The Welsh Grand Slam 2012
How Wales Won the Six Nations Championship
by Paul Rees
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In the glory years of the 1970s, Wales won three grand slams in eight seasons. But rarely since then had the men in red started a Six Nations campaign armed with expectation rather than hope. 2012 was different.
The previous year they had come within a kick of reaching the World Cup final, losing by a point to France despite playing for the last hour with 14 men after their captain, Sam Warburton, had been sent off for a dangerous tackle.
The question when they returned home was how they would cope with the heartache. The answer came in their first match in the 2012 Six Nations Championship. In Dublin against Ireland, the team they had knocked out in the World Cup quarter-final, revenge was on the menu. Wales went there without five of their leading forwards and lost Warburton to injury at half-time. They were trailing by six points with five minutes to go and had a player in the sin-bin. The old Wales would have folded but, as in Life on Mars, it was back to the spirit of the 1970s.
This Wales team came back fighting to win not only the game but to sweep the board in the whole tournament, bringing home a Welsh grand slam for the third time in eight years and establishing a strong and exciting team for the future.
- Mainstream Publishing, April 2012
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