Frustrated Finn Russell relieved with Scotland’s Six Nations win over Wales but says team-mates ‘need to listen to me’ | Rugby Union News

Frustrated Scotland captain Finn Russell revealed his relief at a first Six Nations victory in Cardiff since 2002, but was pointed in his criticism of his team-mates not listening to him mid-Test. 

Scotland won at the Principality Stadium for the first time in 22 years but only just as Wales fought from 27 points behind to get within a single point in a stunning match which finished 27-26.

Russell kicked two penalties and three conversions for a dominant 27-0 lead, before Wales – abysmal in the first half – staged a remarkable fightback with James Botham, Rio Dyer, Aaron Wainwright and Alex Mann scoring tries to narrow to a point, as Scotland suffered sin-bins to hooker George Turner and centre Sione Tuipulotu.

Though Russell mentioned the positives of holding on for victory, he also claimed team-mates ignored his instructions to leave the ball at the ruck, as they continued to ship penalties, possession and territory during the second half.

“I’ve been in games like that with Scotland that we’ve lost,” he said. “That was the most pleasing thing, that we found a way to win with the crowd on our backs.

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Scotland raced into a 27-0 advantage over Wales after a dominant first 45 minutes

“It shows how far we’ve come, to be able to fight and win those games. It is a bit of a monkey off our backs. We’ve got France next, but there’s a lot to work on, which is a positive place to be.

“It shows what the atmosphere and crowd here can do, but we got back to how we can play and we managed to dig it out in the end.

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“Credit to Wales, it’s what we expected, but it’s something we’ll have to be better at. I’m disappointed with that second half but it’s a great start to the tournament, our first win here for 22 years.”

Russell added to BBC Sport pitch-side: “Probably a little bit disappointed to be honest. The win is brilliant but that second half was nowhere near where we need to be.

“First half, we controlled the game and second half discipline was poor. When we scored that try early in the second half we probably just got a bit complacent to be honest.

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The victory was Scotland’s first over Wales in Cardiff for 22 years dating back to 2002

“We probably thought the game was done but there was a long way to go, especially against them at home.

“The frustrating thing is the points I was making weren’t being listened to.

“I told them to leave the ruck and they still kept on going in at the ruck and we get a yellow card for going in at the ruck too many times and for offside.

“It is something we will have to review as a team and when we are getting messages from coaches and players we have to listen to it.

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Gregor Townsend appointed Russell Scotland co-captain with Rory Darge this season, despite previous conflicts with the fly-half

“If the message is leave the ball and players are still going for it, those individuals need to look at their game and what they are doing because it is putting us under pressure.”

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Head coach Gregor Townsend appointed Russell as Scotland co-captain alongside Rory Darge (currently out injured) this year, despite previous conflicts between the pair which has seen the fly-half dropped from squads on more than one occasion.

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