What an unbelievable game – nobody could’ve seen that coming.
It seemed likely that Wales would produce the same stagnant, ineffective style of play that has plagued them in recent years. Instead, it was anything but.
They were clinical, clever and played with a ruthless efficiency that hasn’t been seen from Wales in years. They outplayed Scotland in every aspect of the game.
This performance really changes that dynamic of the tournament.
Here are the ratings from the 34-7 win.
15. Leigh Halfpenny – 9
It really was an impressive performance from the full-back.
Each kick was so clean and it showed with his 100% conversion rate from the tee.
14. Josh Adams – 7
Adams was, defensively, rock solid all game.
There were no fireworks in attack but he showed signs of his impressive gas when he motored down the line during the second half. Overall, an encouraging debut.
13. Scott Williams – 9
A really commanding game from the Llanelli man. The Scottish just couldn’t create anything out wide and it was all down to Williams’ defensive prowess.
He also looked assured in attack, he carried hard and distributed nicely. He has made the number 13 shirt his for this years’ tournament.
12. Hadleigh Parkes – 8
It was a performance we have become so used to from Parkes, he just didn’t do anything wrong and he made all the right decisions.
He showed great skills to draw the last man for Evans’ last try. He only qualified for residency in the autumn, but he is already making his mark on the squad.
11. Steff Evans – 8
He could have had a hat-trick if more went his way.
If Alun Wyn Jones’ offload went to hand and if Evans got decent contact on a hack on, it would’ve been three tries for the Scarlet. He looked so sharp, regularly beating the first man.
10. Rhys Patchell – 9
He played with such pace and precision and regularly attacked the gain line.
He really got his backline moving. Dan Biggar’s injury may be a blessing in disguise because Patchell was simply exemplary today.
9. Gareth Davies – 7
He looked dangerous throughout and capitalised well on a loose pass to sprint in for a try.
He would have been disappointed with a misplaced box kick in the opening exchanges but he was dynamic from then on.
1. Rob Evans – 7
The loosehead carried on where he left off in the Champions Cup.
He scrummaged solidly and also popped up with his trademark handling skills with some sumptuous offloads. Evans is blossoming into a top, top international player.
2. Ken Owens – 7
Solid without being spectacular. He went about his business quietly but he was reliable throughout.
The line-out was solid and his throws were pinpoint and he carried aggressively in the loose.
3. Samson Lee – 7
Who knew he had hands like that? It was a gorgeous offload and encapsulated everything that Wales are attempting to do, to play with more pace and skill.
The Wales scrum was solid and he carried strongly. He’s been missing from the Wales squad recently but with more displays than that, they’ll be glad to have him back.
4. Cory Hill – 7
Hill was very impressive today. He looks to be an incredibly fit individual and he got around the park very well today, most notably running a support line after Shingler’s line break.
Warren Gatland will be pleased he has found a replacement in Hill for Jake Ball this 6 Nations.
5. Alun Wyn Jones – 8
Another day at the office for Wales’ talismanic captain. The fact he can continue to deliver to the level he does consistently is remarkable.
His trademark choke tackle proved to be effective in nullifying Scotland’s attacking threat. A captain’s knock from Jones.
6. Aaron Shingler – 9
Shingler thoroughly deserved his Man of the Match award. He reproduced his very impressive club form with a wonderful performance.
He was a reliable source of line out ball, he was a nuisance around the breakdown all day and he showed his prowess with ball in hand. He could be one of the standout players this 6 Nations.
7. Josh Navidi – 7
Navidi more than held his own winning two crucial turnovers under his own posts.
Even though Wales are without Warburton, they are not short quality in the back row.
8. Ross Moriarty – 7
It was a relatively quiet return to international rugby for the Gloucester man.
He was often used to bash the ball up off of set piece and he made metres over the gain line regularly. We didn’t see his best today, but it was a solid performance.
James Skeldon, Pundit Arena