Rugby: Wales clinch Six Nations grand slam with thrashing of Ireland

 smh.com.au  03/16/2019 22:29:00 

Wales built their Six Nations Grand Slam on physicality, fitness and national pride, coach Warren Gatland said on Saturday after his side hammered Ireland 25-7 to send the Principality Stadium into raptures.

Gatland, who became the first coach to claim three clean sweeps of victories in Europe's top rugby tournament, had predicted his team could win the Six Nations if they overcame France in Paris in their opening game.

Jubilation: Wales players celebrate success against Ireland in Cardiff.

Jubilation: Wales players celebrate success against Ireland in Cardiff.Credit:PA

"It's nice when predictions come true, I've got to have that belief and confidence in ourselves," he said. "It was a great performance today, the boys thoroughly deserve it, it's about them and their families, creating history and winning Grand Slams are things that no one can take away from you."

The tournament turned on a stand-to second-half performance against England on Feb. 23, when Wales began to overturn a first-half deficit with a 30-phase attack that became emblematic of their approach to the tournament: first nullify the opponent, then win.

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