Scotland 6-24 Wales
By ITV Wales staff and agencies
Wales revived their RBS 6 Nations title hopes despite having two players sin-binned as they recorded only a fourth victory at Murrayfield in 26 years.
Scotland proved a shadow of the side that scored three tries against France in Paris last weekend, never recovering from a 16-0 deficit midway through the first half.
Even when Wales were reduced to 13 men for six minutes after lock Bradley Davies and full-back Lee Byrne both received yellow cards, the Scots didn’t seriously threaten.
Wing Shane Williams’ two tries and 14 points from fly-half James Hook – making his first Test match appearance in the number 10 shirt since 2009 – saw Wales home.
It was their first win in nine games stretching back to last summer which leaves Scotland pointless after two games and could end up in a battle with Italy to avoid the wooden spoon.
Coach Andy Robinson cut a frustrated figure as a mistake-riddled Scottish performance underlined their chronic lack of consistency, with only two Dan Parks penalties to show for their efforts.
Wales, desperate for a victory of any proportions, did not hit top gear, but the confident Hook ensured they kept the lead throughout to give coach Warren Gatland an overdue success.
Wales’ had not won a Six Nations away game by such a margin since they beat Scotland 46-22 in Edinburgh six years ago on their way to a Grand Slam.
It’s arguably Scotland’s worst performance during Robinson’s reign, which came just three days after he signed a contract extension to incorporate the 2015 World Cup.
Wales prospered from their first attack when Hook glided into space and sent Williams over for his 52nd Test try.
Hook’s confident start continued as he added the conversion and then slotted an angled 14th-minute penalty, leaving Scotland with plenty to ponder at 10-0 adrift little more than halfway through the opening quarter.
Scotland offered nothing as an attacking force, proving hesitant in defence and conceding far too many penalties at the breakdown.
The Scots continued to stretch referee George Clancy’s patience, and two more Hook penalties took Wales 16-0 ahead before the home side finally stirred.
Their first raid into Wales’ 22 resulted in Davies being sin-binned for deliberate offside
Byrne was next to go when assistant referee Romain Poite recommended yellow for a high tackle on Scotland wing Max Evans, and it meant Wales down to 13 men.
Scotland though, could score just three points before Davies returned – Parks finding his range from 35 metres out.
Wales knew it was simply a case of hanging on, but they were helped by the Scots making a series of errors.
Clancy then issued a warning to Scotland skipper Ali Kellock and Ryan Jones following a prolonged skirmish, and the home side’s miserable first half was summed up when Parks slipped as he attempted a long-range penalty and the ball landed way short.
In the second half Scotland had a sustained spell of pressure but Parks wasted a lot of good work through an aimless kick to the corner that Williams easily dealt with.
A second Parks penalty reduced Scotland’s deficit to 10 points approaching the final quarter, but the mistakes were never far away, underlined when flanker John Barclay spilled possession in open play.
Barclay’s blunder almost saw Scotland pay a hefty price, as Wales centre Jamie Roberts stormed through in midfield, but substitute Sean Lamont had just enough pace to complete a try-saving tackle.
Another Hook penalty meant Wales were 13 points clear, and Gatland could then finally relax when Williams got his second try following centre Jonathan Davies’ well-judged kick.