Planet Rugby

Halfpenny boots Wales to victory

09th March 2013 16:17

Share:

Leigh Halfpenny Wales kicking for goal against Scotland Six Nations

Kicking king: Leigh Halfpenny

Wales downed Scotland with a 28-18 victory in a penalty-ridden goalkicker's dream at Murrayfield in the Six Nations.

A match dominated more by the whistle and boot than any real memorable moments of attacking flair, Scotland and Wales racked up a total of 28 penalties between them as both sides continued to displease referee Craig Joubert.

Leigh Halfpenny ended his afternoon with seven penalties to his name and missed three earlier in the first half, while Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw also reaped the rewards from persistent indiscipline with six penalties of his own.

Neither side was able to generate any sustained tempo due to an imposing performance from the Welsh scrum and countless idiotic penalties from Scotland, in a replica of their discipline against Ireland two weeks ago.

A promising start from Wales at the scrum lead to a simple penalty opportunity for Halfpenny, handing the visitors a 3-0 lead after four minutes.

Greig Laidlaw responded with a long-range penalty that snuck over the crossbar minutes later, before Scotland took the lead when Wales were caught offside outside their own 22.

Scotland's penalty count continued to rise but Halfpenny wasted two penalty chances to let the hosts off the hook. The full-back's fourth attempt ricocheted off the post.

George North's break down the right-hand side gave Wales excellent field position, and they capitalised with a try from Richard Hibbard, regaining the lead with Halfpenny converting.

Rare field position for Scotland yielded a penalty at the scrum to the hosts, Laidlaw going for goal from the limit of his range and sending it through the posts.

Sale lock Richie Gray was stretchered from the field after a lengthy stoppage in play, causing concern for is club side Sale and also the selectors of the British and Irish Lions.

Laidlaw continued to maintain his accuracy going for goal, putting Scotland ahead just before half-time with another 40 metre effort to put the hosts into the lead.

Wales though were handed an attacking scrum in Scotland's 22 after a knock-on from Sean Lamont at the restart, winning a penalty after Jim Hamilton infringed for Halfpenny to restore the Welsh lead in Edinburgh - 12-13 to the visitors at the interval.

Laidlaw fell short of the posts with his fifth penalty attempt at the start of the second half, his first miss of the afternoon as he struggled kicking into the wind from 46 metres out.

Halfpenny had no such problem from a much shorter distance after a Welsh attack, stretching the gap to four points before Laidlaw responded in the latest chapter of the Murrayfield kicking exhibition.

Wales were presented with a chance to produce some attacking rugby from a five metre lineout, but inevitably the ball was lost forward. Another penalty to the visitors from the scrum saw Ross Ford cautioned, with Halfpenny converting.

The full-back struck again with yet another penalty to stretch the Welsh lead to 22-15 nearing the 60 minute mark. The kicking pendulum inevitably swung back Scotland's way as Laidlaw then added three more points of his own.

Halfpenny added his fifth and sixth penalties of the afternoon to open up an 18-25 gap for Wales going into the final 10 minutes as their scrum continued to ruthlessly dominate the Scottish pack. Another penalty chance, another three points for Halfpenny.

Scotland threw everything at Wales late on as they attempted to claw their way back into the match, but there was to be no breakthrough against a revitalised Welsh defence. The title decider between Wales and England next weekend is very much on.

Man of the Match: Hounded by his critics in recent weeks, Sam Warburton's work ethic was exceptional throughout with 13 tackles to his name.

Moment of the Match: After missing three consecutive kicks, Leigh Halfpenny nailed a difficult touchline conversion after Richard Hibbard's try and never looked back.

Villain of the Match: Frustrating for supporters, the high penalty count ruined the game as a spectacle. Eyes on you Mr Joubert.

The scorers:

For Scotland:
Pens: Laidlaw 6

For Wales:
Try: Hibbard
Con: Halfpenny
Pens: Halfpenny 7
Yellow Card: James

The teams:

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Moray Low, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Max Evans.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Ryan Jones (capt), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Scott Andrews, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Andrew Coombs, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Scott Williams.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Television match official: Giulio De Santis (Italy)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821