Wales thrash 14-man Scotland
Cardiff: Wales inflicted Scotland`s heaviest Six Nations defeat with a crushing 51-3 victory at Cardiff`s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The Scots never recovered from having to play nearly an hour a man down after full-back Stuart Hogg was sent off for a late tackle on Wales fly-half Dan Biggar.
The visitors, seeking a first win in Cardiff in 12 years, took an early lead but from then on it was one-way traffic as Wales, unable to win a third successive title following last week`s 29-18 defeat by England, took complete control of their final match of the 2014 Championship.
This was Scotland`s third heaviest Test defeat of all time, with their previous worst in the Six Nations a 43-3 thrashing by England in 2001.
And this result saw Wales surpass their previous best victory margin in 119 Tests against Scotland of 22 points set during a 44-22 success in 2005.
In all Wales scored seven tries, six after Hogg was dismissed, with wing George North and centre Jamie Roberts grabbing two apiece.
Wales coach Warren Gatland, who worked with Hogg on last year`s victorious British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, said of the Scotland No 15`s red card: "You`ve got to feel sorry for Stuart because he`s not that sort of player at all.
"It`s a rush of blood and he`s made a mistake.
"Even before that I thought, at 13-3 up, we were reasonably comfortable," Gatland said.
"We kept the ball and kept it for long phases and I didn`t feel Scotland could handle our physicality in defence or in attack."
Scotland coach Scott Johnson added: "I thought we were in the contest but it is a hell of a position to fill for that length of time.
"Once they (Wales) were on a roll they played some pretty good rugby, too," the Australian said.
Former Wales boss Johnson, overseeing his final Test in charge before concentrating solely on his position as director of rugby at the Scottish Rugby Union, said Hogg was distraught.
He feels he has let the boys down. He`s got to face the reality that he has been caught doing something."
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw kicked the visitors into a third-minute lead with a penalty only for Biggar, in for Rhys Priestland in one of six changes, to equalise moments later with the first of six successful goalkicks from seven attempts.
Worryingly for Scotland, captain Kelly Brown left the field with what appeared to be a head injury in the eighth minute.
Laidlaw then missed a second penalty effort and soon afterwards Wales had their first try.
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips found Biggar and the stand-off`s long pass to Williams saw the full-back dive in at the left corner.
Then came Hogg`s late challenge, his shoulder clattering into Biggar`s face long after the stand-off had completed a clearing kick.
Initially, Garces produced a yellow card but, on viewing the replay on the big screen, changed his mind and produced a red.
"We`d seen it in the (coaches) box but we got a message pretty quickly to (Wales captain) Sam Warburton to ask him (Garces )to have the TMO (television match official) have a look at it," said Gatland.
"Sam hadn`t even got to him when he (Garces) saw the replay on the screen and made his own decision after that."
Biggar recovered to kick the ensuing penalty and the floodgates opened shortly before half-time.
Williams took a high ball superbly before bursting down the left wing.
He then passed out of the tackle to Phillips who in turn found North and the giant wing powered his way down the touchline for a try.
Wales scored their third try on the stroke of half-time as North and centre Jonathan Davies combined to send in Roberts.
And a minute into the second half North scored his second try.
Wales were now attacking from anywhere on the field, as was evident from Roberts` second try in the 47th minute.
An overthrown Scottish line-out deep in the Wales 22 was picked off by Warburton and he released Williams.
Faletau took the movement on and when the No 8 was brought down in sight of the line he found Roberts.
Faletau added a try of his own in the 52nd minute before a welter of replacements disrupted the flow of the match.
However, Wales broke through the 50-point barrier six minutes from time when Rhodri Williams got on the end of fellow replacement James Hook`s clever kick ahead for a converted try.