'Disappointing' Scotland caught with 'hand in the cookie jar' by Wales in Six Nations 'streetfight'
Wales sucked Scotland into a 'street-fight' said former England captain Martin Johnson, and it suited the hosts down to the ground at the Principality Stadium.
Allied to Finn Russell dipping his ‘hand into the cookie jar’ to incur a yellow card for a knock-on, it all contributed to a home win where Scotland failed to capitalise on their positive play and dogged Wales stayed in the game before capitalising late on.
It could have been very different early on but Scotland were never out of sight despite their play in the first half and the level 14-14 scoreline at the interval.
“After 20 minutes you feared for Wales and Scotland could have put them away by 15 points-plus,” said Johnson, the neutral pundit on BBC Sport between former Scotland cap John Barclay and Welsh legend Jonathan Davies, “but they battled and turned the game into a street fight.
“They wanted to get you in, get you in close and do whatever they could land on you. I loved the second half it was just a battle.
“Scotland didn’t back off but they got involved in something that they probably didn't want to get involved with and couldn't impose their game, but that's rugby.”
Ill-discipline from the visitors was highlighted by the trio at half-time, and it contributed to the result Barclay believed – but he also praised Wales’ game-plan and execution.
“Wales were very good in what they did and the way they approached the game.
"They had a real clear direct game plan in the second half and were going to kick the ball a lot and go really direct. They kicked better than Scotland and retained the ball very well.
Scotland couldn't get their hands on the ball and throw into that Scotland’s discipline, so I say Scotland were very disappointing but Wales were good.”
Captain Stuart Hogg also rued Scotland’s error and Johnson believes Russell’s yellow-card, from which Wales capitalised with Biggar's late score for the win, was a case of the Scotland playmaker being sucked into making the mistake.
"The ball is there and if you can get your hand on it, you’ll put your hand in the cookie jar. There’s irony after last week and Luke Cowan-Dickie, but under pressure you’ll put your hand in the cookie jar.”
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