There was chaos on the pitch in Cardiff as Scotland threatened to throw away a 27 point lead after a first half where they looked like they could score as many points as they wanted.

Wales fought back in the second half and got 26 of their own but Scotland saw them off eventually and got their first win in the city for 22 years. Grant Gilchrist had a watching brief from home due to suspension after a red card for Edinburgh, and he had some chaos of his own to deal with while keeping an eye on TV with two young kids in the house.

Things went from being the most ‘comfortable’ he’s seen in the first 50 minutes to ‘stressful’ as he dealt with a bed time routine for his two boys in the final half an hour of the match. Gilchrist insists the players need to be happy with the result but he can understand why there was a flat feeling around the players post match.

He said: “Winning at this level is tough. And I don’t think that it’s a bad thing that we’re ambitious enough to want to put a complete performance out there. When you sit back and think that we’ve won in Cardiff for the first time in 22 years – that’s a big achievement. But we’re also not going to sit there and celebrate that as the perfect performance as we know what we can be so much better. We showed that for 50 minutes with how in control we were. When you win a Test match you should always feel a sense of satisfaction and enjoyment because the amount of work that goes into that is huge and should never be underestimated.

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“No matter what the scoreline is or what happened in the game – to get across the line in a Test match is huge. To win in the first game of the Six Nations is massive as you need to keep trying to build momentum throughout the tournament and winning ensures you can still do that.

“But having that little slant of disappointment is also no bad thing. It brought us in on Monday eager to learn how to get better in the second half and put a full performance together rather than coming in talking about staying grounded or any of these things. I felt it’s not a bad place to be, to feel a little bit disappointed despite winning in Cardiff for the first time in 22 years.

“The first 50 minutes were as comfortable sitting on my couch watching a game of rugby as I’ve been in my life. Absolutely loved watching that. And then that back half hour coincided with bedtime madness in my house which was stressful in both parts! I was trying to keep a three year-old and a two year-old boy from fighting at the same time as panicking about what was happening on the pitch and what the result was going to be. It all ended well with the result but I’ve had easier watches.”

At the point Duhan van der Merwe scored his second try of the match to make it 27-0 it seemed like there was only one way this was going for Scotland and they would cruise to a bonus point victory, but they left there without it. Suggestions have been made that it was down to Wales being poor in the first half but Gilchrist isn’t having it.

The 33-year-old will hope to be in the team when they face France this week and he believes that Scotland forced Wales into the kicking game in the first half and they deserve huge credit for their performance and they need to take the positives into Saturday’s game at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

He added: “Definitely. It’s easy to say the first 50 minutes looked really easy, or Scotland found it easy - it looked easy because we were so good, I believe. The defensive effort in the first half, the way we exited, the control - and then when we had the opportunities we were ruthless. We took every chance we had, and when they had the ball they struggled to get on the front foot.

“People said Wales were choosing to kick. They weren’t: they were forced into a kicking game by really good defence.

“We saw in the second half what happened when yes, they had to chance their arm, but also we weren’t stinging on them in the gain line as we were in the first 50.

“So we’ve got that blueprint there. It wasn’t the case that the first half was just easy - it was really good work at Test-match level away from home to go and control the game from minute one to minute 50 the way we did. It was really impressive, and we’ve just got to make sure that from those positions we’re better. And when you find yourself in a stress through penalty counts or yellow cards, there are things we need to do to cope better in those periods, but those are great learnings for us.

“I always love watching the French team and they were well beaten for what seemed like the first time in a long time. The way they played at the World Cup and the last Six Nations, they certainly struggled to get that game going.

“Ireland are obviously up there with the best teams in the world, and the way they suffocate teams when they’re in that form makes it difficult to play. 

“But I expect France to be a much better version of themselves this weekend, because they know they need to win. And we know through watching them how much more they’ve got in them. 

“It will be up to us to be much better than we were. That’s what happens in these tournaments - you have to be better week on week, because everybody just grows and gets better as they go.”