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Scotland 35-7 Wales: Finn Russell pulls the strings as hosts brush aside visitors in bonus-point Six Nations win

George Turner, Kyle Steyn (two), Blair Kinghorn, Matt Fagerson score tries as Scotland brush aside Wales at Murrayfield for second successive bonus-point win; Finn Russell pulled the strings with three direct try assists, and a key kick-pass for a fourth try; Sorry Wales well beaten again

Scotland's Kyle Steyn celebrates after scoring his second try during the Guinness Six Nations match at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland. Picture date: Saturday February 11, 2023.
Image: Scotland made it two Six Nations bonus-points from two games in a dominant defeat of Wales

Scotland made it two Six Nations wins from their opening two games for the first time in history, as Finn Russell pulled the strings in a comprehensive 35-7 defeat of Wales at Murrayfield. 

A scrappy first half saw a try apiece, with Scotland hooker George Turner scoring after two Russell penalties for a 13-0 lead, before Wales skipper Ken Owens responded with a converted try after Turner was sent to the sin-bin.

Wales failed to add further points in the remainder of their time vs 14 players, however, with Scotland next to strike through wing Kyle Steyn after a superb Russell offload.

Scotland 35-7 Wales - Score summary

Scotland - Tries: Turner (30), Steyn (51, 58), Kinghorn (71), M Fagerson (79). Cons: Russell (32, 53). Pens: Russell (9, 15).

Wales - Tries: Owens (34). Cons: Biggar (35).

Visiting full-back Liam Williams was then sin-binned for cynical play near the try-line, and Scotland struck again with Russell - at the heart of it once more - producing a kick-pass for Steyn to grab his second.

With Scotland defending the pressure that came their way, Russell was again a key man as another kick-pass was pivotal to the move which saw Blair Kinghorn score the bonus-point clinching fourth try.

Matt Fagerson added late gloss with a fifth try - Russell once again with the assist.

Scotland's Finn Russell scores his second penalty during the Guinness Six Nations match at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Picture date: Saturday February 11, 2023.
Image: Finn Russell was in marvellous form in Scotland's victory over Wales in Edinburgh

Scotland got the first points on the board in the ninth minute when Russell kicked a penalty from in front of the posts after Wales were penalised for offside during a brilliant attack by the hosts - led by a Huw Jones line-break - that threatened to bring a try.

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The Scots were dealt a blow in the 13th minute when Stuart Hogg went off with blood in his mouth and was replaced by Kinghorn. The Exeter full-back's injury was subsequently deemed serious enough to prevent him returning to the fray.

Team News

Zander Fagerson returned to start at tighthead prop in the only change to Gregor Townsend's Scotland squad to face Wales after Round 1 victory over England at Twickenham. Fagerson's return saw experienced campaigner WP Nel drop to the bench, and Simon Berghan drop out of the squad, with the remainder of the starting XV and replacements the same.

Warren Gatland made five changes to his side to face Scotland, with young trio Dafydd Jenkins, Christ Tshiunza and Tommy Reffell replacing dropped trio Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau. The other changes saw Dillon Lewis come in for the injured Tomas Francis (calf) at tighthead, and Wyn Jones return to start at loosehead in place of Gareth Thomas.

Two minutes later, Russell added another penalty from just outside the 22 after Wales were penalised for not releasing.

The visitors had an opportunity to reduce their deficit in the 25th minute when they won a penalty in a central position just under 40 metres out, but Dan Biggar hooked his kick left of the posts.

Scotland looked all set to notch their first try of the afternoon after half an hour but Steyn, darting clear on the right, was denied by a sensational tackle from Rio Dyer just in front of the line.

The hosts were not to be denied, however, and in the next phase of play Turner wriggled his way free of a tackle to touch down following a lineout drive on the left.

There was initial doubt about whether the Glasgow hooker had grounded the ball but the celebrations were allowed to ensue following a TMO review. Russell duly added the extras.

Scotland's George Turner scores his sides first try of the game during the Guinness Six Nations match at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Picture date: Saturday February 11, 2023.
Image: Scotland hooker George Turner wriggled over to ground for the first try of the Test

Turner's joy was short-lived as he found himself in the sin-bin within two minutes of scoring his try following a high tackle on George North.

Wales almost immediately made the extra man count as captain Ken Owens touched down following a maul in the 35th minute, with Biggar successfully kicking the conversion.

Warren Gatland's men enjoyed a strong finish to the half and they should have had another try in the last action before the break, only for Dyer to drop the ball just in front of the line as he tried to run on to a pass from Biggar.

It would prove a pivotal moment as the Scots - with their full quota of 15 back on the pitch - stretched their advantage in the 52nd minute when Steyn was left with an easy touchdown on the right after brilliant play by Russell to set him up. Russell added the extras to put Scotland 20-7 ahead.

Scotland's Kyle Steyn scores a try during the Guinness Six Nations match at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland. Picture date: Saturday February 11, 2023.
Image: Wing Kyle Steyn scored two tries in the victory at Murrayfield

Five minutes later, the Welsh suffered a further blow when Liam Williams was yellow-carded for going off his feet. Within seconds, Steyn bounded over on the right for a second time when he was picked out by a magnificent cross-field kick from Russell. This time the mercurial number 10 hooked his conversion wide of the posts.

Scotland were firmly in the ascendancy and Russell was heavily involved again in their fourth try of the afternoon to seal the bonus point in the 71st minute as he kicked the ball out to Duhan van der Merwe on the left and the Edinburgh winger teed up clubmate Kinghorn to burst through the Welsh defence.

Russell was still not finished and produced another stunning assist in the 79th minute when his looping pass out to the left sent Matt Fagerson in to score as the clock wound down.

What's next?

After next weekend's fallow week in the Six Nations, Wales host England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in Round 3 on Saturday, February 25 (4.45pm kick-off GMT).

Wales Six Nations 2023 fixtures

Saturday, February 4 Wales 10-34 Ireland 2.15pm
Saturday, February 11 Scotland 35-7 Wales 4.45pm
Saturday, February 25 Wales vs England 4.45pm
Saturday, March 11 Italy vs Wales 2.15pm
Saturday, March 18 France vs Wales 2.45pm

Scotland are next in action on Sunday, February 26 (3pm kick-off GMT), as they travel to play France at the Stade de France for their Round 3 clash.

Scotland's Six Nations 2023 fixtures

Saturday, February 4 England 23-29 Scotland 4.45pm
Saturday, February 11 Scotland 35-7 Wales 4.45pm
Sunday, February 26 France vs Scotland 3pm
Sunday, March 12 Scotland vs Ireland 3pm
Saturday, March 18 Scotland vs Italy 12.30pm

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