Going into this match, the situation was as follows:
If Ireland won, they'd take the championship with a Grand Slam. If Wales won, they'd take the Triple Crown, but Ireland would still win the championship unless Wales scored 13 points more than Ireland.
If Wales won, England would move to third and France to second.
I was cheering for Wales to win by 13 points or more, as I'd put a fiver on them.
The atmosphere at Cardiff looked great, the Welsh always do the singing well!
The game started with a little argy-bargy. O'Gara was tripped as he kicked (for which a penalty was awarded) - this lead to some pushing and shirt grabbing between Donncha O'Callaghan and Ryan Jones. O'Callaghan was the aggressor, though the penalty wasn't reversed. In my opinion it should have been - there was no need for O'Callaghan's reaction. Fortunately for my five quid bet on Wales, Ireland didn't score from this.
There was a little more after a forward pass denied Ireland a try (definitely some baiting from Wales as a result, which Ireland reacted to). This resulted in a chat from the ref.
I'm sure I saw some Welsh stamping soon after on an Ireland player, didn't see who, though.
Fifteen minutes gone, and it was still 0-0. It was over 30 minutes before the first score, and that was 3 penalty points to Wales. A few minutes later we got to another 3 penalty points. Half time, 6-0. So, with half the time gone, Wales had half the score they needed.
Would Wales win by the required margin? At half time, my five quid bet on Wales was hanging in the balance. It could go either way.
Within five minutes of the second half starting, Ireland scored two tries in close succession. 6-14.
At 51 minutes, O'Callaghan conceded a penalty, which Wales kicked over. 9-14. Still 18 points to go for Wales - a tall order.
Another penalty at 55 minutes, and it's 12-14.
At 75 minutes, a good sequence of play culminated on a drop goal (it could have been a try) for Wales. 15-14. Scoring two tries to get the title seemed doubtful. It wasn't to be. O'Gara replied with another drop goal. 15-17. A penalty for Wales in the dying minutes wasn't enough.
Ireland win the championship, the Triple Crown and The Grand Slam. I lose my fiver which I put on Wales to win the championship. Ah well.
The final table was:
Well done to Ireland, a deserved win - and a worthy final game of the championship.