Planet Rugby

Hogg off as Wales thump Scotland

15th March 2014 16:31

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Wales wing George North scoring a try in the Six Nations

Two tries: George North

Wales rounded off their Six Nations campaign with a 51-3 triumph over Scotland, who had Stuart Hogg sent-off with a quarter of the game played.

Hogg was shown red after initially being given a yellow card by referee Jérôme Garcès. Replays duly saw the Frenchman change his mind.

There were no complaints as the full-back took out Dan Biggar after the ball had gone, with the impact seeing the hosts' number ten floored.

From then on it was smooth sailing for Wales, who went from 10-3 in front to a 27-3 scoreline at the break. That would, of course, increase.

The game began badly for Scotland when captain Kelly Brown was taken off with suspected concussion, replaced by Alasdair Strokosch.

Brown's departure came after Greig Laidlaw had put the visitors into an early lead before Biggar replied with eight minutes played in Cardiff.

Then came the first of seven tries at the Millennium Stadium as Liam Williams got the ball rolling, finishing off an overlap created by a solid burst up the heart of the Scottish defence. Biggar landed the difficult extras to make it 10-3 ahead of full-back Hogg's moment of madness.

It was always going to be game over from then on as Biggar extended the gap to ten points off the tee on 23 minutes before Laidlaw missed one.

Williams, in for the injured Leigh Halfpenny, was then involved again as he rose highest close to halfway before setting off down the left as Scotland couldn't cope with the Welsh runners. Williams' offload to Mike Phillips was followed by the try assist from the scrum-half to George North, who stepped David Denton en route to well-taken score. Biggar was on-target again to make it 20-3 as Scotland's fans who made the journey hung their heads.

The first half wasn't done there though as Jamie Roberts was the next to cross, with a nice interchange with North and Jonathan Davies seeing the inside centre over. Biggar's conversion made it a 24-point advantage at the break. Scotland wished it was full-time.

North was over for his second inside a minute of the resumption but Biggar this time missed the extras - at this stage it was all about how many tries they would score.

More duly came as inside centre Roberts finished off another lovely passage from Wales, with Scotland now chasing shadows as the scoreline climbed to 39-3 at a frantic rate.

On 52 minutes it was time for Wales' sixth try of the match as simple numbers once again created space for Faletau, who had an easy run-in on the right wing as the hosts moved into the forties. Both sides would then throw on replacements as the tempo dropped in Cardiff.

Thus followed a scoreless 22-minute period before Wales clicked once more, this time via the fresh legs of Rhodri Williams, who finished off a kick through from James Hook to score arguably the try of the game. Hook was then successful with the extras to bring up the 50 and rub further salt into Scottish wounds as Scott Johnson moves upstairs on a poor note.

Man of the match: The absence of Leigh Halfpenny was expected to be a sizeable blow to Wales but a combination of numerical advantage coupled with Liam Williams' performance cushioned his loss. We must mention that even before the red card Williams was electric at the back and fully deserves this gong and his early try for that matter. Williams and Dan Biggar received rapturous applause from the home supporters when they came off.

Moment of the match: See below.

Villain of the match: Minute 22 at the Millennium Stadium and the act Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg will regret for a long time. His shoulder contact with the chin of Dan Biggar cost his side any chance of a result as he received a red card. The match was ultimately over.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: L Williams, North 2, Roberts 2, Faletau, R Williams
Con: Biggar 4, Hook
Pen: Biggar 2

For Scotland:
Pen: Laidlaw
Red card:

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Paul James, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 James Hook.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Max Evans, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Dave Denton, 7 Kelly Brown (c), 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Al Dickinson, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Al Strokosch, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (Fra)
Assistant referees: Chris Pollock (NZ), Greg Garner (Eng)
TMO: Graham Hughes (Eng)

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