The Grand Slam champions Wales made a flying start to their Six Nations title defence and set alarm bells ringing in the England camp. Martin Johnson's men are next up for Wales in six days' time, and the journey to Cardiff should be filled with trepidation. Wales brushed aside the loss of the injured Lions Gavin Henson and Ryan Jones to send Scotland packing. First-half tries by the centre Tom Shanklin and the lock Alun-Wyn Jones left the Scots reeling, before the winger Leigh Halfpenny's touchdown just 48 seconds into the second period finished them off. The Winger Shane Williams' 45th Test try merely underlined Welsh supremacy, cranking up the pressure on Scotland coach Frank Hadden, whose team selection baffled many north of the border. The 4-1 try count said everything about Wales' dominance. The fly-half Stephen Jones, a towering tactical presence, could even afford to miss every conversion, although he slotted two penalties. Wales, seeking back-to-back Grand Slams last achieved 100 years ago, remain unbeaten in the Six Nations since March 2007. Substitute Max Evans scored Scotland's try, but life will not get easier for Hadden with France looming in Paris next Saturday. The Llanelli Scarlets flanker Dafydd Jones made his first Six Nations start since 2005, while Shanklin replaced Henson, forging an all-Cardiff Blues midfield partnership alongside Jamie Roberts, and flanker Martyn Williams took over leadership duties. Scotland handed Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross his international debut instead of the injured Euan Murray, with Jason White covering Nathan Hines' absence by moving from back-row to lock. The opening 10 minutes proved a sparring match as both sides probed for an opening, yet Wales soon made attacking inroads. Shanklin twice ran aggressively into the heart of Scottish territory, and Shane Williams came off his wing, hungry for work. Wales were keen to put width on the ball, and the Scotland winger Simon Webster required treatment after throwing himself at Williams in a successful attempt to quell a vibrant Welsh attack. Jones booted Wales into a 12th-minute lead, but Scotland responded by establishing their most threatening territorial position of the game, aided by strong running from flanker Ally Hogg. But a lengthy delay followed when Cross took out Wales fullback Lee Byrne in mid-air. Byrne got up immediately, but Cross appeared to take the Wales player's knee flush in the face and he was stretchered off. Scotland could not replace him immediately though, as referee Alain Rolland yellow-carded Cross for the challenge, and there was further disruption for Scotland when a groggy Webster departed to be replaced by Paterson. But as the Scots regrouped, Wales capitalised, launching another flowing back move that saw Williams and Byrne link menacingly before Shanklin powered over. Jones botched the conversion attempt, yet Wales were good value for their 8-0 advantage during what had been a stop-start affair during the first 25 minutes. And matters soon deteriorated further for Scotland, as Wales cashed in on disrupting their scrum, launching a Stephen Jones raid before scrum-half Mike Phillips delivered the scoring pass to lock Jones. Paterson opened Scotland's account with a penalty nine minutes before the break, but Wales were in no mood to concede further points. A Welsh defence that conceded just two tries during last season's entire Six Nations tournament thwarted Scottish adventure, highlighted through a stunning try-saving tackle by the number eight Andy Powell on Paterson. Powell counter-attacked from the ensuing scrum, Wales charged up field, and Jones struck his second penalty with the half's final kick, securing a 16-3 interval advantage. Wales were keen to close the game out, but they could not have expected to seal the deal just 48 seconds after the restart. Stephen Jones' strong midfield run scattered the Scottish defence, allowing Wales time and space for Shane Williams to free Halfpenny for a try on his Six Nations debut. Shane Williams then scored following sustained pressure, and with the job done, Wales boss Warren Gatland made five substitutions, before captain Williams was sin-binned for a high tackle. Scotland searched for a consolation try, and it duly arrived 11 minutes from time courtesy of Evans, which Paterson converted following his two earlier penalties. The Scots enjoyed their best spell of the game late on, and Paterson almost scored, but he could not ground the ball ahead of a scrambling Byrne. Wales, though, had comfortably done enough, winning a Test match they never remotely looked like losing. * PA Sport
- England exact revenge over Wales and boost Six Nations title chances
- Morgan happy to be target man for England in Six Nations showdown
- ‘We know we have a tough battle on our hands’ says Wales’ Jenkins
- Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll ‘humbled’ at reaction in Six Nations defeat of Italy
- England-born Jake Ball taking his Six Nations chance with Wales by the horns
- Wales coach Gatland targets fourth Six Nations win in a row against England
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- Jose Mourinho ‘makes us feel better than we are’ at Chelsea
- ‘I motivate myself’ says Jose Mourinho, answering fan questions in Q&A
- Nemanja Matic is making most of second go with Chelsea
- Asia Cup 2014 gave the long rope to ODI tournament’s sagging image
- Decision day looms for Indian Premier League destination
- Most Viewed
- Most Commented
- Federal Traffic Council approves proposal to lower UAE driving age
- Men ripped off woman’s clothes in bathroom, Abu Dhabi court hears
- Ties no longer mandatory for Dubai cabbies amid safety concerns
- OSN blames rival for TV sport blackout in the UAE as fans will have to buy new set-top boxes
- Live blog: With the emergency workers at Rashid Hospital Trauma Centre
In pictures: Thousands take part in annual Engadin Skimarathon
The 42-kilometre cross-country skiing competition runs every year on the second Sunday in March from Maloja, Switzerland to S-chanf.
Prince Bishop flatters to deceive but Saeed bin Suroor looks strong for World Cup night
Rarely does Saeed bin Suroor talk of his emotions, but after Prince Bishop handed the Godolphin trainer his 10th victory in Super Saturday at Meydan Racecourse, the master of Al Quoz was admittedly overwhelmed at the success.
Ernst Oertel earns some breathing room in race to UAE trainer’s title
Ernst Oertel went four clear from his closest challenger Musabah Al Muhairi to take a firm hold in retaining the UAE trainer’s championship for a second year running.
Fair shakes for Aaron Hunt’s fair play
Aaron Hunt is a prime candidate for a Fifa Fair Play award after his refreshing honesty during Bremen’s 2-0 win over Nuremberg as both sides battled to avoid relegation.
Barcelona in danger of drawing a trophy blank
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino needs to find a quick fix for whatever is ailing his team or his first season in charge at the Nou Camp is likely to end without major silverware.
Which bad NHL team will be good soon?
It’s not a hard and fast rule but one way to get to the top is to fall to the bottom, because that brings you the premier draft choices who can make a franchise, writes Rob McKenzie.