Match Centre: Six Nations: Wales 26-27 Scotland

Duhan van der Merwe scored two tries for Scotland
Duhan van der Merwe scored two tries for Scotland
©Photo by Michael Steele - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Wales 26-27 Scotland, Principality Stadium

Scotland managed to withstand a second half fightback from Wales as they sealed a thrilling 27-26 victory in their opening game of the Six Nations at Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Riding on a double try from Duhan van der Merwe, Scotland had a 0-27 lead in the opening half but their indiscipline in the second half that includes yellow cards to George Turner and Sione Tuipulotu almost saw them lose the encounter.

Finn Russell started the proceedings with a 5th minute penalty goal before the opening try came in the 11th minute when Kyle Rowe and Kyle Steyn combined to send Pierre Schoeman over the line. Russell kicked the conversion as Scotland extended their lead to 0-10.

The 14th minute saw Kyle Rowe infringed at offside and Wales decided to kick in the corner and Wales launched their first attack as Dafydd Jenkins came close but knocked on inches before the try line. An infringement from Josh Adams allowed Russell to slot a three pointer to make it 0-13.

Around the half hour mark, Richie Gray left the field with a head injury but still they secured their second try as van der Merwe scored after collecting a looping pass from Russell, who followed with the conversion to extend their lead to 0-20. They had a nervy moment when Luke Crosbie's tackle on Sam Costelow, who left for a Head Injury Assessment was checked by the TMO but was cleared off a foul play.

Scotland extended their lead early into the second half as Russell offloaded for van der Merwe to complete his second making it 0-27 but the Dark Blues could not add any further points in the remainder of the game. First it was Turner, who was sin-binned in the 47th minute for collapsing the maul allowing Wales an opportunity which they seized with James Botham dotting down but Ioan Lloyd missed out on the conversion.

The home side doubled their tally Tomos Williams sent a looping pass for Rio Dyer to touchdown in the corner and the start of the final quarter saw Scotland's Sione Tuipulotu sin-binned for an offside. Wales ensured they made full use of the numerical advantage with Aaron Wainwright powering his way over for the third try and Lloyd's conversion meant the scoreline became 19-27 with 18 minutes left in the game.

The bonus point for Wales came in the 69th minute as Alex Mann scored on his debut at the back of a line out and once again Lloyd converted making it a one point game heading into the final 10 minutes. Scotland's defence was tested but they held their nerve in a tight finish with the closing stage saw almost a third try from van der Merwe which could have given them a bonus point but nevertheless Townsend's men would be relieved to start the tournament with a victory.

Team line up:

Wales: Winnett; Dyer, Watkin, Tompkins, Adams; Costelow, G Davies; Domachowski, Elias, Brown, D Jenkins (capt), Beard, Botham, Reffell, Wainwright.

Reserves: Dee, Mathias, Assiratti, Teddy Williams, Mann, Tomos Williams, I Lloyd, Grady

Scotland: Rowe; Steyn, H Jones, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell (capt), White; Schoeman, Turner, Z Fagerson, R Gray, Cummings, Crosbie, Ritchie, M Fagerson.

Reserves: Ashman, Hepburn, Millar-Mills, Skinner, Dempsey, G Horne, Healy, Redpath.