Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell, who is set to feature in the EPCR Challenge Cup knockout stage, played a starring role as Scotland thrashed Wales 35-7 in the Six Nations Championship on Saturday.
Bath Rugby-bound Russell, whose 22 points in the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage couldn’t prevent Racing dropping into the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 and a trip to Emirates Lions on April 1, directly assisting three tries at BT Murrayfield to be named man of the match.
Russell also added 10 points from the kicking tee, but it was his playmaking ability that caught the eye on the international stage, teeing up wing Kyle Steyn for two tries as well as one for No.8 Matt Fagerson, who both play for another EPCR Challenge Cup side, Glasgow Warriors.
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After two Russell penalties, Glasgow hooker George Turner notched Scotland’s first try from close range as they built a healthy early lead.
Wales battled back into the game through a try from hooker Ken Owens, who helped Scarlets to an unbeaten EPCR Challenge Cup campaign.
However, Russell produced his first moment of brilliance early in the second half as his audacious offload put Steyn over for his first score.
Steyn crossed again in the corner soon afterwards when Russell dropped a pinpoint crossfield kick into his arms and the Racing talisman repeated the feat to launch the move for the bonus-point try in the closing stages.
Russell was still not finished, looping a pass into the arms of Fagerson, who splashed over out wide for a fifth try to cap Scotland’s second straight win at the start of this year’s Six Nations.