Don’t look back in anger was the celebratory song of choice for the triumphant Welsh on Saturday night – the perfect tune to sum it all up.
As a video doing the rounds on social media showed Wales, led by new centurion George North, banged their changing room lockers and belted out the Oasis classic after one of their great victories.
Don’t look back, England, at Pascal Gauzere’s decisions that angered, don’t look back, Welsh fans, at the poor autumn that proceeded this.
Wales are three from three in Six Nations after thrashing the English in Cardiff on Saturday
Wayne Pivac’s side lifted Triple Crown after beating Ireland and Scotland in opening rounds
Wales are three from three after thrashing the English in Cardiff – their better place to play – and when that happens in the Six Nations era they always go on to win the Grand Slam.
‘It all just feels like a blur,’ said fly-half Callum Sheedy, Wales’ closer who kicked three vital penalties to take them from 24-all to out-of-sight in the final quarter.
‘To even put the shirt on for Wales is an unbelievable achievement, but to win a Triple Crown and beat England like that it’s definitely up there in terms of what I’ve achieved in my career. I’m buzzing.’
It could not be going better for Sheedy. His Bristol Bears are top of the English Premiership and the 25-year-old is now part of a Welsh team ticking off trophies too, just seven caps into his Test career.
‘If you’d told me that a couple of years ago I would have laughed at you,’ he beamed.
‘In tough testing times it’s great to get a win over England – the Welsh people should enjoy every minute of it.’
It could not be going better for Bristol Bears and now Wales fly half Callum Sheedy
Critics will say that Wayne Pivac’s side have had their fair share of fortune so far. Two wins against 14 and another when gifted 14 points has helped them no end.
But forget luck, this was another Welsh win over England built on intelligence and nous – when it comes to the top two inches Wales are miles ahead of their old foes.
There is no point having 902 caps in your side come kick-off if you do not use that experience.
Dan Biggar had it sussed when he asked Gauzere to let him know when time went back on after a 16th minute penalty. Josh Adams knew to stay wide and wait for the cross-kick.
‘You can’t switch off when you’re playing against someone like Biggs,’ said Sheedy, tellingly.
While England fumbled about with water bottles Wales used their brains.
Liam Williams’ try should not have stood – officials like Nigel Owens have admitted that – but as Louis Rees-Zammit’s dumbfounded face told a story so did Wales’ desire to score the second try.
‘We can’t leave results up to the mercy of the ref,’ added Sheedy.
This was another Welsh win over England built on intelligence and nous thanks to experience
Quicker of deed, thought, and mind, the Welsh effort was summed up by a darting Kieran Hardy, who sniped in for their third, and Sheedy who saw it home with the boot.
There is much to celebrate about Wales’ war-horses. Alun Wyn Jones was a totem again, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau extraordinary, Biggar clever, North and Jonathan Davies hard-working and Ken Owens such a leader; but newly impressive are the kids.
‘The composure they have has been welcome,’ said captain Jones.
‘They’re putting their hands up and talking through their actions.’
Hardy and Sheedy go back to battles in the under-11s at Scarlets and Cardiff Blues respectively. They linked up on loan in Jersey and now are influential half-backs for Wales.
Aged 25 they are showing a lot more big-game cleverness than their English counterparts.
Sheedy’s ice-cool kicks came after English ill-discipline, and represented some redemption for him after missed conversions in Scotland.
Sheedy’s ice-cool kicks came after English ill-discipline in the final 20 minutes in Cardiff
‘If a team’s under pressure, discipline starts to get a bit wavy,’ Sheedy said.
‘We knew if we could choke them enough, they would get ill-discplined.
‘The public get excited when you win, and kill you when you lose. I couldn’t kick snow off a rope two weeks ago according to the public, and now I’ll probably be a decent kicker now!
‘The people who build you up are the same people who shoot you down.’
Roxana Maracineanu could now become an unlikely Welsh cult hero – the French Sports Minister is angered at Les Bleus’ Covid chaos, suggesting that the team broke their bubble in a Rome waffle house, and if she pulls the plug on Fabien Galthie’s men Wales are marching to a Grand Slam on the final day.
Bring on the giddiness over the Severn Bridge, it is bound to come. Although an Italian thrashing is inevitable, talk of a fifth Six Nations clean sweep is banned in camp.
‘Grand Slam might be said in the public but it won’t be said in the circle. Alun Wyn Jones won’t let it,’ said Sheedy.
‘We haven’t done anything yet. We’ve won a Triple Crown, fantastic, but we’re onto Italy which is going to be a huge test.’
In reality it will not be, but the Grand Slam can wait, Wales’ brains will not go to their head.