Six Nations: Scotland display in Wales 'shocks' Gregor Townsend

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland in Cardiff
Scotland captain John Barclay at full-time in Cardiff
Scotland have now lost on their past eight visits to Cardiff in the Six Nations

Head coach Gregor Townsend says Scotland's woeful display in the opening Six Nations defeat to Wales came as "a shock".

The Scots were dismantled 34-7 by a rampant Welsh side that made a mockery of many pre-match suggestions that the visitors went in as favourites.

And Townsend believes his team let down the Scotland fans.

"We know that was well short of what is required playing for Scotland," he said.

"We should be criticised for today's performance, be it from you guys [media], the supporters who were down here or from ourselves.

"We come together a few times in a season and now, just over two months after we played Australia, the shock is that we played so badly given that we played so well in that last game. But we have four games, and the next one comes up quickly, and we have to be much, much better."

The Scots never recovered from two quickfire tries in the opening quarter, the first of which came when Ali Price's loose pass was intercepted by Gareth Davies and the Wales number nine galloped home.

Leigh Halfpenny amassed 24 points - including two tries - and Steff Evans scored to secure the bonus point for Warren Gatland's men.

Pete Horne's late try did little to numb the pain of a crushing defeat for Scotland.

'Miles below what we need to do'

Townsend believes his players struggled to recover from the double blow of those early tries.

"The first 15 minutes was a bizarre Test match as it was so open," said Townsend after his first Six Nations match as Scotland head coach.

"It wasn't what you'd describe as a Six Nations game and we needed to be more accurate. The early try Wales got sapped our confidence and gave them momentum.

"We allowed Wales too much possession. There was an element of chasing the game in the second half and we needed to start the second half with a response.

"It was miles below what we need to do in the jersey and in this championship."

Captain John Barclay struggled to explain why his side performed so poorly.

"It's hard to speak after a defeat like that," said Barclay, who was up against 10 of his Scarlets team-mates in the Welsh side.

"It's pretty raw. A lot of it is the mental side of the game. We have to look at it, where we went wrong and turn it around. And a lot of these things have to be fixed off the pitch, before we get on it.

"Look at it, do the analysis, did we do everything we should have done? We are a straight bunch of guys, everyone is honest, no one is going to hide behind anything."

Scotland must regroup in time for next weekend's home game with France
Scotland must regroup in time for next weekend's home game with France