Monday, 5 March 2012

A Welsh Grand Slam?

From the seal and porpoise-infested currents of the Pembrokeshire coast, to the peaks of Snowdonia, to the royally inhabited island of Anglesey, to the sprawling metropoleis of Rhosllannerchrugog, Llanfair Caereinion and Ystradffin, south through the Brecon Beacons into the urban centres of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, a few weeks ago a gentle breeze began, swirling to a quiet whisper, growing louder each weekend, and now at a level audible across the land of the dragon, building to a crescendo and a mighty Welsh roar at the Millenium Stadium on March 17th...

Y Gamp Lawn" "Y Gamp Lawn" "Y Gamp Lawn" "Y Gamp Lawn"

A straightforward win against the Italians this weekend will leave Warburton, North & Co. all lined up for the Grand Slam (I know my educated readership didn't need a translation of 'Y Gamp Lawn' but who knows who else might stumble on the blog and feel a little lost).

They've come through tough matches in London and Dublin, despite being second best for significant parts of both matches. Neither Ireland nor England took advantage of a Welsh sin-bin, and some poor decisions didn't help either host close out winning positions, but the World Cup semi-finalists showed a determination and skill to fight back and get impressive results in both matches. And winning ugly is part of being champions. Just ask that well known battling midfielder Samir Nasri, who knows about as much about winning ugly as Tim Henman.

After a strong showing in the World Cup, lots of talk discussed Welsh prospects for the Six Nations and if Graham Price is right, this team is on the verge of a great achievement, earned by a mixture of powerful attacking rugby, grit, determination and some lack in clinical finishing of their opponents. 

But let us not forget that Wales were lauded after a World Cup in which they actually lost 3 times (South Africa, France & Australia), and could easily have been heading home after a weak display against Samoa. It was Les Bleus that ended the dream in New Zealand and Les Bleus who could do it again on St Patrick's Day. In all likelihood the French will have beaten England in Paris and so will be vying for the Six Nations crown themselves. And after all, how many times have Wales beaten France in the Six Nations at the Millenium Stadium?

Once. 2008. After home wins over Scotland and Italy, and away wins at Ireland and England (sounding familiar?), they sealed the Grand Slam over the French. They'll need much of the same in a couple of weeks...


  1. Second best for significant parts of both matches aainst Ireland and England? Nope. Watch again. Weak performance against Samoa you say- wrong I say. It was a good performance and we won. Did you watch the Samoa South Africa match? Say what you like about losing 3 times at World Cup- we were beaten semi finalists is bottom line. Grand Slam this time? Maybe, who knows. If I was a betting man though, I'd say the consistent thing about this Welsh Team is playing for 80 minutes, and if they do that in both remaining games, we're worth a cheeky tenner bet!

  2. I wouldn't have thought you'd get much for a tenner at this stage! I stand by what I said, Ireland and England were both on top for periods and could (perhaps should) have put each match beyond Wales' reach. Under no illusions though that Wales are the strongest team this 6N and deserve to win it