The Welsh horror show at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin where they were trounced 29-7 came as a deep shock.
Everyone was aware that Wales were handicapped by the absence of so many experienced internationals, nevertheless, the defending champions were so outclassed in every department that the result was a massive blow and raised questions about the quality of the Welsh regions.
A week later, though, Wales coach, Wayne Pivac and captain and fly half Dan Biggar, have the opportunity to restore credibility against Scotland who have not won in Cardiff since 2002, but having played with so much intelligence and passion against England, it’s hard to say who you’d put your money on to win on Saturday.
So, there’s a lot to put right before the 14.15 kick off..one of the few encouraging aspects of the Welsh performance was the display of flanker Taine Basham who plays for Dragons, the regional side based in Newport.
The 22 year old, capped eight times now, not only scored the one Welsh try but excelled in other department too, he made the most tackles(22),and charged with the ball 15 times in which he ran 93 metres.
In a pack which was easily second best against Ireland, Basham was head and shoulders the outstanding Welsh forward, therefore, a repeat performance will be demanded against the Scots.
If Wales are to recover in both attack and defence, and in winning enough ball to threaten Scotland, then surely a priority has to use possession wisely in the right areas of the pitch.
Bearing in mind how poor Wales were in Dublin, many punters may be reluctant to back the Welsh, but having said that, beware a wounded lion, and if Wales can match the Scots for pace, the Six Nations champions may surprise the critics.
How Good Were the Scots against England?
Scotland’s coach, Gregor Townsend, is not one to relax for one moment in his preparations or believe that improvements can’t be made going into Saturday’s international.
If Scotland are potential champions, then they must reproduce repeatedly the same attitude shown at Murrayfield…second row Jonny Gray, for example, must excel in the line-out, and Townsend’s side must be able to find way of putting the ball into the hands of dangermen Darcy Graham and his team-mate on the other wing, Duhan van der Merwe.
An enterprising side with Stuart Hogg at full back and the magical Finn Russell at fly half, Scotland have the skill to unlock the Welsh defence and as the Scots revealed against England, their defence is rapid and effective.
Pivac Under Pressure
The New Zealander will be grateful that his second match in the competition is at home and with thousands shouting for Wales at the Principality Stadium, surely Wales can’t be as bad again against the resurgent Scots.