If Grand Slams were handed out for resilience, then Wales would not have to play Ireland next weekend for the honour. But they do and the Principality Stadium promises to be as fervent, passionate and electric as it has ever been.

First the Welsh players survived a week in which their future employment came under question and then they show survived a valiant Scottish second-half resurgence when their proud winning streak came under question.

Yet again, it was far from pretty from Wales but as Warren Gatland has said "this is a side that has forgotten how to lose". Their run extends to 13 as they made it four out of four in this Six Nations, even though three of those victories have been far from convincing.

They dominated the opening advantage and should have enjoyed a greater advantage than nine points. But do not play down the home side's character in bouncing back to make this an enthralling, at times excruciating, encounter.


Gregor Townsend, the Scotland coach, will bemoan so many key men being absent and will feel with all their pressure late on they should have prevailed. But he will have seen enough in that resurrection to believe there is plenty to return. Perhaps in time for Twickenham.

For Warren Gatland, the "W" is everything, as his huge sigh at the final whistle signified. At half-time he would have felt so comfortable. Not least Towsend's already lengthy injury list gained a few more casualties early on as they lost wing Tommy Seymour and full-back Blair Kinghorn.

The latter did not enjoy his afternoon, being embarrassed by Josh Adams' feint inside in the 13th minute. It was Wales's first attack and Adams - who with his fourth international try is clearly a confirming force in the game - finished with aplomb. But Kinghorn will not wish to view the tapes.

Wales' Gareth Anscombe kicks a penalty against Scotland, during their Six Nations rugby match at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo / AP
Wales' Gareth Anscombe kicks a penalty against Scotland, during their Six Nations rugby match at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo / AP

When Russell notched his second penalty soon after it was 7-6, but the Welsh backs were just getting started. Jonathan Davies, their ever-impressive British and Irish Lion, applied the necessaries, running over inside centre, Pete Horne, after a 13-phase drive. As they ran in for the break, Scotland were counting themselves fortunate not to be further in arrears.

However creative he is will ball in hand, Anscombe still does not inspire as a goal-kicker. He hit the post with a relatively straightfoward penalty attempt, but even then, with the clock running down, Wales pressed for the line when the rebound found man-of-of-match Hadley Parkes. Adam Hastings, playing in the unfamiliar No 15 position, repelled Adams. If there was any consolation at all for Scotland it was that two years ago they were four points down before storming to a 29-13 win in the second half.

Allan Dell, the loosehead prop, was an unlikely candidate to lift what had been a rather muted Murrayfield atmosphere with a charge upfield which involved a few jinks before being upended by Liam Williams. The tackle ended the match for the Lions full-back, who was helped off with what looked a stinger injury to his left shoulder. Dan Biggar was probably due to come on anyway to assume the playmaking role and Anscombe dropped back.

When Biggar arrived, his troops were rooted to their back feet. Three times, Russell turned down the opportunity to go for the posts and make it a one-score game, and on the third time the luck changed.

The crowd rose when lock Grant Gilchrist crashed over the whitewash, but he was held up and nothing came from the whitewash. Biggar had seemed to quash the uprising when performing an outstanding tackle as the line loomed, but Wales lost the line out which their penalty had earned.


From there Scotland one way across the field and then across again, when Darcy Graham finally took the pass from Hastings for his first try for Scotland. Russell missed the conversion, but by now the momentum had completed an incredible U-Turn. The blue wave enveloped Wales once more, although they were let off when Parkes kicked through and the ball bounced the wrong way for Adams.

With 10 minutes left, Scotland were back where they had set up camp in the second period - on the Welsh line. Each time Wales, looked like clearing - George North putting in one cheeky style - so their mistakes allowed those patched-up Tartan dreamers another shot. Something had to give and eventually Ali Price's enthusiasm got the better.

It was another terrific grubber from Russell which Anscombe delayed taking. Price tackled him without the ball and Wales were free. They were allowed the luxury of running down the minutes with the pick and charge. Next stop Cardiff for a Grand Slam showdown. But Gatland and Wales will be aware they have to improve.