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Sunday, February 7, 1999 Published at 10:55 GMT

Quickfire Scots see off Welsh

John Leslie grounds the ball for his 10-second try

Scotland 33-20 Wales

Scotland made an astonishing start with a 10-second try which set the pace for a see-saw thriller at Murrayfield.

Iain Robertson reports (BBC Radio 5 Live)
It completed an exciting first round of matches in what is the final Five Nations championship before Italy make it six.

In Dublin, Irish hearts were broken by a last-minute Thomas Castaignede penalty which gave champions France a 10-9 victory.

Scotland were off to a flyer when stand-off Duncan Hodge switched the kick-off from the right to the left at the last second, foxing the Welsh side.

Kiwi centre John Leslie collected the ball and sprinted straight in to touch down on his debut for Scotland. Hodge failed to convert and minutes later missed what appeared to be a simple penalty.

Neil Jenkins pulled back the deficit in seven minutes with a penalty.

[ image: Wales fought back to take the half-time lead]
Wales fought back to take the half-time lead
Wales took the lead in the 34th minute with a quick tap penalty from Rob Howley, who waltzed round the Scottish defence and passed outside to winger Daffyd James for the score. Jenkins added the conversion.

Three minutes later Hodge atoned for his two earlier misses by notching up another three points.

But Jenkins responded by making his record three out of three to stretch Wales' lead further.

Man of the Match Scott Murray: "I knew we'd pull through"
Scotland made one change at half-time, Stewart Grimes replacing Doddie Weir at lock.

Minutes into the second-half, Gregor Townsend - switched to stand-off after Hodge went off injured - capitalised on a quick penalty taken by Howley.

Townsend intercepted the ball between the Welsh forwards and ran three-quarters of the field to score.

[ image: Martin Leslie hangs onto Scott Gibbs]
Martin Leslie hangs onto Scott Gibbs
Kenny Logan, who has kicked all season for his club Wasps, stepped up and secured the conversion.

In the 56th minute, Wales switched hookers, Jonathan Humphreys going off to be replaced by Barry Williams.

Wales displayed magnificent handling to clinch a splendid try. Howley tried to go blind and passed inside to Jenkinks, who handed on to Chris Jarvis.

Scott Gibbs was close in support and managed to go over for another five points. Jenkins retained his 100% record with the conversion.

Bill McLaren watches Scott Murray's try
Not to be outdone, Scotland hit back by stealing Welsh line-out ball for Townsend to set up a midfield move, finished by Alan Tait whose run angle was perfectly judged for his 10th capped try. Logan's conversion was wide.

With seven minutes left, Logan put the Scots ahead with a penalty which raised the Murrayfield roof.

Scotland skipper Gary Armstrong: "We've proved a loto of people wrong"
Scotland piled on the pressure, driving Wales back, eventually getting close enough to the Welsh line for lock Scott Murray to dive over. Logan added the conversion.

The Wasps man had more to come. He put over a penalty on full-time to extend the lead further.


Scotland: Metcalfe, C Murray, Townsend, J Leslie, Logan, Hodge, Armstrong, Smith, Bulloch, Burnell, S Murray, Weir, Walton, Peters, M Leslie. Replacements: Longstaff, Tait, Fairley, Pountney, Grimes, Hilton, Brotherstone.

Wales: Howarth, Robinson, Bateman, Gibbs, James, Jenkins, Howley, Morris, Humphreys, Anthony, Gough, Wyatt, Charvis, Quinnell, M Williams. Replacements: Morgan, Taylor, Llewellyn, G Lewis, Voyle, A Lewis, B Williams.

Referee: E Morrison (England)

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