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Wales begin Six Nations defense in style

  • Story Highlights
  • Wales begin their Six Nations title defense with a 26-13 victory over Scotland
  • The visitors run in four tries as they attempt to emulate last year's Grand Slam
  • Wales strong favorites to beat England at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday
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(CNN) -- Grand Slam champions Wales made a flying start to their Six Nations rugby title defense with a 26-13 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Tom Shanklin scored the opening try for Wales in their comfortable victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

Tom Shanklin scored the opening try for Wales in their comfortable victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

First-half tries by center Tom Shanklin and lock Alun-Wyn Jones left the Scots reeling, before wing Leigh Halfpenny's touchdown just 48 seconds into the second period finished them off.

Wing Shane Williams' 45th Test try underlined Welsh supremacy, cranking up the pressure on Scotland coach Frank Hadden. Fly-half Stephen Jones could even afford to miss every conversion, although he slotted home two penalties.

Wales, seeking back-to-back Grand Slams last achieved 100 years ago, remain unbeaten in the Six Nations since March 2007 and are firm favorites to defeat England at the Millennium Stadium next Saturday.

Substitute Max Evans scored Scotland's try, but life will not get easier for Hadden with France looming in Paris next Saturday.

Jones booted Wales into a 12th-minute lead before Williams and Lee Byrne linked-up for Shanklin to power over for the opening try.

Matters soon deteriorated further for Scotland, as Wales cashed in on disrupting their scrum, launching a Stephen Jones raid before scrum-half Mike Phillips delivered the scoring pass to Alun-Wyn Jones.

Chris Paterson opened Scotland's account with a penalty nine minutes before the break, but Wales were in no mood to concede further points and Jones struck his second penalty with the half's final kick, securing a 16-3 interval advantage.

Wales were keen to close the game out, but they could not have expected to seal the deal just 48 seconds after the restart. Stephen Jones' strong midfield run scattered the Scottish defense, allowing Wales time and space for Williams to free Halfpenny for a try on his Six Nations debut.

Scotland searched for a consolation try, and it duly arrived 11 minutes from time courtesy of Evans, which Paterson converted following his two earlier penalties.

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