Leigh Halfpenny: Wales full back admits 'mistake' over spurned penalty

Six Nations: Wales v Ireland
Date: Friday, 10 March Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny has admitted he "made a mistake" in turning down a kick at goal during the 29-13 Six Nations defeat by Scotland.

Wales kicked for the corner while trailing 16-13 in the 51st minute.

The Toulon full-back said he chose not to kick even though captain Alun Wyn Jones wanted the three points.

"For me, I need to hold my hand up. I made a mistake and I wasn't decisive enough," Halfpenny told the Welsh Rugby Union website.external-link

"Alun Wyn wanted to go for the three points and I've allowed errors in my game before and the conditions to influence me and turn down the kick.

"I should have parked those mistakes and moved on.

"In the past I have made errors and not allowed those to effect me and moved onto the next job. It's probably the first time it has happened but it's the last time it will."

Jones told a media conference on Tuesday that he had changed his mind about opting for the kick at goal after taking to Halfpenny.

"Obviously I'm not a kicker and I thought it was a good shot, Leigh didn't feel the same way hence we've gone for the corner," said Jones.

"I have every faith in him [Halfpenny]. Leigh's a world-class kicker and he knows what he can and can't do."

Lock forward Jones confirmed he had initially indicated to referee John Lacey that Wales would go for goal.

Leigh Halfpenny and Neil Jenkins
Leigh Halfpenny (left) with Neil Jenkins at the 2011 Rugby World Cup

During television coverage of the incident fly-half Dan Biggar could clearly be heard asking if he should kick for the corner and Lacey saying a kick at goal was "indicated".

It has led to media speculation that Biggar - an Ospreys team-mate of Jones - had influenced the decision not to take the kick which could have levelled the scores.

Asked to explain the chain of events surrounding the penalty which was awarded on the Scotland 22 metre line close to the attacking team's left-hand touchline, Jones explained: "I motioned to the posts a couple of times and the ref agreed with me.

"Leigh felt the conditions weren't right and fortunately we were still able to go to the lineout.

"I suppose when you captain your country leadership and critiquing of things you do and the things you say are always going to be there."

Jones also explained why he did not ask Dan Biggar - who has kicked more than 100 goals for Wales - to have a shot at goal.

"In all honesty and in fairness, Dan's said because of his respect for Leigh he didn't want to be seen to undermine him [Halfpenny] or myself so that's why I went to the lineout," he said.

"Obviously from my point of view to level the scores would have been a good place to be midway through the second half particularly the way possession and territory had gone."

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