The story of Wales' season
March 19, 2005

How Wales powered their way to the 2005 RBS Six Nations title:

  • WALES 11 ENGLAND 9 (February 5, Millennium Stadium)

    Wales ended a 12-year wait for victory against England on home soil thanks to a dramatic finale at the Millennium Stadium.

    Gavin Henson, the perma-tanned, spiky-haired centre, struck gold with his silver boots by rifling a 45-metre penalty between England's posts four minutes from time, and the world champions were sunk despite leading through three Charlie Hodgson kicks.

    Wales scored the game's solitary try, a brilliantly-worked score for Henson's Neath-Swansea Ospreys team-mate Shane Williams, as a major scalp was finally collected following narrow autumn failures against New Zealand and South Africa.

    Wales: G Thomas (capt); Luscombe, Shanklin, Henson, S Williams; S Jones, Peel; Jenkins, Davies, A Jones, Cockbain, Sidoli, D Jones, M Williams, Owen.

    Replacements used: Morgan, Cooper, Yapp, J Thomas, R Jones.

    Scorers: Try - S Williams; penalties - S Jones, Henson.

    England: Robinson (capt); Cueto, Tait, Noon, Lewsey; Hodgson, Dawson; Rowntree, Thompson, White, Grewcock, Kay, Jones, Hazell, Worsley.

    Replacements used: Barkley, Ellis, Vickery, Borthwick.

    Scorers: Penalties - Hodgson (3).

  • ITALY 8 WALES 38 (February 12, Stadio Flaminio, Rome)

    After conceding an early try to Italian fly-half Luciano Orquera, who charged down an attempted Gavin Henson clearance, Wales reduced the Azzurri to ruins by producing some scintillating rugby.

    Shane Williams was at the epicentre, dazzling a bemused Italian defence through his mesmeric running that enabled Wales to create numerous scoring opportunities.

    Wales ended up with six tries, and Ruddock was able to use all seven of his replacements, including handing Cardiff Blues flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor for an international debut.

    Italy: De Marigny; Mirco Bergamasco, Pozzebon, Masi, Nitoglia; Orquera, Troncon; Lo Cicero, Ongaro, Castrogiovanni, Dellape, Bortolami (capt), Persico, Mauro Bergamasco, Parisse.

    Replacements used: Barbini, Robertson, Griffen, Intoppa, Perugini, Del Fava, Dal Maso.

    Scorers: Try - Orquera; penalty - De Marigny.

    Wales: G Thomas (capt); Luscombe, Shanklin, Henson, S Williams; S Jones, Peel; Jenkins, Davies, A Jones, Cockbain, Sidoli, J Thomas, M Williams, Owen.

    Replacements used: Morgan, Sweeney, Cooper, McBryde, Yapp, Gough, Sowden-Taylor.

    Scorers: Tries - J Thomas, Shanklin, M Williams, S Williams, Cockbain, Sidoli; conversions - S Jones (4).

  • FRANCE 18 WALES 24 (February 26, Stade de France, Paris)

    Whereas flair and panache demolished Italy, Wales recorded their third win from the last four Paris visits through a performance founded on heroic defence and unflinching commitment.

    France cut loose early on, scoring tries through scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili and wing Aurelien Rougerie, but Wales dug in and trailed just 15-6 at half-time before stunning their hosts through a quickfire Martyn Williams double.

    Stephen Jones, magnificent at fly-half, kept Wales ticking along through his meticulous goalkicking, and despite the visitors losing their influential skipper Gareth Thomas through a broken thumb, Wales held on for a remarkable backs-to-the-wall win.

    France: Laharrague; Rougerie, Jauzion, Traille; Dominici; Delaigue, Yachvili; Marconnet, Bruno, Mas, Pelous (capt), Thion, Betsen, Nyanga, Bonnaire.

    Replacements used: Grandclaude, Michalak, Servat, Milloud, Lamboley, Harinordoquy.

    Scorers: Tries - Yachvili, Rougerie; drop-goal - Michalak; penalty - Yachvili; conversion - Yachvili.

    Wales: G Thomas (capt); Morgan, Shanklin, Henson, S Williams; S Jones, Peel; Jenkins, Davies, A Jones, Cockbain, Sidoli, R Jones, M Williams, Owen.

    Replacements used: R Williams, Sweeney, Cooper, McBryde, Yapp, J Thomas.

    Scorers: Tries - M Williams (2); drop-goal - S Jones; penalties - S Jones (3); conversion - S Jones.

  • SCOTLAND 22 WALES 46 (March 13, Murrayfield)

    Wales were urged to impose their adventurous style on Scotland from an early stage, but no-one could have envisaged a breathtaking first-half display that saw the visitors establish a 38-3 interval lead on the way to a record Murrayfield win.

    Assisted by some woeful Scottish defence, Wales ran riot, scoring three tries during the opening 15 minutes from Ryan Jones, Ryan Williams and Shane Williams, and the game was over as a contest.

    Scotland staged a second-half recovery, claiming three touchdowns, but Wales left Edinburgh firmly on course for a Grand Slam and Six Nations title-winning season.

    Scotland: Paterson; R Lamont, Craig, Southwell, S Lamont; Parks, Cusiter; Smith, Bulloch (capt), Kerr, Grimes, Murray, Taylor, Petrie, Hogg.

    Replacements used: Henderson, Ross, Blair, Douglas, Hines.

    Scorers: Tries - Craig, R Lamont, Paterson; penalty - Paterson; conversions - Paterson (2).

    Wales: Morgan; R Williams, Shanklin, Henson, S Williams; S Jones, Peel; Jenkins, Davies, A Jones, Cockbain, Sidoli, R Jones, M Williams, Owen (capt).

    Replacements used: Luscombe, Sweeney, McBryde, Yapp, J Thomas.

    Scorers: Tries - Morgan (2), R Williams (2), S Williams, R Jones; penalties - S Jones (2); conversions - S Jones (5).

  • WALES 32 IRELAND 20 (March 19, Millennium Stadium)

    Wales celebrate their first Grand Slam since 1978 with a comprehensive victory over Ireland at the Millennium Stadium.

    Prop Gethin Jenkins scores the only try of the first half after charging down a clearance kick and full-back Kevin Morgan adds a stylish try in the second half after a Tom Shanklin break. Fly-half Stephen Jones weighs in with a 16-point haul - four penalties and two conversions - and Gavin Henson
    contributes a penalty from his own half and a drop goal.

    Marcus Horan and Geordan Murphy grab late consolation tries but the Irish never look likely to spoil Wales' Grand Slam party.

    Wales: Morgan, Taylor, Shanklin, Henson, S. Williams, S. Jones, Peel, Jenkins, Davies, A. Jones, Cockbain, Sidoli, R. Jones, M. Williams, Owen.

    Replacements used: McBryde, Yapp.

    Scorers: Tries - Jenkins, Morgan; penalties - Henson, S Jones 4; conversions - S. Jones 2; drop goals - Henson.

    Ireland: Murphy, Dempsey, O'Driscoll, Maggs, Hickie, O'Gara, Stringer, Corrigan, Byrne, Hayes, O'Kelly, O'Connell, S. Easterby, O'Connor, Foley.

    Replacements used: Humphreys, Horan, Sheahan, O'Callaghan, Miller.

    Scorers: Tries - Horan, Murphy; penalties - O'Gara 2; conversions - Humphreys 2.

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