Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Wales crush Ireland to clinch Grand Slam

Wales celebrating the Grand Slam after yesterday's game Photo: PA photo

Wales tasted glory once again in Cardiff as they clinched a third Grand Slam under Warren Gatland.

A capacity crowd disregarded the stormy weather to pack out the Principality Stadium, as the home team bid for their first clean sweep since 2012.

The pre-match ceremony was tinged with sadness, as the stadium fell silent for a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

But when the whistle blew Wales were fastest out of the blocks - centre Hadleigh Parkes running onto a finely judged chip from Gareth Anscombe to score the game's opening try with just a minute on the clock.

Hadleigh Parkes crossed for an early try Credit: PA photo

Anscombe - preferred once again to Dan Biggar at outside half - converted the score and later added a long range penalty, as Wales fashioned a useful first quarter lead.

And Parkes - man of the match last week against Scotland - was soon back in the action, pulling off a try-saving tackle on Irish winger Jacob Stockdale.

As the rain fell, Ireland found it hard to hang onto the ball and were also on the wrong side of the referee's whistle - another Anscombe penalty extending the Welsh lead to 13 points after the visitors were ruled offside.

And there was worse to come for Ireland - the Wales number 10 making it four from four with the last kick of the first half to leave it 16-0 at the break.

Gareth Anscombe was in excellent form with the boot Credit: PA photo

The second half saw more of the same, as uncharacteristic Irish errors were punished by Wales' outside half marksman. First Cian Healey was penalised for a late hit on Tomas Francis, then CJ Stander failed to roll away at a ruck: result - another 6 points for Wales.

Ireland's misery was compounded when their fly half and star man Johnny Sexton squandered a rare attacking opportunity by throwing a pass straight into touch.

But it was business as usual for Anscombe, Andrew Porter this time the culprit for failing to stay on his feet. The home fans were in fine voice as the Blues man extended the lead to 25 points with less than 10 minutes left.

Warren Gatland enjoying his third Grand Slam Credit: PA photo

Despite having the game in the bag, Wales were determined not to allow the Irish a score, defending their line desperately in the face of a late Irish onslaught. By the time they cleared their lines, 'Hymns and Arias' was in full swing.

The visitors finally got themselves on the scoreboard with the final play of the game as Jordan Lamour crossed, but it was nowhere near enough to dampen delirious scenes at the Principality Stadium.

Warren Gatland has signed off his Wales Six Nations career with another Grand Slam, Wales are once again champions of Europe, and it would be unwise to discount their prospects in the Autumn's World Cup.

Scorers:

Wales: Try - Parkes, Pens - Anscombe (6), Cons - Anscombe (1)

More on this story