Wales can wrap up the Six Nations and Grand Slam with a win over Ireland in Cardiff. Robert Rees takes a look at how they can do just that.
Wales have extended their record winning streak to 13 games with a win over Scotland, but still have to fight off close opposition from both England and Ireland.
As we approach the final weekend of the 2019 Guinness Six Nations three teams line up with a hope of glory. Wales, England and Ireland all have a chance of lifting the championship – Wales with a Grand Slam on the line.
Title in Welsh hands
The title is in the hands of Warren Gatland’s men and it could be a fitting farewell in his final Six Nations match.
Wales will take on Ireland at the Principality Stadium whilst England host the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham.
Ahead of this weekend’s action Park Life Sport’s rugby correspondent Robert Rees previews the final round’s action.
With the World Cup now less than six months away it’s a key time for Wales who’ll be looking at retaining their form whilst they bid for their first Webb-Ellis trophy.
There are a few areas Wales must improve upon, the lineout being one of those, but with a strong scrum, the best defence in the world and plenty of strength in depth they’ll be up for the task on ‘Super Saturday’.
Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies have been superb in midfield. Leading from the front in attack, holding the line in defence. They work together in harmony to ensure Wales works like a well-oiled machine.
Their work has allowed the back three to thrive and score some vital scores, whilst keeping the opposition under the cosh.
The front-foot ball has pushed Wales into a strong position where they can dictate how the play goes at vital times. The second half against England was a prime example of what they can do, and this was followed up in the first forty against the Scots at Murrayfield.
Gareth Davies is mixing his distribution with a strong territorial kicking game that has set opponents on the back foot.
IRELAND LINEOUT THREAT
With reports that former Scarlets lock Tadgh Beirne will be starting alongside James Ryan there’ll be a strong emphasis from Ireland on their set piece.
O’Mahoney at the back of the lineout has been a potent threat for the Irish with Sean Cronin and Rory Best on top form with their arrows. With welsh lineout success falling around 70% this will be a massive target for Joe Schmidt’s men.
James Ryan man of the match for Ireland.
2 defenders beaten
A mountain of ruck hits
Accurate lineout and maul work. pic.twitter.com/9gtBpm2fPS
— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) March 10, 2019
Wales are strong favourites with a misfiring Ireland looking out of sorts. Expect warren Gatland’s men to come out all guns blazing and secure some early points as they usually do in the big games.
It’s this big game mentality that doesn’t make you look much further than a Welsh Grand Slam.