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Sport Six Nations rugby morning headlines as Clive Woodward tells Scotland Wales 'are there for the taking'

12:31  13 february  2021
12:31  13 february  2021 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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Here are the Six Nations rugby morning headlines on Saturday, February 13.

Woodward backs Scotland

Sir Clive Woodward has told Scotland Wales are 'there for the taking' at Murrayfield today.

Heaping praise on the Scots for their victory over England, Woodward has challenged them to prove they are capable of stringing a series of noteworthy wins together.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, he said: "If last week's Calcutta Cup game against England was huge for Scotland, Saturday evening's match against Wales is even bigger.

"Now they must go again and that has been their biggest problem in modern times. There have been heartening wins over England, South Africa, France, Australia — in fact, just about everybody bar New Zealand — but they have been one-offs. They have never put a run together to challenge for the Six Nations or to make an impact at the World Cup.

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"They must be as good on Saturday evening as they were last week against England. Wales rather scraped their win against Ireland and have picked up a hatful of injuries.

"They will have taken confidence from the victory but, if Scotland replicate their 80 minutes excellence of last week, I think they are there for the taking."

A nation's optimism

The Scottish media are approaching today's Six Nations match with a great deal of optimism and expectation after the events of last weekend.

In a leader comment article, the Scotsman newspaper suggests this could be the best Scotland team for decades.

The comment reads: "Scotland are and will forever be the Five Nations rugby champions, having won the final tournament in 1999.

"However, this is little consolation for the fact, that since the beginning of the Six Nations, such glory has not been achieved again. It is a barren spell almost as long as the Scottish international football team’s absence from a major international tournament, which will happily end later this year.

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"Victory over pre-tournament favourites England at Twickenham last week arguably now makes the Scots favourites, although the narrowness of October’s win over Wales, today’s opponents, should dampen the expectations of any fans tempted to get carried away.

"But, all the same, it is a good feeling to be looking forward to a Six Nations’ game with considerable optimism.

"Our forwards passed a stern test last week by not just standing up to England’s pack, but besting them. Combined with the scintillating attacking prowess of the likes of Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg, it is clear this is one of our best teams for years, perhaps decades.

"Former England international Matt Dawson said Scotland’s win at Twickenham was “as comprehensive a performance as New Zealand could produce”. The question now is whether, like a truly great side, they can consistently reproduce such marvellous form. Come on Scotland!"

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Dai Young praises Jenkins

Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young has welcomed the return of Ellis Jenkins after more than two years out of the game.

Jenkins finally returned to rugby after an 812-day absence in a friendly against the Ospreys on Friday.

And it was like he's never been away as he scored a try in a generally superb 40-minute display.

Young said: "It was nice for Ellis. He must’ve wrote the story because it was nice for him to pick up the try.

“It was always the plan for him to get 40 minutes and he came off with no ill effect.

“I’m really pleased with that. There was also a typical Ellis Jenkins turnover five meters from our line with 10 minutes left of the half.

“He thoroughly enjoyed it and I’m sure there was a bit of relief there as well. Being out for that amount of time, it’s always nice to get back out on the pitch."

Lloyd wins it for Bristol

Welsh wonderkid Ioan Lloyd held his nerve to land a last gasp 45-metre penalty to give Bristol an 18-17 win over Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Premiership strugglers Gloucester looked like pulling off a much needed win over the injury-ravaged pace-setters after Santiago Carreras scored two first-half tries.

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But Bristol kept in the fight, before Lloyd added to an earlier penalty and conversion to seal the points.

Alun Wyn admits lineout must improve

Alun Wyn Jones wants Wales to show a clinical edge when they tackle Guinness Six Nations opponents Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Wales have headed north of the border following an opening weekend win against Ireland, but also minus a quarter of their 36-man Six Nations squad sidelined by injuries or suspension.

And they face a Scotland side buoyant after a famous Calcutta Cup victory over England last weekend, which was their first triumph at Twickenham since 1983.

"It's funny," Wales captain Jones said. "Sometimes it's like trying to keep the tide out - one area improves, and another reneges.

"Our scrum was improved and the pictures we showed there, and we were pleased with the lineout defence. We probably let a couple go in attack.

"Generally, our defence had improved and our territory was there, but when we have that possession, particularly on entries into the 22, we have got to capitalise. We have got to come away with something.

"The two main ones would be capitalise on the possession we have, and elements of execution in the lineout where we let ourselves down, we will improve on."

The new Welsh rugby transfer signings and deals now confirmed in 2021 .
Each of the four Welsh regions have completed transfer and contract business in recent weeksVarious transfers and contract extensions have been announced throughout January and during the Six Nations.

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