Slams to slaughter
1:00pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Sport
With everything at stake Wales took England to the cleaners, winning their first back-to-back championship in 34 years.
Rob Howley’s team didn’t just deny England the Grand Slam, Triple Crown and title, they destroyed them to retain the Six Nations trophy in terrific style.
After losing the opener at home to Ireland, Wales supporters were fearing the worst. But three superb wins on the road over France, Italy and Scotland, set-up Saturday’s title decider with the Red Roses. This win is surely Wales’ finest hour. Alex Cuthbert scorched over for two brilliant tries, with the rest of the points being shared from the boot of man of the series Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar.
This was a record 30-3 victory over England. Twenty-seven points better was exactly right on the day. Wales showed they were a class above Stuart Lancaster’s team. Don’t forget they beat New Zealand in the autumn and everything in the garden looked rosy.
The tone was set from the first whistle with the front row consisting of skipper Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones causing havoc at the scrums.
Referee Steve Walsh had a good game, not that England supporters will agree.
Howley’s ace card was being forced to play two number sevens in the back row as Ryan Jones was unavailable through a shoulder injury. Sam Warbuton and find of the season Justin Tipuric, were the Old Enemy’s worst nightmare. Aided by Toby Faletau, the back three were immaculate at the contact and breakdown area.
Former Whitland player Mike Phillips won a record 77th cap at scrum-half and had his best game for his country. Simply immense.
Jonathan Davies also delivered in defence and attack. Scott Williams came on as a late replacement and completed the trio of Borderers who celebrated at the end on the hallowed turf.
The nation needed a boost and Howley’s men more than delivered.
Roll on next season.
But there’s a small matter of a Lions tour this summer and after Wales’ commanding display, all of the starting XV could pack their bags to take on Australia with Warren Gatland in charge.