Townsend: Scotland ‘did not execute in big moments’ against Wales

Scotland have failed to secure a win in Cardiff during the Six Nations since 2002.

Townsend: Scotland ‘did not execute in big moments’ against Wales SNS Group

Gregor Townsend bemoaned Scotland’s failure to take advantage of “big moments” as their Six Nations bad luck in Cardiff continued.

Scotland are without a Cardiff win since 2002 and have rarely come closer to victory over the past two decades than on Saturday as Wales closed out a tense 20-17 victory at the Principality Stadium.

Wales captain Dan Biggar celebrated his 100th Test appearance with a decisive drop goal ten minutes from time as Scotland failed to build on their opening Calcutta Cup victory over England.

Head coach Townsend said: “The obvious emotion in the changing room is disappointment. It’s going to be with the standards we set ourselves.

“You only get five games in the Six Nations, so it’s going to have a negative effect on your chances of winning the tournament.

“There were big moments in the second half that we did not execute.

“We gave penalties to the opposition so we did not control that second half.”

Scotland recovered from an early six-point deficit to lead 11-6 and 14-9 before half-time.

But Wales were level at the interval and bounced back from their opening defeat to Ireland in Dublin as Biggar’s boot overturned a 17-14 disadvantage.

Townsend, whose side were reduced to 14 men late on when outside-half Finn Russell was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on, said: “After we went ahead on the scoreboard we needed to kick on, and we weren’t able to do that.

“We should have taken the game to the opposition and been more accurate than we were during that period.

“We did well in the period when we were a man down.

“But the clock was ticking down and it was hard to make use of that final possession when we were in our half.

“There wasn’t a huge amount of difference really in the two performances. We played better against England than we did here, but we didn’t show our best in either game.”

Winger Darcy Graham scored Scotland’s solitary try with a superb piece of first-half footwork to take him past Louis Rees-Zammit.

Graham said: “Wales put a lot of pressure on us in the second half.

“We’d done a lot of good things in the first half, we got into the lead but you have to be able to close these games out.

“Our discipline was a bit poor. That was the way they got into the game, through penalties and our mistakes and silly errors.

“We’ve got to back our defence. We can play good rugby when our defence is solid.

“We can stop teams scoring and go multi-phase. We just need to trust in that process.

“We’ve got the potential here to do something very special. It’s one game and we need to get back on the horse and go again.”

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