The perfect start
Before the Championship began I thought Scotland were going to get their first win in Cardiff since 2002. That’s 16 years ago! Every Scottish supporter believed that the Scots could be victorious. Unfortunately for me and my country, they didn’t get that elusive victory. Wales were amazing! 34-7 is a big margin of victory in 6 Nations rugby. They took all their chances which we didn’t. They dominated us in almost every aspect of the game. Remember this was a Scottish team which ran the All Blacks close less than 3 months previously. This was Wales’ greatest performance in the Championship since their 30-3 win over England in 2013. This started it all.
On the road
Next for the Welsh were 2 very hard away trips to London and Dublin. In both games, they were very competitive. They defended really well against England after the 2 brilliant tries at the start and kept on pushing right until the end. Wales played very well at a place where the English had not lost since 2015 (and further back to 2012 in the Six Nations). Next was the team which would go on to complete the Grand Slam at Twickenham. It was a brilliant game with 8 tries in total. Wales managed to gain 27 points in Ireland’s backyard. Only an incredible Jacob Stockdale interception could end the Welsh dream of Championship glory. Although it had been tough and results didn’t go their way, it was still a brave effort and I feel 2 narrow away defeats against 2 sides in the top 3 of the world rugby rankings is something to be proud of.
Wales’ remaining fixtures were home games against Italy and France. The Italians faced an inexperienced Welsh side which struggled to put them away. They did eventually only after a strong bench ruined Italy’s chances of a special away win. It may have been a young side but I expected better things after their big win over Scotland. Last and definitely not least was a tough French team which had just beaten England. An unconvincing 14-13 win meant Wales finished 2nd in the table. A much-improved result on 2017. A win is a win after all and great teams sometimes have to steal games which they may never have won.
Now after a strong tournament, Wales must back it up. They face South Africa and 2 games against Argentina next. A tough tour but not impossible. If they can win all their tests this June then I can really see this Welsh side becoming a major force in World Rugby again. The Rugby World Cup is 18 months away meaning there is still plenty of time to improve.
Still, Warren Gatland and his team should be happy. After all, they surprised a lot of people in the 6 Nations. Imagine what they could be like next year in Japan. We can only wait and see as this side will surely only get better. They may have a few problems to sort out but they do have time on their side. Welsh rugby fans should be very excited at the moment, as this team could be a serious threat in the World Cup next year.
Author: Archie Craigie Halkett
Hi, my name is Archie Craigie Halkett. I am a massive Scottish rugby fan. I’m involved with the game quite a lot. I play rugby for my school and my local rugby club. I am a level one qualified rugby referee and a regular contributor to off-line and on-line rugby magazines/publications.