A strange ‘Super Saturday’ & what Wales need to do against Scotland

Guinness Six Nations: Wales v Scotland
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Saturday, 14 March Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, & BBC Radio 5 Live with text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

In his latest BBC Sport column, Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes has reflected on a scaled-back Six Nations Super Saturday and how Wayne Pivac’s side will be aiming to avoid a fourth successive defeat in the tournament against Scotland.

It is going to feel a bit different on what was meant to be the final weekend of the Six Nations tournament.

Normally you have a ‘Super Saturday’ scenario where you have three games one after each other but this year because of coronavirus, Wales and Scotland will be the only match taking place.

It has been a strange Six Nations all around really, with three matches postponed.

Decisions have been made for the safety of citizens and everybody’s health and safety is paramount, but it will be a different feel with ours being the only game being on.

It is a bit different to last year when we were the second game against Ireland and going for the Grand Slam.

I remember we were celebrating the Six Nations success in the changing room after beating Ireland, but were also watching the dramatic second half of the England and Scotland finale.

So this time Wales and Scotland find themselves as the only two sides finishing their tournament this weekend with Ireland, France, England and Italy having to rearrange their postponed fixtures.

We are very determined to make sure we finish this tournament with two wins and not four successive defeats.

The 2019 Six Nations ‘Super Saturday’ when Wales won the Grand Slam

Losing three games on the bounce is not something we have been used to in recent times and not something we can readily accept.

It was a physical game against England and there were a lot of sore bodies from both sides. Errors cost us at Twickenham at crucial times and we need to rectify that this weekend.

It is crucial for us not just to win this Scotland game, but also we need to build momentum for the summer tour to Japan and New Zealand.

It is vital we finish the tournament on a high, especially in front of our own fans and for ourselves as well.

Losing to France in Cardiff really hurt us because we don’t like being defeated and especially at Principality Stadium, which we have tried to make a fortress.

But it will not be easy despite me seeing a statistic that Scotland have not won in Cardiff since 2002.

Scotland have shown in the past they are a team that likes to throw the ball around. They are playing extremely well and defending superbly and scored some good tries against France in a game they deserved to win.

They will come down here full of confidence and have put a couple of good results together with wins against Italy and France. We are going to be doing all we can to stop them finishing their campaign on a high.

They are a team we have had a bit of success against recently. We have had good results against them at home while last year it was a tight affair, but we managed to sneak through in a victory that set us up for the Grand Slam.

Wayne Pivac, Hadleigh Parkes and Alun Wyn Jones in training

Wayne (Pivac) and his coaching team will be disappointed with the defeats, but they will also look at the positives. We are creating opportunities, but have not been able to finish off the chances.

We have had lapses in our games and let teams get away from us and also come back into matches to win.

They are level-headed characters and this is their first Six Nations campaign, and I am sure it will be the first of many as they keep building the squad for the next few years.

This is my third campaign and even although it has not been as successful this season it is still one I have enjoyed.

It is an opportunity I never thought I would be given and I have managed to be involved in 15 internationals for Wales since the season started in August with the World Cup warm-ups, then the tournament in Japan.

It has been an amazing privilege and I am humbled by the chance to represent Wales. I have loved every moment and I want to finish this campaign on a high by winning against Scotland.

It is always special playing against these Six Nations sides in this magical tournament and at Principality Stadium, which I believe is the best venue in the world.

The final word will be for our captain Alun Wyn Jones who is in line to equal Richie McCaw’s world record of 148 caps on Saturday with his 139th international for Wales going alongside his nine Tests for the British and Irish Lions.

McCaw is a legend of the game while Alun Wyn is an inspirational figure for us and is highly respected around the world.

It would be fitting for us to mark this occasion with a victory and that gives us an added incentive to finish the tournament on a high.

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