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Wales lock Bradley Davies wary of 'smarting' Scotland

Published 10/02/2016

Wales lock Bradley Davies expects a strong challenge from Scotland in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash
Wales lock Bradley Davies expects a strong challenge from Scotland in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash

Bradley Davies expects Wales to encounter a Scotland side "smarting" from their Murrayfield loss against England when the RBS 6 Nations resumes on Saturday.

Recent history in the fixture strongly favours Wales, having won eight successive Tests at Scotland's expense since Warren Gatland became head coach in 2008.

Scotland have not beaten Wales in Cardiff for 14 years - a 27-22 victory highlighted by Scottish skipper Gordon Bulloch's two tries - but Wasps lock Davies, who won his 50th cap during last Sunday's 16-16 draw against Ireland, expects a testing encounter.

"Scotland will be smarting from being beaten by England (last Saturday), and they will come out with all guns blazing," Davies said.

"Scotland are very good, and it's going to be a tough game. The Gray brothers (Richie and Jonny) are very good lineout forwards, and it's a big challenge for us as a pack of forwards, but something we thrive on.

"We went into the game with Ireland very confident of winning, but the first 20 minutes we didn't perform like we wanted to do. We probably got beaten on the emotional side, but we weathered the storm and were one decision away from winning the game.

"It was a decent result, and if we win every (remaining) game, we aren't going to be far away from winning the championship."

One of the Welsh success stories in Dublin was a strong scrum anchored by rising prop stars Rob Evans and Samson Lee, with Evans' display proving particularly noteworthy after he was selected above Wales' record cap holder Gethin Jenkins.

"Rob has come in and trained with the likes of Gethin week in, week out and seen what they do, and now he is transferring that to his game," Davies added.

"I didn't think he looked out of place on the weekend. I thought he was awesome in what was one of his first big starts, and he has got to take confidence from that.

"Rugby union these days is won in the scrum and the lineout - it has a big bearing on the game.

"If you are getting pressurised in the scrum or lineout, teams just kick to the corner, drive the lineout and get cheap penalties. Flip that over, and if you have got a dominant scrum, you need a penalty, you take the scrum, win a penalty and it takes the pressure off."

For his part, Davies looks likely to again be on the bench this weekend, covering second-row pair Alun Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris, but he relishes the competition for places.

"As a squad, I think it is great," he said. "The coach has four or five second-rows he can play, and as a player all you can do is train well, play well and go back to your club.

"I am lucky with Wasps. I play big games week in, week out, and it is hard enough to get into the Wasps team, let alone the Wales team.

"You never know with Wales, it could be your last game today or tomorrow. You have got to enjoy every second you are here, and that is what I am doing at the moment.

"If I get a chance to play, happy days. If not, I will support the boys who are playing and hopefully develop a winning Welsh squad."

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