Thursday 23 November 2017

Warburton delighted with personal contribution on return

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH Sam Warburton was delighted to make an impact on his return to the starting line-up as Wales kept themselves in the RBS 6 Nations title hunt with a 28-18 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.

Wales hooker Richard Hibbard scored the only try of the game, with full-back Leigh Halfpenny adding the conversion and seven penalties.

 

Scotland's only points came courtesy of six penalties from scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, in a game dominated by the whistle of referee Craig Joubert.

 

Flanker Warburton did not start Wales' wins over France and Italy but his return to the XV saw him produce one of his best performances of the season, boosting his Lions aspirations.

 

He told BBC1: "It's a brilliant win and we are so pleased. We knew it would be tough as it is always tough up here but we are delighted with the win.

 

"I did not really feel I had a point to prove, I just wanted to get straight back in and make sure we won.

 

"We are lucky to have a fantastic squad which is very competitive and I am glad to be back in a winning team.

 

"(Assistant coach) Shaun Edwards has emphasised our defence every week, he is a superb defence coach and he wanted us to stop Scotland, and we are delighted to have gone another game without conceding a try."

 

After three straight wins Wales will now face England in a title decider at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday.

 

Warburton said: "We have 24 hours to relax and then we will start looking forward to England on Monday."

 

Scotland became increasingly annoyed with Joubert's interpretations during the course of the second half, particularly at the scrum and breakdown area.

 

But interim head coach Scott Johnson was not prepared to criticise the South African official.

 

He said: "I am frustrated but I have said in the dressing room we have to acknowledge our ills.

 

"It is easy to criticise one man, but we have to look at ourselves and understand what we are doing wrong.

 

"We showed great heart and great resolve but we have to look at ourselves rather than at anyone else.

 

"I don't want to coach a side that apportions blame to someone else, we will go back and have a look and if we have to make changes we will do so, but we will go to Paris next weekend to compete."

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