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Saturday, March 16, 2013

6 Nations: Truth is Stranger Than Fiction...

After the November Internationals, a lot of people picked France as the favorite to win the Six Nations. Wales looked to be a Wooden Spoon candidate. That belief that Wales was sinking like the SS Minnow gained momentum when Wales had a horrible first half in their fist game against Ireland. Wales mounted a furious comeback in the second half, but came up short against Brian O'Driscoll and his mates.

France, who had played so well in November, would lose their first match against Italy in Rome. Phillipe St. André and his men ended up winning the dreaded wooden spoon, in spite of their close win against Scotland at the Stade de France.

England looked all set to win their first grand slam since 2003. After looking great against Scotland in the opening game, England would have a harder and harder time as the tournament progressed. They did not score a try in their last two games against Italy and Wales. Stuart Lancaster's men ran into a buzz-saw in Cardiff, getting blitzed by the Welsh 30-3, meaning that Wales won the Six Nations.

Wales, if not for their horrible opening 45 minutes against the Irish, very well could have won another grand slam. As it is, putting a serious beat-down on England 30-3 in front of a delirious home crowd in Cardiff signaled that they managed to turn things around after a dreadful November.

You have to give the Welsh credit for playing with a great deal of intensity and purpose. Halfpenny and  Warburton had monster games. The Welsh front row gave England fits.

2013 ended up being a good vintage for Welsh Rugby.
Wales the champs, France with the "Cuilliere en Bois"-their first since 1957. Who would have thought of THAT back in November.