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Warburton: Only pride to play for, but Wales must be ruthless

Scotland 29 Wales 13

By Andrew Baldock

Sam Warburton has conceded that Wales' RBS 6 Nations title hopes are effectively over following their crushing 29-13 defeat against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Scotland's first win in the fixture since 2007 - and their biggest victory over Wales for 24 years - means Warburton and company could now even struggle to claim a top-three finish.

Ireland are next up in Cardiff on March 10, followed by a trip to France eight days later, meaning that Wales must regroup rapidly.

Scotland, though, have sights on a possible Triple Crown when they tackle title favourites England next month after scoring 20 unanswered second-half points to emphatically end a run of nine successive defeats against Wales.

"You can't win a championship losing two games, so we know that has gone," Wales flanker Warburton said.

"For the rest of the campaign we are playing for pride."

Wales were rarely troubled during the first half, but things began to unfold early in the second period and Scotland romped home through tries by wings Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser, plus 19 points from fly-half Finn Russell.

It left Wales searching for answers, and in their last two Six Nations Tests against England and Scotland, they scored just three second-half points.

"We let them off the hook," Warburton added. "We have to be more ruthless.

Changes appear inevitable for the Friday night Ireland game - Taulupe Faletau, Luke Charteris, Samson Lee and Sam Davies are among those pressing for starting places - but whatever team interim head coach Rob Howley selects, a considerable collective improvement is required.

Howley said: "We have got huge respect for the Six Nations, and players want to perform to the best they can. They have got another opportunity in two weeks. We will have to dissect the game, particularly the second half. We were very comfortable in the first half and in a dominant position.

"The inaccuracy in terms of the execution of skill is something we obviously need to continue to work on. At times, we turned over ball or the execution of the pass wasn't to the standard we want it to be.

"The players are hugely disappointed. We have to make sure we get ready for two weeks' time."

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