Rugby Union: Quinnell takes charge to satisfy Welsh hordes

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The Independent Online
Scotland Under-21. . .8

Wales Under-21. . . .16

PERHAPS it was home advantage that swung it for Wales yesterday. At Myreside? Well, yes. There were something like 5,000 present, more than Watsonians ever get there, and around three- quarters of them were Welshmen already in Edinburgh for today's main event at Murrayfield, writes Steve Bale.

They were obliged with an infuriatingly erratic performance, which in the end depended on the bullocking strength of the No 8 Scott Quinnell rather than the daintier skills of the outside backs to produce a victory. Wales, although they deserved to win, had taken this for granted. That was their problem.

Quinnell is a chip off the old block, the former Lion Derek, always making ground with the ball in his hands and, critically, working the blind side in conjunction with Huw Harries to score the second Welsh try.

But Wales had more in their armoury and the disappointment was that they were unable to use it. This was caused in part by the fallibility of their handling - the occasionally abysmal giving and taking of a pass - and also by the habit of sitting back whenever they did something worthwhile.

In fact, the Scots were nowhere near as poor as their miserable record (defeats by Ireland and Italy and a 60-pointer by France) had led the Welsh, who have never lost to them at this level, to expect.

The Scots outside-half, Derrick Lee, was a nifty performer who darted through tackles with an elusiveness that went with a contrasting combativeness.

This he showed by crash-tackling Chris Brown, the Wales flanker, in the first half and then fighting with him in the second - an incident that led to the second of two brawls which disfigured the game.

Quinnell, naturally enough, made the important thrust leading to the first Welsh try by Robert Appleyard towards the end of the first half

Scotland retorted immediately after the interval with their try, the full-back Murray Thomson crashing through the middle for Murray Rudkin to score.

Scotland: Try Rudkin; Penalty Thomson. Wales: Tries Appleyard, Quinnell; Penalties Williams 2.

SCOTLAND UNDER-21: M Thomson; K Milligan (Stewart's-Melville FP), R Brown (Melrose), M Tonkin (Currie), G Fraser (Waterloo); D Lee (Watsonians), G Burns; R McNulty (Stewart's- Melville FP), D McGavin (Bedofrd, capt), G Rigby (Stewart's-Melville), G Paxton (Gala), M Rudkin (Watsonians), M Ballantyne (Gala), D Burns (Boroughmuir), N Penny (Stewart's-Melville).

WALES UNDER-21: P Armstrong (Cardiff); G Bourne (Liverpool St Helens), A Palfrey (Cardiff), I Lewis (Bath), J Reynolds (Neath); J Williams (Newport), H Harries (Cardiff); R Jones (Llanelli), J Evans (Bryncoch, capt), S John (Llanelli), L Harvey (Maesteg), P Jones (Llanelli), R Appleyard (Swansea), S Quinnell (Llanelli), C Brown (Cardiff Institute). Replacements: D Evans (Llanelli) for Harvey, 75; P Young (Llanelli) for Evans, 79.

Referee: A Watson (Ireland).