Wales survives Scotland fightback, keeps Grand Slam hopes alive

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Wales survived a second-half onslaught from Scotland to prevail 18-11 at Murrayfield and will return home to play for the Six Nations Grand Slam.

The New Zealander will become the first coach to achieve a hat-trick of Grand Slams if his squad - most of whom were affected by the on-off proposed merger between the Ospreys and the Scarlets - can extend their record winning run to 14 matches with a victory against the reigning champions at the Principality Stadium.

While Wales dominated the first half, on their way to a 15-6 lead, Scotland responded by having much the better of the second half.

Scotland kicked off this Guinness Six Nations with an efficient home win over Italy and then produced a vibrant first half against Ireland.

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The former Ireland coach praised his players for the resilience they showed at the end of their hard week and for a superb second-half defensive effort helping them to protect most of the advantage they gained through first-half tries from winger Josh Adams and centre Jonathan Davies.

Scotland had to show faith in their squad after a succession of injuries forced them to use replacement hooker Fraser Brown as a temporary flanker and scrum-half Ali Price as an emergency winger.

"Scotland played well and their bench was good, so you have to give them credit".

From their first notable attack, the visitors delivered a superb score as slick passing freed Adams near the touchline and he showed outstanding footwork to round Scotland full-back Blair Kinghorn and touch down unopposed.

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If Kinghorn fails to recover from the injury sustained on Saturday, and Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland, who both missed the game with injuries to shoulder and heel respectively, are unavailable to face England, Townsend's fall-back position will nearly certainly be to start with Hastings.

A long-range Anscombe penalty restored Wales' four-point advantage, and they began to move through the gears, utilising outstanding carrying work from the likes of Navidi, Ross Moriarty and skipper Alun Wyn Jones. Wales' renowned defense also came to the fore, as it made 138 tackles in the second half after 66 in the first. They have have been hit with a few injuries following the loss to Wales last weekend.

From an attacking lineout, Gilchrist was held up over the line by Parkes.

Scotland was back with more than a quarter left, but it couldn't finish off Wales when it had chances.

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