Townsend shocked by Scotland thrashing

A shocked Gregor Townsend said his Scotland side deserved all the flak that comes their way after a 34-7 Six Nations thumping at the hands of injury-hit Wales.

Leigh Halfpenny scored a try in each half and claimed a 24-point haul as Warren Gatland's men made a blistering start to the tournament at the Principality Stadium.

Scotland were considered to be in with a good chance of winning in Cardiff and head coach Townsend was stunned with such an inept display in his first Six Nations match in charge.

"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 [the 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."

Wales raced into a 14-0 lead inside 12 minutes and such a heavy loss made difficult viewing for Townsend.

He added: "The first 15 minutes was a bizarre Test match as it was so open.

"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."

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