A Grand Day for a Grand Slam

It’s a lovely morning in Cardiff. Later on, at 2.45pm, Wales will be playing their final match of the 2012 Six Nations Rugby against France here in Cardiff. Having won all four previous games they’re in line for a Grand Slam if they win. The atmosphere here is already electric with anticipation. Last night the city was filled with men in berets here to support France and today everything will be at a standstill for the match. I can’t describe what a wonderful feeling it is to be in Cardiff on match days, even if you don’t have a ticket!

People here seem to be taking it for granted that Wales will win this afternoon. I’d love a Welsh Grand Slam to happen, but I’m not sure it’s as much of cast-iron certainty the Welsh supporters seem to think it is. France are a dangerous side and their disappointing performances so far in the Six Nations don’t preclude the possibility that they’ll turn it on in the Millennium Stadium; they’re certainly not here just to make up the numbers. The Welsh team has its weaknesses and may yet meet their downfall…

Comparisons with the great Welsh teams of the 1970s are inevitable today. Although it may be tempting fate, I thought I’d post this video showing some of the great players of that era in action. Good though the current team is – and clearly the best of the six nations playing in the competition this year – I don’t think they’re in the same league as the side that included such wonderful players as Gerald Davies, Gareth Edwards, J.P.R. Williams, Barry John and, of course, Mervyn Davies who sadly died last week and in whose honour there will be a minute’s silence before this afternoon’s kick off. Here are some scintillating moments from that great team. We’ll never see their like again.

Even the commentators – especially the great Bill Maclaren – were so much better than the current generation!

But that was then and this is now. Good luck to Wales, and here’s to another Grand Slam this afternoon!

3 Responses to “A Grand Day for a Grand Slam”

  1. telescoper Says:

    And they’ve done it. Wales 16 France 9.

    Absorbing game. France much improved in the 2nd half, but making just too many mistakes. Wales needed a bit of luck, but who doesn’t?

    It’s going to be a busy night in Cardiff tonight!

  2. Nick Cross Says:

    I saw about 10-15 mins of the match through a slow connection at a hotel in La Serena. Missed the tries and missed the other matches. Pleased that Wales and England won, but disappointed (but not particularly surprised) that Scotland lost. Loved the clips from the 70s. This played much more easily over the hotel wi-fi. The iPlayer just uses too much bandwidth.

  3. telescoper Says:

    I was surprised (but pleased) by the emphatic nature of England’s win over ireland and it was a fine end to the Six Nations.

    Scotland versus Italy on the other hand was a poor game, and Scotland were I’m afraid really dreadful…

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