Six Nations: Scotland squad left 'devastated' by Wales defeat

Stuart McInally said the Scotland squad had been left “devastated” by the defeat in Cardiff, but the hooker was in no doubt as to where the blame lay.

Scotland hooker Stuart McInally tries to break past the Welsh defence during the Six Nations defeat in Cardiff.
Scotland hooker Stuart McInally tries to break past the Welsh defence during the Six Nations defeat in Cardiff.

McInally, picked to start as Gregor Townsend freshened up his front row following the win over England, said the visitors were undone by their high penalty count in the 20-17 Six Nations loss to Wales.

“My immediate feeling is that our discipline wasn’t good enough,” said the Edinburgh forward. “They were holding the ball well, they attacked really well in our 22, but the ref’s arm was going out too quickly because we weren’t disciplined enough around the breakdown.

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“Ultimately, we stopped a lot of tries but they were kicking three [points] and keeping that scoreboard ticking over. So, we just couldn’t get away from them.”

Dan Biggar punished the Scots by kicking four penalties and then landing a drop goal when Wales had a penalty advantage. It proved to be the decisive blow in a match which swung back and forth, with Scotland’s Darcy Graham and Wales’ Tomas Francis each scoring a try and Finn Russell also notching four penalties for Townsend’s side before being yellow carded late on for a deliberate knock on.

McInally had no complaints about the final scoreline after Scotland had let slip a 17-14 lead.

“They were better than us, and that’s all that matters,” said the hooker. “They deserved their win, they’ve got a great record down here for good reason. It has been a long time since we won here, and we were under no illusion as to how hard it was going to be.

“It is a devastated dressing-room. We know the opportunity that we let slip there. It is heart-breaking.

“It’s always the same after a loss – the initial feeling is devastation and disappointment because you want to do well for the group and for the people of Scotland.

“We saw last week how important for the whole of Scotland to get that win – the influence it has on our supporters – and we wanted to replicate that again today so we are heartbroken that we couldn’t do it.”

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