Wales win the 2021 Six Nations
Wales are the European champions. Wayne Pivac’s males gained the 2021 Guinness Six Nations after France failed to realize the sizeable victory required to grab the title from Welsh arms. France misplaced 27-23 to Scotland tonight after a last-minute strive by Duhan van der Merwe.
Associated content material: Scotland beat France in Paris for first time in 22 years
The Welsh success is arguably essentially the most startling of the 22 editions of the championship because it grew to become a six-team event in 2000.
Wales got here into the event on the again of a wretched run and with Pivac’s job underneath severe risk. They defeated solely Georgia and Italy (twice) in 2020, ending fifth in each the Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup.
It was tough to take for a nation used to eating on the high desk underneath Warren Gatland. Wales gained 4 titles, together with three Grand Slams, throughout Gatland’s reign from 2007-2019.
All that’s historical past now. Pivac is creating his personal place within the nation’s affections after this sixth European crown this century for the lads from the Principality. However for an agonising last-gasp defeat in Paris final weekend, he would have landed a Grand Slam in solely his second marketing campaign.
SIX NATIONS TITLES
How has it come to cross? The return of senior gamers like Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau and Josh Navidi – who had been absent final autumn – has been important. So too the elevated squad depth, with Pivac blooding eight new caps on the tail-end of 2020.
Led by their remorseless captain Alun Wyn Jones, favorite to be the Lions captain this summer season, and with Owens and Justin Tipuric as trusty right-hand males, Wales have proven a indefatigable doggedness unmatched by their rivals.
The set-piece issues have been ironed out and the staff has flourished underneath a brand new defence coach, Gethin Jenkins. However the expensive late yellow playing cards in Paris, Wales have proven a self-discipline that may solely be admired.
Crucially, they’re beginning to be comfy with the all-court recreation promoted by Pivac and assault coach Stephen Jones. The 2 guided Scarlets to the Pro14 title in 2017. Now there are indicators of that enlightening model of rugby at nationwide degree, with ball-playing forwards as hyperlink males or within the extensive channels, and a capability to strike quickly from turnover ball.
Twenty tries, a mean of 4 a match, has been the outcome on this championship. Seven of these have been shared by wings Josh Adams and Louis Rees-Zammit, the latter, at simply 20 years of age, most likely the feeling of the championship.
After which there’s centurion George North, shifted from wing to centre in a stroke of inspiration. He’s enjoying higher than ever and plenty of tip him to put on the Lions’ No 13 shirt this summer season. He might simply have half a dozen compatriots for firm within the Check XV.
Lastly, as in the event that they wanted an added ingredient, Wales have loved a slice of fortune, not less than till issues turned in opposition to them at Stade de France. Fortune within the type of pink playing cards for his or her first two opponents, Eire and Scotland. And fortune within the type of the refereeing blunders that enabled them to steal a march on England.
Make no mistake, they’re champions due to their high quality. Not due to any sudden items. They’ve proven, as have many earlier than them and plenty of will once more, that confidence and momentum can shift within the blink of an eye fixed.
Congratulations Wales. In Europe not less than, you at the moment are those to beat.
WALES SIX NATIONS RESULTS
Wales 21-16 Eire
Scotland 24-25 Wales
Wales 40-24 England
Italy 7-48 Wales
France 32-30 Wales
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