- Ball games
Wales clinch six nations and grand slam clean sweep
The rain sluiced down but the Cardiff crowd was unshrinking and the Welsh players irrepressible as they trounced defending champion Ireland to secure the Six Nations title and a Grand Slam season clean sweep of northern hemisphere international rugby, ONAreports citing CNN.
Welsh triumphed 25-7 in a pulsating atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium to clinch its first title since 2013 and first Grand Slam for winning all five matches since 2012.
Center Hadleigh Parkes scored a try after 80 seconds and fly-half Gareth Anscombe kicked 20 points as Wales' earned a fourth Grand Slam of the Six Nations era and third under Kiwi coach Warren Gatland, who is leaving his post after this autumn's World Cup.
The win also extended Wales' record to 14 straight victories in its last competitive encounter before the World Cup.
Going into the final weekend, Wales, Ireland and England all still had a chance to win the title, but the Welsh had sealed the championship before England's remarkable 38-38 draw against Scotland -- the highest scoring draw in international rugby -- later Saturday, after Eddie Jones' England side had led 31-0 in the first half.
"I'm proud of the players, it's not about me," said Gatland, who becomes the first coach in history to win three Grand Slams. "We spoke beforehand about playing for themselves and their families and this crowd and Wales as a whole, and being able to create a bit of history. It was a dazzling performance by us."
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones told the BBC: "Anything can happen when you work hard and you're a proud nation and we've shown that.
"Warren's the man at the top and we've been under pressure but he's always been unwavering. At times we've been unconvincing so we like to think there's still potential in us. We're well aware we've just put a big target on our backs before the World Cup."
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