Having been written-off before the start of the Six Nations campaign, the Welsh proved their doubters wrong and recorded four wins out of five to clinch top-spot in a title race that went down-to-the-wire.
In the final game of the tournament, Scotland scored late on to record their first win at the Stade de France since 1999. As many could possibly imagine, the Welsh players probably celebrated Scotland’s last minute winner as if it was their own.
Wales have now won six championships since Italy united the Six Nations back in 2000. Overall, the Welsh have now triumphed 28 times since the first Home Nations Championship was held back in 1883.
The newly crowned champions kicked off their campaign with two hard-fought wins over Ireland and Scotland, before sealing their 22nd all-time Triple Crown with a crushing win over England during the third weekend of action.
Three well-deserved victories cemented Wales as a genuine title contender, highlighting how much they had improved after failing to beat any top 10 ranked nation throughout 2020.
A crushing but unsurprising win over Italy in matchday four meant it was their title to lose coming into the final weekend of play. A victory against fellow title contenders France would complete the Grand Slam for Wales, but a French victory and bonus point would force the title to be decided six days after what was initially scheduled as the last official weekend of play.
After 80 minutes in Paris, Wales were ahead and looked set to celebrate a memorable Grand Slam triumph. However, it truly ain’t over until it’s over as Brice Dulin drove into the try zone in the dying seconds of the game to break Welsh hearts. With five out of five now played, Wales just had to hope the French did not record an emphatic win over Scotland in Les Bleus’ game in hand.
In order to overtake the Welsh and win the title, France needed to win by a margin of 21 points or more, as well as earn a bonus point. This was indeed the task of champions, and anyone would agree that Antoine Dupont and co would fully deserve the title if they pulled it off.
Ultimately, the Scots kept the French at bay and denied what would have been one of the greatest turnarounds in Six Nations history. France thus conclude the tournament as runners-up for the second straight year, while Scotland just miss out on a place in the top three as they finish just behind Ireland on point difference.
While there were no on-pitch celebrations for the Welsh, one can only imagine the scenes of every Welsh player, staff member and fan celebrating their title win after a nervy 80 minutes in front of the television.
In terms of the standout individuals for Wales, Dan Biggar finished as the team’s highest points scorer with 36, Louis Rees-Zammit recorded the most tries with four and Justin Tipuric notched up 86 tackles, the most of any player during the tournament.
From Scotland’s shock victory against England to France winning at the death against the Welsh, it’s been quite the rollercoaster ride of a championship. But in spite of those noteworthy moments of brilliance, the world will only remember one thing; Wales are the Six Nations champions once again.