Six Nations: Wales and Scotland 'deserved semi final' - Edwards

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Alun Wyn Jones
Wales have not lost to Scotland since Warren Gatland took over as Wales head coach in 2007

Wales' Six Nations match against Scotland will be a clash of two teams who were "one refereeing decision away" from the World Cup semi-finals, says Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards.

Wales and Scotland were beaten by South Africa and Australia in two dramatic quarter-finals in October.

In Cardiff on Saturday, Wales will bid for a ninth straight win over Scotland.

"I've got massive respect for Scotland because they should have been World Cup semi-finalists," Edwards said.

"You're looking at two teams who were only one refereeing decision away from being in the semi-finals of a World Cup."

Scotland suffered an agonising defeat by Australia in their quarter-final, as the Wallabies won thanks to a controversial late penalty by Bernard Foley.

Referee Craig Joubert called a deliberate offside when replays seemed to indicate the ball had come off an Australia player, and the South African official was booed as he ran for the tunnel at the final whistle.

Wales were also cruelly denied in the closing moments of their quarter-final against the Springboks, with Fourie du Preez scoring the clinching try with five minutes left.

Edwards believes Wales were undone by a refereeing mistake.

"[South Africa wing] Bryan Habana was offside at the ruck which created the last scrum," he said.

"We didn't mention it at the time because we didn't think it was the right thing to do but he was clearly halfway up the ruck when he counter-drove and they got the scrum, which created the last try."

Shaun Edwards
Shaun Edwards is the son of Warrington rugby league half-back Jackie Edwards

Entertaining? Defence was 'terrible'!

Wales' opening draw in Ireland means they are unbeaten in their last five Six Nations matches, while Scotland's defeat to England was their eighth successive loss in the competition.

Wales and Scotland have both agreed to have the Principality Stadium roof closed for Saturday's match, which Edwards believes will make for an entertaining game.

"The roof is going to be closed. Scotland have agreed to that, which shows they want to play rugby," he added.

"I'm pretty sure it's going to be an exciting game.

"I like to see running rugby - people making breaks - but just not against us. I love seeing tries but not against us."

Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones says the tumultuous final day of the 2015 Six Nations heralded the beginning of an era of more expansive rugby in the competition.

Ireland won the title on points difference as 221 points were scored across three matches, though Wales defence coach Edwards was less than impressed.

"I'm probably one of the few people who thought the defence was terrible on the last day of the Six Nations last year," he said.

"I'll let the rest of you enjoy the attacking side of it but I thought the defence was a pretty poor on that last day last year, and that definitely contributed to some of the tries being scored."