Six Nations: Scrum V Classics - Wales v Scotland 2010

By Ross HarriesScrum V presenter

Wales 31 Scotland 24 2010

Any supporter of the Welsh national side knows they've signed up for a lifetime of heart-stopping drama. Occasional bouts of euphoria, punctuated by periods of desperate heartache and despondency.

But it's this turbulent journey between joy and despair that makes the victories ever sweeter. Especially those forged from the unlikeliest of circumstances.

The Irish centre, Gordon D'Arcy told Scrum V last week that the Welsh "never give up" - quite prescient given what unfolded at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday. And that wasn't an isolated incident - Wales have something of a knack of snatching victory at the death.

From John Taylor's touchline conversion in 1971, to Scott Gibbs' classic Wembley try in 1999, to Leigh Halfpenny's nerveless penalty last Sunday - the annals of Welsh rugby history are crammed with such moments.

The best sporting comebacks are arguably those that spring from the most hopeless of causes.

Think Liverpool in the Champions League in 2005 - 3-nil down at half time before rallying to win on penalties. Or France v New Zealand in the 1999 World Cup semi-final - pummelled by a rampant Jonah Lomu during a one-sided first half, before lighting the touch paper on one of the most compelling turnarounds in sport.

On February 13th 2010, Wales found themselves faced with a similar scenario - staring down the barrel against a scintillating Scotland at the Millennium Stadium.

Two early tries had put the Scots in control, and despite a healthy share of possession, Wales were unable to assert themselves. They found themselves ten points down with less than four minutes on the clock. Even the most optimistic Welsh fan had abandoned all hope. Scotland were a man down, having lost Scott Lawson to the sin bin - but it was time that was Wales' biggest adversary. There simply wasn't enough of it left. Was there?

But Wales refused to roll over, upping the intensity as the clock ticked down, and swarming towards the Scottish line. Leigh Halfpenny found the smallest of spaces on the right hand touchline, and sprinted to the line. The conversion made it 21-24, but there were just seconds remaining.

Long enough though for Wales to launch another desperate attack - one that was abruptly halted by the outstretched leg of Phil Godman, the Scotland sub tripping Lee Byrne in full flight. Godman was duly despatched to the sin bin, reducing Scotland's complement to 13.

Against all odds, Wales had a chance to level the match. After a brief huddle the decision was made to go for goal. Safety first. 24-24.

There was time for one last restart, but as the ball hung in the air, the clock ticked into the red. Wales were in possession. All those fans who moments earlier were tearing their hair out in despair were now thinking the unthinkable. Could we win this? Stephen Jones received the ball in midfield and unleashed a cross-field kick. Surely the ball should have been kept in hand? But Lee Byrne was chasing like a man possessed, and gathered the loose ball.

Then, it was all about patience and execution. Keeping the ball, and going through the phases. And that's exactly what Wales did. Sucking in defenders until Scotland ran out, and the impish figure of Shane Williams darted under the posts for the winning try.

A breathless finish to a truly epic test match. I was reading the news that day on BBC Wales, and the grandstand finish meant I arrived in studio out of breath, and with a broad grin on my face. My objectivity was perhaps a little compromised that day.

The Scottish were inconsolable. The Welsh, elated. This Sunday the same fixture returns to our screens... What we would give for a blockbuster of similar, breathtaking proportions.

See highlights, introduced by Stephen Jones on Thursday 9 February, BBC Two Wales at 2100 GMT, straight after live coverage of Scarlets' trip to Glasgow.

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