Wales went to Ireland today more in hope than in expectation. The Irish are a top-rated side whose performances over the course of the tournament had shown steady improvement. They would also be playing at home. Most of the pundits, therefore, predicted an Irish win.
For the first 20 minutes it seemed as if they would be proved correct. But from the point where Mike Phillips wrestled Shane Horgan away from the try line, preventing what seemed like a certain Irish score, Wales began to boss the game. And they continue to boss it even through having Phillips and Martyn Williams sin-binned for silly professional fouls. A little bit of magic from the twinkling feet of Shane Williams was all that was needed to secure a very confident and professional win. We all know that this Welsh side can play, but it seems like they now know how to keep their collective heads as well, even if the occasional hot-head loses his.
Ireland 12-16 Wales
Bring on the French.
In Edinburgh we saw what happens when two side with no imagination or ambition and little talent get to play each other in dreadful conditions. Still, congratulations to Jonny Wilkinson for becoming the leading points scorer in international rugby history (even if he did have a dreadful game) and to Scotland for giving the English a taste of their own medicine.