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Wales hooker Ken Owens ‘pretty happy’ after hammering Scotland

Wales will turn their attention to a Twickenham date with England next weekend.

Ken Owens says Wales are “pretty happy” after making their most emphatic start to a Six Nations campaign since the tournament began 18 years ago.

While significant challenges await during the next three weeks – England at Twickenham, followed by Ireland in Dublin a fortnight later – Wales’ 34-7 demolition job on Scotland has set them up for a potential title tilt.

It was Wales’ second-biggest victory over the Scots in 135 years, and their first Six Nations bonus-point win after Leigh Halfpenny’s try double and touchdowns for scrum-half Gareth Davies and wing Steff Evans.

Full-back Halfpenny’s 24-point haul, meanwhile, saw him break the record he previously held with Neil Jenkins for most points by a Wales player against Scotland in the Six Nations.

All roads now lead to Twickenham for Wales in six days, with head coach Warren Gatland’s selection options set to be boosted by the availability after injury of George North, Liam Williams and Hallam Amos.

Whether Gatland makes any changes, though, is another matter after Wales tore the Scots to shreds despite being without injured senior personnel like Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb.

It was a game when players such as lock Cory Hill, destructive flankers Aaron Shingler and Josh Navidi and workaholic wing Evans came to the fore, with a starting XV containing 10 Scarlets mirroring the in-form Welsh region’s thrilling adventurous style.

“I thought our attacking game came right to the fore in the second half and we came away with four tries,” Wales hooker Owens said.

“We have been criticised for not scoring tries, for not being able to score, and I think we delivered on that.

“If we tidy a few things up, we will get better by next week.

“Perhaps we tried one too many offloads at times. We don’t want to discourage the boys from doing that, but sometimes there is that realisation that if we hold it for that extra phase, you can get them on the next one.

“But the ambition was great, and first game up, we are pretty happy.

“You are going to get used to the intensity of Test match rugby on the second weekend. We have always been slow starters, so it is not a bad start for us.”

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Wales v Australia – Autumn International – Principality Stadium

Wales have beaten England three times at Twickenham during Gatland’s 10-year reign – they did not manage it once in the 20 years prior to his appointment – so they will not be daunted by facing the Six Nations title holders away from home.

“We have done well at Twickenham over the years,” Owens added.

“We finished the game really strongly there two years ago and could have snuck the result, and the same in Cardiff last year, when they were clinical and got an outstanding try at the end to win it.

“We will be confident going there, but they will obviously be favourites being at home and winners of the last two Six Nations titles. We have just got to worry about ourselves and delivering another performance.

“Of course there will be a fear factor because they have won the tournament for the last two years and have got a big unbeaten record and are favourites for the title.

“You have always got to go in fearful, but we know we are confident in our own ability, and if we deliver that we will be right in the mix.”

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