Wales beat Ireland to win Six Nations Grand Slam

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Wales won its third Six Nations Grand Slam under coach Warren Gatland Saturday as they beat an Ireland 25-7.

The massive victory extended Wales’ winning streak to 14 matches, moving them to second in the World Rugby standings and handing Gatland’s team a psychological boost ahead to this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The Grand Slam was the 12th achieved by Wales, who opened this campaign with a 24-19 victory over France before following up with wins over Italy (26-15), England (21-13) and Scotland (18-11).

It was the third under Gatland in his 50th and final Wales game in European rugby’s showcase tournament following Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012, and a first Six Nations title since 2013.

Anscombe, who scored six penalty goals and a conversion, said: “It’s hard to put into words what this means, we’ve worked incredibly hard over the last year. We have a habit of winning. It’s a special group and we worked hard for each other.

“For me, it’s a day and weekend to remember for Welsh rugby.”

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones admitted the team had “just put a big target” on their backs going into the World Cup, adding that there was “still potential in us”.

Ireland captain Rory Best called Wales “a very determined side and hard to beat here”.

“We couldn’t get footing in the game. Our set-piece wasn’t up to the standard that we expect. They put a lot of pressure on us and we struggled to respond.”

Gatland, who is set to step down after the World Cup in Japan later this year, laughed when reporters asked about television cameras appearing to pick out tears on his usually stoic face as Wales collected the trophy.

โ€œI think it was the rain. Thereโ€™s no doubt I was reasonably emotional afterwards, the great thing about winning the last game of campaigns is you get to enjoy the next couple of months,โ€ he said.

Wales finish top of the table with 23 points, thanks to the rule that grants Grand Slam winners three bonus points.

Those proved useful, since Walesโ€™s focus on defence during the tournament meant they did not register a single bonus point and scored the same number of tries – nine – as bottom-placed Italy.