambulance were subsequently tasked with tending to an incident at Tenby harbour on Sunday (Oct 2).

A male required assistance due to a fall around the beach area, and suffered a suspected broken leg.

A spokesperson for the air ambulance said: “Our overnight crew arrived on scene at 8.12 pm.

“Following treatment at the scene from our on-board medics, we airlifted the patient to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Our involvement concluded at 10.31 pm.”

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Cleddau Bridge was closed due to concerns over person in distress

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THE CLEDDAU BRIDGE was closed just after midnight on Sunday morning after reports of concern over a person in distress.

A number of police units attended the incident, and an ambulance was put on standby, but thankfully was not needed. The bridge was closed for around a hour, with a diversion put in place.

Nearby residents noted the flashing lights from multiple emergency services on the bridge and posted statuses on Facebook wishing for the person’s safety.

Some other witnesses on the Pembroke Dock side of the estuary noted activity in the water from small vessels in the area under the bridge, which they believed may have been boats put on standby.

In a statement a spokesperson from the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called in the early hours of Sunday morning at 12:43am to reports of an incident on the A477, Cleddau Bridge.

“We sent one emergency ambulance but were subsequently stood down.”

At just after 1am Sunday the police posted the following on their official Facebook page, confirming that the incident was over: “Cleddau Bridge has now reopened. Thank you for your patience.”

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Thirty bags of cocaine – worth £90m – wash up on west Wales beach

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE has confirmed that what is expected to be a large quantity of the class A drug cocaine has washed up on on a west Wales beach this weekend.

The Herald understands that a man walking on Tan-y-Bwlch beach, south of Aberystwyth, made the discovery early on Saturday morning – which at street value could be sold for as much as £90m.

The beach walker found 30 black bags on the sand which had been tied together with a rope and empty gallon jerry cans for buoyancy.

Inside each black bag were 30 x1kg blocks, labelled with the name of fashion brand Dior – the mark of a Latin-American cartel – indicating 100% purity.

A similar brick of cocaine confiscated in Australia (File)

Thinking the package was suspicious, the man called the police.

When the police arrived, one of the bags was cut open and inside was what appeared to be cocaine.

The suspected cocaine was then taken away by officers, and it has now been confirmed that the white powder inside the bags is believed to be cocaine.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We are investigating the discovery of a significant quantity of what is thought to be cocaine, spotted along the Ceredigion coast this weekend.

“Enquiries are being undertaken to establish how such an unusually large amount of the controlled drug came to wash up on the Welsh shore, following recent storms.

“The precise quantity is still being established and at this time no-one has been arrested in relation to this matter. Officers have thanked those who found the packages and their sensible actions in reporting the matter immediately.”

No arrests have been made.

The UK’s cocaine market is estimated to be worth more than £25.7 million daily, according to the National Crime Agency’s latest strategic threat assessment.

Figures released by the agency earlier this year revealed how cocaine seizures nationwide have soared by 161 per cent between early 2020 and early last year.

A suspected £90million haul of cocaine was found on beach
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