SAM WARBURTON has conceded Wales’ Six Nations title hopes are effectively over following their crushing 29-13 defeat against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Scotland’s first win over Wales since 2007 — and their biggest for 24 years — means Warburton and company could now even struggle to claim a top-three finish in the championship.
Ireland are next up in Cardiff on March 10, followed by a trip to France eight days later, meaning Wales have to regroup rapidly. They have been third or higher in every Six Nations tournament since 2011.
Scotland, though, will have sights on a first Triple Crown in 27 years when they tackle England next, after scoring 20 unanswered second-half points to end a run of nine successive defeats against Wales.
‘You can’t win a championship losing two games, so we know that has gone,’ flanker Warburton said. ‘For the rest of the campaign we are playing for pride.
‘We need to have a good, honest debrief of the game. We need to do that to learn and we need to be harsh on each other. A good breakdown of that game is what is needed, and all we can do is try and improve.’
Wales were rarely troubled during the first half but things began to unravel early in the second period and Scotland romped home thanks to tries by wings Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser, plus 19 kicked points from fly-half Finn Russell.
‘We let them off the hook,’ added former skipper Warburton. ‘We have to be more ruthless.
‘At half-time, we felt really good. The contact area in attack was good for us but in the second half we let that slip away from us.
‘All the things that we had gone on about all week — being close to our ball-carriers — we went away from and Scotland managed to sniff a couple of vital penalty turnovers.
‘The right messages were there at half-time but we just didn’t execute, and you have to give a lot of credit to Scotland.’