KSA Shark ©

Wales Storm to triple Crown

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news on 9 Mar 2008 at 07:19

Wales won the Triple Crown and continued their march towards the Grand Slam with a narrow victory over Ireland at Croke Park.

Sporting Life reports that they also strengthened their grip on the RBS 6 Nations title and they now face a showdown with France next Saturday at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales had not won in Dublin for eight years and spent 20 minutes down to 14 men after Mike Phillips and then Martyn Williams were sin-binned.

Ronan O’Gara scored all of Ireland’s points – but sparkling winger Shane Williams scored the decisive try to equal Gareth Thomas’ Welsh record of 40.

Wales dominated the encounter yet had to wait until the 57th minute to pierce the Irish defence with the elusive Williams dancing over.

Llanelli fly-half Stephen Jones contributed two penalties and a conversion while his eventual replacement James Hook weighed in with a late three points.

Williams, though, is not interested in hogging the limelight for himself.

“It is amazing. It was a very good performance by the Irish, but we stuck at it,” he said.

“The last five minutes were the longest five minutes of my life. But the forwards stuck at it, and we deserved it.”

Williams believes credit is due to New Zealander Gatland, who has helped to transform Wales’ fortunes along with assistant coach Shaun Edwards.

“It is a lot to do with Warren – and the players, and everybody else,” said Williams

“Warren has come in with his own ideas; we’ve trained very hard, and it’s going very well.”

Ryan Jones was almost lost for words afterwards.

He said: “You can’t put moments like that into words. It was fantastic. Very few people get to do it. I am proud and privileged.

“The most important thing was doing it on behalf of the other boys. Individual performances and memories don’t mean anything – it is the fact I got to represent those boys.

“I wish we could have all gone up because it was impressive to look out over 73,000 people and hear the cheer go up.”

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