Dan Biggar has battled through injury to mark his 100th Test appearance with the game-clinching drop goal in a 20-17 win for Wales over Scotland in the Six Nations.
The flyhalf carried a right leg problem for much of a tight, tense battle of attrition at Principality Stadium on Saturday but stayed on until the final minute, ultimately leading his team to a first victory of their title defence after a pummelling in Ireland last weekend.
The score was tied at 17-17 with 13 minutes left when Biggar’s rival No.10, Finn Russell, was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on – moments after Biggar had struck an upright with a long-range penalty.
After turning down kicks at goal for a couple of attacking line-outs, Wales settled for three points via Biggar’s dropped goal from in front of the posts and held on with the extra man.
Biggar was joined in reaching 100 Test caps by centre Jonathan Davies, who came on as a late replacement.
Three of Biggar’s century of international appearances came for the British & Irish Lions.
“For me, it’s one of my best victories in a Welsh shirt,” Biggar said.
Scotland were looking to follow up an opening-round 20-17 win over England and launch a championship with two straight victories for the first time in the Six Nations era.
But they fell 6-0 down after two penalties by Biggar in the opening eight minutes, only to move into an 11-6 lead thanks to Darcy Graham’s well-taken, one-handed try in the right corner and two penalties by Russell.
Russell and Biggar traded more penalties before Tomas Francis burrowed over in the 32nd minute from a maul off a lineout to leave the scores tied at 14-14 at halftime.
The second half was an arm wrestle, with both teams kicking more and showing less attacking endeavour.
Russell’s 50th-minute penalty was cancelled out by one from Biggar eight minutes later, setting up a tension-filled final quarter.