It was a clinical display against Samoa that saw Wales end up 44-3 victors on the 5th of June in Nantes. The ball carriers in the forwards enjoyed a successful match as they made inroads in the Samoan defence to help release their backline. Sam Davies had a good day with the boot and the ball in hand to help clinch the victory.
At the end of the days play, Wales topped Group C ahead of Argentina who had beaten Scotland, on points difference. With Argentina facing Samoa next, it is vital Wales do not slip up against their rivals on the 9th June, Scotland.
These teams are very familiar with each other, having played only a few months ago in the 6 Nations where Wales won 42-17 and they will be hoping for a similar performance tomorrow.
Wales’ set piece was their strength against Samoa and they will hope their scrum gets dominance once again. Their backrow was excellently balanced and head coach Dany Wilson has only made the one change, with like for like player Sion Bennett coming in at 8 in place of Ieuan Jones to link up with captain Jenkins and open side Thomas.
The Welsh second row pairing will be up against it, with Scotland’s captain and lock Jonny Gray being one of their standout players who will no doubt be a danger in the lineouts and rucks. Despite suffering a large defeat to Argentina, Scotland have more than capable players who can easily disrupt Wales’ game plan. If they disrupt Wales’ set piece it will be far from simple for the men in red.
Wales’ backline sees the mercurial Jordan Williams starting at full back and with speedster Warren on the wing looking to continue his good form from the 6 Nations on the wing. Sam Davies again gets the nod at fly half but this time links up with the promising Rhodri Williams at scrum half.
If Wales get any sort of superiority in their possession they have the dangerous players to really hurt Scotland. Scotland will have to keep their defensive structure if they are to withstand Wales’ speedsters and hope they are able to compete more effectively at the breakdown.
Wilson has rotated his squad well and if Wales keep their error count down and improve their discipline, they should have enough to secure the win and to hopefully keep themselves top in Pool C.
Wales v Scotland, Sunday 9th June, Nantes – kick off 4pm (5pm local time)
Wales: 1. Nicky Smith, 2. Elliot Dee, 3. Nicky Thomas, 4. Jack Jones, 5. Rhodri Jones, 6. Ellis Jenkins ( C ), 7. Daniel Thomas, 8. Sion Bennett, 9. Rhodri Williams, 10. Sam Davies, 11. Ashley Evans, 12. Thomas Pascoe, 13. Steffan Hughes, 14. Aaron Warren, 15. Jordan Williams
Replacements: 16. Ethan Lewis, 17. Thomas Davies, 18. Daniel Suter, 19. Carwyn Jones, 20. James Benjamin, 21. Joshua Davies, 22. Owen Jenkins, 23. Jack Dixon
Scotland: 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. Russell Anderson, 3. Darcy Rae, 4. Adam Sinclair, 5. Jonny Gray ( C ), 6. Alex Henderson, 7. Will Bordill, 8. Adam Ashe, 9. Scott Steele, 10. Tommy Allan, 11. Rory Hughes, 12. Mark Bennett, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 14. Jamie Farndale, 15. Damien Hoyland
Replacements: 16. Callum Black, 17. James Malcolm, 18. Phil Cringle, 19. Eoghan Masterson, 20. Tommy Spinks, 21. Ali Price, 22. Chris Auld, 23. JJ Kilmartin