Jeremy Guscott: Wales’ vice-like defence fuels Six Nations Grand Slam run

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Wales beat Scotland 18-11 to edge closer to the Colossal Slam title

Wales roll on. Just right as coach Warren Gatland predicted sooner than the starting up of the Six Countries, his facet have constructed up some ambitious momentum after getting over the hurdle of France away on the opening weekend.

Eighty minutes in opposition to an much Ireland facet now separates them from a 14th successive Test victory and, extra importantly, a first Colossal Slam since 2012.

Their performance in opposition to Scotland confirmed the qualities that their much scuttle has been founded on.

The D in Wales’ DNA

The most distinctive part of Wales’ DNA is their defence. They’ve handiest scored nine tries to this level on this tournament – the identical number as Italy – but have conceded simply six, the fewest of any facet.

Their fitness, durability and organisation is extra of a hallmark than not most likely try-scoring.

Ragged Huge Britain rugby league world Shaun Edwards has been accountable of their defence for added than 11 years and that continuity technique the defensive machine is ingrained.

Their ethos is to meet line scuttle with line scuttle. They advance up flat and rapidly, especially shut to the breakdown.

Here within the 2d half, Wales’ first four defenders are neatly enlighten, all looking out at for Scotland scrum-half Ali Price’s creep
They lead out Wales’ defensive line, placing stress on first receiver Grant Gilchrist…
…and they haul him down simply looking out the achieve line, with Scotland number five Jonny Gray still getting to his feet from the old breakdown within the background

Individually, their first-up tackling is amazingly factual and, when that fails, their mosey defence is sharp and dedicated.

In the essential half, Scotland soar Darcy Graham pinballed via Josh Navidi.

Wales 2d row Alun Wyn Jones has to interchange course to walk the faster man
He is soon giving up about a metres to Graham….
…but, with abet from corpulent-inspire Liam Williams’ tap form out, will get inspire to pull Graham to the floor

They moreover adapt to the opposition. Scotland most important to play the recreation at excessive tempo, recycling lickety-split to trek extensive sooner than the defence was once enlighten but Wales were canny in preventing that, deploying the choke form out to defend the ball off the floor and delay play.

Out extensive, Jonathan Davies is a key ingredient of their defence.

They count on his decision making to shut down the extensive channels, awaiting where the ball will dawdle and making a particular person-and-ball form out or filling home effectively to jam up the opposition’s gears.

On this instance, Finn Russell attempts to use Allan Dell’s running line as a decoy to liberate Adam Hastings at the inspire of the prop…
…but Davies reads his arrangement, zeroing in on Hastings…
…and wrapping up his man

He reads the recreation incredibly neatly and seldom finally ends up in no man’s land.

He is a keystone of Wales’ defence and Scotland’s handiest try got right here after they suckered him out of location.

Davies, at the pinnacle of the portray, appropriately anticipates Peter Horne’s creep to Russell, who’s wrapping around Slash Grigg’s decoy scuttle…
..but Russell’s quick hands spring Byron McGuigan on a monitoring line on his internal shoulder
McGuigan races into the outlet left by Davies’ lag out of defence and has Adam Hastings and eventual try-scorer Graham for make stronger on his starting up air shoulder

It was once a first-part switch that Scotland executed very slickly and it got its due reward.

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Accuracy in assault

In assault, Wales need to not a bunch to frighten the opposition with boundless creativity or particular person brilliance. They develop not threaten to steamroll you both, but they are relentlessly magnificent. Take care of Exeter or Saracens within the English Premiership, they’ve a system to obtain the job executed and they’ll tweak it to swimsuit the opposition.

When compared with the narrow recreation that they trumped England with, they clearly felt Scotland’s defence gave them extra latitude to obtain the ball extensive.

In the center of the essential three minutes, Liam Williams had flicked on a creep with his fingertips to give Josh Adams a scuttle down the simply touchline.

9 minutes later, on the different soar, Adams scored the opening try.

Wales got to the threshold of the Scotland defence far too with out advise – Tommy Seymour stepped in when there was once simply no need.

Seymour and Russell need to belief their internal defence and conceal the specter of Davies and Adams out extensive
But Seymour is lured in by Parkes…
…leaving Russell exposed two on one

Among rugby gamers, wingers are once quickly characterised as having extra rapidly twitch muscle of their legs than gray subject upstairs.

Seymour made a rash decision to advance inspire internal and that allowed Adams a one-on-one with Blair Kinghorn, who he sat down with a supreme whisper step.

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Josh Adams scores the essential try for Wales in opposition to Scotland

Wales’ 2d try was once extra harking inspire to the aloof methodical technique they floor down England’s defence for Cory Hill’s try two weeks within the past.

England could perhaps not hit tough ample in defence to resist and Scotland absolutely could perhaps not.

Subsequent weekend guarantees to be a plentiful match. While Scotland’s personnel dictates their ways, limiting them to 1 technique of playing, Ireland are a much extra rounded facet.

They are able to meet the Welsh muscle up front with a host of heavy accountability ball-carries, and the backline is extra skilled and scientific than Scotland’s.

Memoir of two centres

England ragged the debate over with of Italy to Twickenham on Saturday to rest Henry Slade and as an different pair up Ben Te’o and Manu Tuilagi as a heavyweight midfield duo.

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Te’o has shone as a finisher for England, but I am but to be convinced by him as a starter. He has not but dominated a midfield, knocking folks inspire fervent and linking with the man starting up air him.

Te’o (12) had started handiest one England match sooner than being named within the Lions XV for the essential Test in opposition to Unusual Zealand in June 2017

His handiest Test performance to this level has doubtlessly advance not for England but within the essential Test for the British and Irish Lions in summer season 2017 when he went toe to toe, stunning successfully, with Unusual Zealand’s Sonny Bill Williams.

He is still to invent on that and there could be extra to advance inspire from him.

Manu Tuilagi had a extra impressive recreation, punching gargantuan holes and scoring two tries in opposition to a melancholy Italy.

Tuilagi’s two tries were his first world scores in five years

But the identical would be acknowledged of him as of Te’o. At 27, he is still a participant who would be developed. The template would be Unusual Zealand much Ma’a Nonu. Nonu was once not a super passing, kicking centre when he got right here into the All Blacks facet, but by the pinnacle of his profession his recreation management was once very unbiased right.

He could perhaps kick prolonged for subject location, brief for group-mates, offload out the form out and hyperlink play. That is the extra dimension that Tuilagi could perhaps add to his categorical-practice ball-carrying.

Team of the spherical

Jeremy Guscott was once speaking to BBC Sport’s Mike Henson.

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