Warren Gatland hails Wales ‘maturity’

Wales coach Warren Gatland praised the maturity of his youthful side as they took their record to two wins from two matches after they beat Scotland 27-13 at the Millennium Stadium.

After an error-strewn first half the match was all square at 3-3.

But a resurgent Wales took the game away from Scotland early in the second half with three tries in 14 minutes as they built a commanding 27-6 lead.

Alex Cuthbert caught a sloppy Scotland cold soon after the restart before full-back Leigh Halfpenny scored two tries in a match haul of 22 points.

Scotland, as they’d done in last weekend’s defeat by England, paid dearly for a lack of composure with the sin-binning of backs Nick de Luca and Rory Lamont compounding their failure to once again make the most of early chances.

However, new fly-half Greig Laidlaw, who scored all of the visitors’ points, did end Scotland’s run of four Tests without a try although he couldn’t prevent a fifth straight loss.

Wales won despite losing captain Sam Warburton shortly before kick-off with the dead leg the openside flanker suffered during last weekend’s 23-21 win away to Ireland and being without lock Bradley Davies, suspended for the tournament following a ‘tip tackle’ in Dublin.

“We expected Scotland to be a lot tougher than maybe the public did,” said Gatland, who in October guided Wales to the World Cup semi-finals in his native New Zealand.

“So we are very pleased with the result given the disruption of losing Sam Warburton, and having to adjust to the loss of Bradley Davies during the week, as well as being without three or four key players.

“That is a sign of the maturity of this team at the moment. They can handle these disruptions and it doesn’t seem to affect them psychologically, they just go out and play the game.”

For Scotland, who saw prop Allan Jacobsen knock-on in sight of Wales’s line shortly before half-time, it was an all too familiar story as they were left searching for their first win in Cardiff since 2002.

“It’s down to us not being able to keep our composure just before half-time,” said Scotland coach Andy Robinson.

“That was a key moment on the Welsh line, we could score points there and we don’t,” the former England flanker and coach added.

This latest defeat left Scotland with a Six Nations record under Robinson of nine defeats in 12 matches, with just two wins and a draw.

“We have a decent side,” he insisted. “We went toe-to-toe with Wales, who are a good team.

“I won’t fault the players’ attitude but it’s about winning. I’ve never shied away from that and I still won’t. That’s what we’re here for.

“I want the players to go out and perform the way they’ve done today but obviously limiting the mistakes we’ve made.”

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