Six Nations

Williams seals Wales victory

2010-02-13 18:07
Shane Williams (File)

Cardiff - Shane Williams's dramatic stoppage-time try sealed Wales's thrilling come from behind 31-24 Six Nations victory over Scotland at the Millennium Stadium here on Saturday.

Wales were 10 points down with four minutes left and facing a second straight defeat after last week's 30-17 loss to England.

But tries from wings Leigh Halfpenny and Williams sealed a remarkable recovery against a Scotland side who played the closing stages down to 13 men after the sin-binnings of Allan Jacobsen and Phil Godman.

It seemed Scotland's Australia born flyhalf Dan Parks, who kicked 12 points and produced a fine display of tactical kicking, had done enough to mastermind what would have been their first away win in the Six Nations since 2006 but it was not to be.

Wales were 24-14 behind when Williams and fullback Lee Byrne combined to send Halfpenny in under the posts for a try Stephen Jones converted.

The flyhalf's penalty tied the game at 24-24 with a minute left after Scotland replacement back Phil Godman was sin-binned for taking out Byrne.

And there was still time for Wales to crown their comeback with another blistering try.

From the kick-off, Stephen Jones returned the ball with interest and the ball was moved left. Flanker Andy Powell cut back inside and Williams dived over for a winning try, with Jones adding the extras.

Scotland had failed to score a try in five of their previous six Tests but here they managed two through Max Evans and John Barclay following last week's 30-17 loss to France.

But it was the recalled Parks, who pulled the strings in what was his first Test in over a year

Andy Robinson, the Scotland coach, had had his "sanity" questioned by Wales counterpart Warren Gatland in the build-up to this match for insisting the Millennium Stadium's retractable roof remain open.

But any thoughts this would mean Scotland would not run the ball disappeared as early as the ninth minute when they scored the match's first try.

Parks, showing there is more to his game than kicking, released Barclay inside Wales's 22 and the flanker burst through attempted tackles by Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper and centre James Hook before scoring.

Full-back Chris Paterson marked becoming the first Scot to play in 100 Tests by adding the conversion and Scotland were 7-0 ahead.

Stephen Jones reduced the gap with a penalty before Parks, making sure Scotland turned territory into points, added a drop-goal to make the score 10-3.

Then, in the 20th minute, Parks whose tactical kicking pinned Wales back in their own 22, was instrumental in Scotland's second try.

His expertly weighted grubber kick behind the Welsh defence was touched down by replacement Max Evans.

Paterson's run of 35 successive on-target goalkicks in the Six Nations came to an end when he missed the difficult conversion but Scotland were still 15-3 in front.

Another Jones penalty kept Wales in touch before Parks responded with one of his own to make the score 18-6 to Scotland.

Sadly for Paterson, his landmark appearance lasted just half an hour before he had to go off with a shoulder injury he suffered in the opening minute.

Scotland's backline then suffered further disruption when wing Thom Evans was taken off on a stretcher following a collision with Lee Byrne.

By that stage Parks had missed with a second drop-goal effort and, with the last kick of the half, Jones cut Scotland's lead to 18-9 with his third penalty.

Gatland replaced Cooper with Richie Rees at half-time but before the new scrum-half could have an impact, Scotland has extended their lead courtesy of a Parks penalty.

Worse nearly followed soon afterwards for Wales when Scotland came close to a third try through Barclay but referee George Clancy pulled play back for a forward pass by Sean Lamont.

But Wales fought back and a superb diagonal run by Williams set up a try for fullback Byrne.

Read more on:    shane williams


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