Laidlaw pays the Price - Scotland captain benched for Wales clash

Scotland beat England to win the Calcutta Cup in 2018

Scotland beat England to win the Calcutta Cup in 2018

A compelling match finished with Scotland, frustrated and patched together, back in its 22 for the first time since the end of the first half, and Wales flyhalf-cum-fullback Gareth Anscombe kicking a second penalty to complete their record-extending 13th straight win.

Glasgow Warriors wing Kyle Steyn has joined the Scotland squad ahead of their Six Nations clash against England in London on Saturday.

Defeat in that fixture would open the door for England to take the title if, as expected, they beat Italy and Scotland in their final two games at Twickenham.

After dominating the first half against an injury-hit and error-prone Scotland, Wales had to survive a stirring second-half comeback as the hosts brought a previously subdued Murrayfield crowd to their feet with a score from Darcy Graham. A rolling maul drew in the Welsh defense, a Russell inside pass to Byron McGuigan put the replacement wing in space, and Hastings sent Graham diving into the right corner.

Replacement Hamish Watson was to the fore in the Scottish comeback, bringing some of the carrying power that Scotland had lacked in the first half with a series of bruising charges.

"Any team that's won a Grand Slam, and I think back even to previous year with Ireland and that Johnny Sexton drop goal, you look back at certain games and know you've had a little bit of luck", said Gatland, on the verge of his third Grand Slam.

But Scotland tailed off badly in the second half and then looked hopelessly passive against France two weeks ago.

"We talked at the break about being pretty comfortable and going out to deliver a second-half (performance)". We made a few errors and our line speed wasn't good in areas but it got better.

"I'll take my hat off to the players in how they've dug deep", said Gatland. "This group have forgotten how to lose and hopefully that continues next week".

The visiting side led 15-6 at half-time, with the scoreline not reflecting their overall dominance as Scotland struggled to cope with Wales' mix of crushing phase-based attack play and sharp finishing.

All of Scotland's first-choice back three, including Tommy Seymour, Blair Kinghorn and Stuart Hogg have been ruled out of the crucial Test. This was also Wales' 14th consecutive win.

Wales coach Warren Gatland has urged his players to seize the "dream" opportunity of clinching a Grand Slam at home to Ireland in Cardiff next Saturday.

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