Six magic moments in Wales’ Championship victory

What a Guinness Six Nations it has been, games going down to the wire, a record number of tries and a brilliant champion in Wales.

What a Guinness Six Nations it has been, games going down to the wire, a record number of tries and a brilliant champion in Wales.

After a 2020 campaign in which they finished fifth, winning just one match, Wayne Pivac’s side turned the formbook on its head to claim the title.

Brice Dulin’s last-gasp try in Paris denied them a second Grand Slam in three years, but it was still a remarkable effort to win the Championship.

And as the dust settles, it is the perfect opportunity to look back at six key moments along the way.


Wales kicked off their campaign at home to Ireland, and despite Peter O’Mahony’s early red card, it was the visitors who seized control of the game to lead 13-6 thanks to a converted try from Tadhg Beirne.

The home side had managed a solitary Leigh Halfpenny penalty in 35 minutes with an extra man, but when Ireland tried to run the ball out of their own 22 and a Garry Ringrose offload went to ground, Wales pounced.

Nick Tompkins reacted fastest to get the ball, Taulupe Faletau went in as scrum-half and quickly found George North and the Irish defence was scrambling.

Two phases later, Josh Navidi scooped the ball from the back of a ruck, produced a delightful offload out of the back of the hand, and North, in his new position in the centres, provided the finishing touch as he burst through to score after the show and go.

It was the spark Wales needed as they recorded a 21-16 success.


A game that Scotland will look back on with regrets, having dominated the first half to lead 17-3 at one point.

Louis Rees-Zammit pulled a try back before half-time, and Scotland’s failure to score just after the break was costly, Scott Cummings pinged for obstruction just as they looked set to break through.

Liam Williams and Wyn Jones made them pay, with two tries in four minutes either side of Zander Fagerson’s red card, but when Stuart Hogg scored his second, it looked as though Scotland might yet win it.

But with ten minutes to go, Rees-Zammit produced perhaps the moment of the entire campaign for Wales, underlining why the 20-year-old winger is so highly-rated.

Willis Halaholo did brilliantly to put the winger into space on the right, but from there he still had a huge amount to do. Rees-Zammit had the space to sprint past Duhan van der Merwe, then put the ball to boot over Hogg, leaving the Scotland skipper for dead to dot down. It was to be the match-winning score in a 25-24 success.


Two weeks in, Wales were dreaming of a Triple Crown with England coming to town in Round 3.

In a frantic first half Josh Adams and Liam Williams had helped open up a healthy lead, but Anthony Watson’s try before half-time brought England back into it, trailing 17-14 at the break.

Wales had clearly done their homework when it came to England’s defence at penalties, with Adams’ try coming from a quick cross-kick by Dan Biggar.

And early in the second half, with Jonny Hill penalised at a ruck, Kieran Hardy was just as quick-witted. Spotting that only Tom Curry was in front of him, he tapped and went, beating the flanker on his way to the line, with Elliot Daly caught with his back turned to play.

With Callum Sheedy’s conversion, Wales led 24-14, and while England did level things later in the game, Wales finished the stronger to run out 40-24 winners.


Against England, Wales had been very effective with their driving maul and it was even more apparent in a comfortable win in Italy.

Josh Adams and Taulupe Faletau got the ball rolling early before Ken Owens took centre stage.

In the space of nine minutes he helped himself to a try double, both coming off the backs of rolling mauls as the Azzurri had no answer.

Over the course of 41 previous Championship games, Owens had never scored a try. In Rome he had two by half-time, and the only disappointment will have been at coming off 15 minutes into the second half and missing out on the chance of a hat-trick.


Wales’ sole defeat in the Championship came in Paris, in one of the most remarkable games we have seen in the Guinness Six Nations.

Late tries from Charles Ollivon and Brice Dulin ended up swinging the game the way of France to deny Wales the Grand Slam.

But the 32-30 defeat still left France with a huge task by the time they faced Scotland.

The Welsh attack was sensational, scoring three tries and dominating the gainline against Les Bleus at the Stade de France.

Romain Taofifenua’s early try had given France the dream start, but Wales hit back and showed just what they were made of. After Gareth Davies had been held up over the line by Charles Ollivon, they pounded away with their forwards before Dan Biggar ran the perfect line to burst through.

Wales were level and from then on, it was clear that this would be a titanic battle where the visitors would not give an inch.


The last-gasp loss in Paris meant that Wales had to watch on nervously on Friday as France hosted Scotland, with a 21-point victory with a bonus point enough to snatch the title.

The falling rain will certainly have eased some of the tension for the Welsh, and France never really looked like pulling off the unthinkable.

Still, when Damian Penaud went over for their second try to make it 18-10, there was a sense that one more French try might open the floodgates.

Instead, Scotland tightened up, Finn Russell kicked a penalty and then the visitors turned down an easy three points to kick to the corner. The maul did not quite go to plan, but after Swan Rebbadj had ripped it clear, the ball bounced fortuitously off Zander Fagerson’s back into the arms of Dave Cherry, who had a clear lane to the line through which to burst.

Russell converted, Scotland led with 20 minutes remaining, and Wales could almost start celebrating.

There were a couple more twists, with Rebbadj crossing, Russell’s red card and Duhan van der Merwe’s match-winning try, but for Wales the party had already started.