Wales fightback stuns Scots

Visitors 'heartbroken' by late defeat while France end champions Ireland's run in Paris.

    Shane Williams celebrates his winning try [AFP]
    Scotland were undone by an extraordinary Welsh comeback as they relinquished a 10-point advantage in the last five minutes to lose 31-24 in the rugby union Six Nations.

    Wales conjured two tries in the final four minutes to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

    Visiting fly half Dan Parks looked to have orchestrated a first win on Welsh soil since 2002 with a man-of-the-match display before the late capitulation.

    And the New Zealand-born back summed up the bitter disappointment of the Scots afterwards.

    "That's not justice, that's unreal," he told the BBC.

    "We did so much hard work for so long, it breaks your heart."

    In the later match a disciplined French side ended Ireland's 15-month unbeaten run with a 33-10 victory at the Stade de France.

    Advantage

    Scotland led 18-9 at the break with tries through John Barclay and Max Evans and had a 24-14 advantage entering the last five minutes.

    Results & fixtures

    Saturday February 13

     Wales 31-24 Scotland 
     France 33-10 Ireland


    Sunday February 14

     Italy v England

    Wales, beaten 30-17 by England in their opener last week, looked down and out until Leigh Halfpenny crossed with four minutes remaining.

    Stephen Jones converted to reduce the deficit to three and then kicked a penalty in front of the posts to level after Phil Godman had been shown a straight red card for cynically taking out Lee Byrne.

    With time just about expired, Wales regained possession from the kickoff and, with Scotland in disarray, Shane Williams found space to joyfully dive over the line.

    The crestfallen Scots were left facing their second successive defeat after losing to France last weekend.

    "Great credit to the guys as we know we didn't start well," Williams said.

    "Nothing seemed to go right but we stuck at it.

    "We had the belief all the way through, as the game progressed we weren't pushing the points on as we wanted to but in the last 15-20 minutes we gave everything and I think we deserved the win.

    "If that can't turn us round I don't know what can."

    Ferocious

    In Paris France scored three tries to one, dominating the scrum and holding off Irish pressure with a well organised defence and ferocious, controlled tackling.

    The Blues led 17-3 at half time through tries from hooker William Servat and centre Yannick Jauzion, both converted by scrum half Morgan Parra.

    Full back Clement Poitreneaud added a third after the break and Parra converted, later adding a drop goal to go along with two penalties.

    Irish flanker David Wallace scored a second half try that was converted by flyhalf Ronan O'Gara, who also scored a first half penalty.

    A late drop goal by France substitute Frederic Michalak drove the final nail into Ireland's hopes of repeating last season's grand slam.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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