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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 August, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Wales take Scotland scalp
MATCH SUMMARY
Iestyn Harris prompted the back line and kicked 15 points
Wales (12) 23
Try: M Owen. Pens: I Harris (5). DG: C Sweeney.
Scotland (6) 9
Pens: B Laney (3).
Att: 24,740
Wales 23-9 Scotland

Steve Hansen's side completed their World Cup warm-ups with the most significant win of the coach's Wales career, ending a three-year losing streak against the Scots.

Michael Owen got the only try of the game, but the Millennium Stadium's hero was inside centre Iestyn Harris who prompted the dangerous Wales back line and kicked 15 points.

Scotland had their chances and spent much of the second half camped on the Welsh line, but their experimental side was undone by unforced errors and unimaginative offensive play.

Ian McGeechan's team, who play their final World Cup warm-up against Ireland at Murrayfield next Saturday, will be fretting over captain Scott Murray who limped off with a worrying knee injury.

Brendan Laney opened the scoring with a fourth-minute penalty, but the Scots were making mistakes when trying to play from deep in their own half.

The guys showed they could dig deep in the closing 20 minutes
Wales captain Colin Charvis
The Ceri Sweeney-Iestyn Harris axis was giving Wales excellent field position, and as the penalties started to flow the home side's way Harris - sporting an efficient, remodelled kicking action - punished the Scots with four successful kicks at goal.

Wales captain Colin Charvis, who enjoyed an outstanding game, came close to the first try in the 14th minute.

The forwards took their turn to batter the Scotland defensive line and when it came to Charvis the flanker bullocked through on a 40-yard run, but with the try line beckoning his inside pass went forward.

Colin Charvis breaks through the Scotland defence
Charvis gave a fine display as captain
Full-back Glenn Metcalfe was looking the main threat for Scotland, the kilted Kiwi making a succession of clean breaks but failing to deliver the final ball.

Laney landed his second penalty on the half hour, but the Scots' joy was tempered by Murray's injury, the big lock crumpling to the ground after challenging for a high ball.

To complete 40 minutes of missed opportunities, on the stroke of half time Charvis went on another rampaging 40-yard run, only to fail to deliver the try-scoring pass to the supporting Sweeney.

It's easy for a game to become very difficult if you don't get the basics right
Scotland coach Ian McGeechan
Good inter-play between Harris and Sweeney led to another Welsh penalty early in the second half, but Laney replied immediately for the Scots.

It was another Scotland mistake that led to the first try of the game, a dropped ball in midfield giving Wales the turnover.

Harris fired a long pass out to Tom Shanklin whose storming run was cut short just shy of the line.

The men in red recycled quickly, shipping the ball out to lock Michael Owen who threw a cheeky dummy before dropping over for the score.

Wales' apprehension at the prospect of a rare win was growing, and after giving away a scrum inside their own 22 Steve Hansen's side were fortunate to see the Scots lose the ball in the act of crossing the home side's line.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Ian McGeechan' team mounted a determined 15-minute siege of the Welsh line, but the solid defence could not be breached.

When Wales finally broke out and found their way into the Scotland half, Ceri Sweeney sealed the game with a 79th-minute drop goal.

After 19 months in the job, Hansen can now add a win over recognised world opponents to victories over Canada, Fiji, Italy and Romania (twice).


Wales: Garan Evans (Llanelli Scarlets); Jamie Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Tom Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), Iestyn Harris (Cardiff Blues), Matthew Watkins (Llanelli Scarlets); Ceri Sweeney (Celtic Warriors), Dwayne Peel (Llanelli Scarlets); Duncan Jones (Neath Swansea Ospreys), Robin McBryde (Llanelli Scarlets), Adam Jones (Neath Swansea Ospreys), Vernon Cooper (Llanelli Scarlets), Michael Owen (Newport Gwent Dragons), Colin Charvis (unattached, capt), Richard Parks (Celtic Warriors), Alix Popham (Leeds).
Replacements: Huw Bennett (Neath Swansea Ospreys), Ben Evans (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath Swansea Ospreys), Rhys Oakley (Newport Gwent Dragons), Michael Phillips (Llanelli Scarlets), Nicky Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Hal Luscombe (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Scotland: Glenn Metcalfe (Glasgow); Rory Kerr (Glasgow), Andy Craig (Orrell), Brendan Laney (Edinburgh), Simon Danielli (Bath); Gregor Townsend (Borders), Graeme Beveridge (Glasgow); Gavin Kerr (Leeds), Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow), Bruce Douglas (Borders), Scott Murray (Edinburgh, capt), Stuart Grimes (Newcastle), Martin Leslie (Edinburgh), Jon Petrie (Glasgow), Andrew Mower (Newcastle).
Replacements: Dougie Hall (Edinburgh), Gordon McIlwham (unattached), Nathan Hines (Edinburgh), Andrew Dall (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh).

Referee: Chris White (England).




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