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Saturday, 17 February, 2001, 20:14 GMT
Late Scottish surge frustrates Wales
Scotland 28-28 Wales
Wales and Scotland shared the points in a tense encounter at Murrayfield on Saturday, which left the crowd gasping for more.
Three early drop goals, four penalties and a Mark Taylor try helped Wales surge into an early lead, but the Scots hit back with three superb tries from Chris Patterson, James McLaren and Tom Smith.
Man-of-the-match Neil Jenkins proved supreme in the opening period, but Wales ultimately paid the price in the second-half for sitting on their lead.
As England found out to their cost last year, Murrayfield is as intimidating as any rugby stadium in the world, and Scotland proved their worth by overcoming a 28-16 deficit to secure an impressive draw - the first between the sides in history.
In a dazzling first-half Wales started well, no doubt an attempt to banish the nightmares caused by England's visit to the Millennium Stadium a fortnight ago.
Jenks on fire
Jenkins opened the Welsh account quickly, notching up three drop goals and three penalties to give his side a comfortable 18-6 half-time lead.
Scotland, on the other hand, looked less than impressive and when Richard Metcalfe was sin-binned for a late tackle on Scott Gibbs it looked as if Wales might run away with the game.
Scotland started where they had left off after the break, but just as they began to assert some dominance disaster struck.
Despite a two-man overlap, Martin Leslie opted for a long pass, that Mark Taylor plucked out of the air to run-in underneath the posts.
It was a desperate blow for the home side and pushed Wales 25-6 ahead. But any thoughts that the game was out of their reach were quickly banished, when Patterson stunned a ragged red defence with a wonderful 40-yard try.
Logan converted to reduce the deficit to 13-25, but just as importantly it also raised the spirits of the vociferous home support.
Wales momentarily lost their impetus, but Logan failed to add a further three points, after Graham Henry's men were penalised for offside.
Scotland, meanwhile, began to raise their game with Metcalfe stealing numerous Welsh balls in the line-out.
With 20 minutes to go, the Scots looked by far the better side and earned a well-deserved penalty. Logan made no mistake - taking the Scots to 16 points after a sustained attack within the Welsh 22.
Seconds later the visitors won a vital penalty when Scotland were penalised for diving over. But this time Jenkins missed.
Far from being a blow, it seemed to raise Welsh spirits as the red shirts produced a superb attacking effort, moving through eight phases of play.
The reward was yet another penalty chance for Jenkins, after Budge Poutney was penalised for diving over. Jenkins made no mistake to take the Welsh lead beyond 12 points.
But Scotland were in no mood to give up, surging towards the opposition line and forcing a consultation with the fourth referee.
Welsh defence held firm, however, though they failed seconds later when James McLaren forced his way through after a superb flat pass from Duncan Hodge.
Logan again failed with the boot, but when Tom Smith added Scotland's third, it left the home side only two points behind.
This time Hodge stepped up for the kick and when the ball sailed through the posts the home crowd raised the roof.
With 81 minutes on the clock, the matched was locked at 28-all and despite some fine play from both sides in the closing seconds, the whistle finally blew to signal at least one small piece of history; the first ever drawn match between the sides.
Teams - Scotland: Chris Paterson; Cameron Murray; James McLaren; John Leslie; Kenny Logan; Duncan Hodge; Andy Nicol (capt); Tom Smith; Gordon Bulloch; Mattie Stewart; Scott Murray; Richard Metcalfe; Martin Leslie; Jon Petrie; Budge Pountney.
Wales: Rhys Williams; Mark Jones; Mark Taylor; Scott Gibbs; Neil Jenkins; Robert Howley; Darren Morris; Robin McBryde; Dai Young (capt); Ian Gough; Andy Moore; Colin Charvis; Scott Quinnell; Martyn Williams.
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