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On March 19, 1994 when Wales ran out behind Ieuan Evans for the championship finale, they had out-tried England 6-0 on the three previous matches.
The hosts had relied solely on a pair of right boots as worn by Jon Callard and Rob Andrew to keep them in the running for the title they had surrendered to France the previous season.
Callard nailed five penalties against an undeniably superior Scotland at Murrayfield, the last in the dying seconds a classic case of daylight robbery.
Bath’s full back hit four more against Ireland at Twickenham when Simon Geoghegan’s famous try put paid to another English Slam before Andrew took over against France and duly accounted for all 18 points in a home win.
Wales had cruised past Scotland, squeezed home in a photo-finish against Ireland in Dublin where Neil Jenkins scored the only try of the match and seen France off in Cardiff.
While they were playing for the full bag of chips against their nearest and often less then dearest neighbour, England under Will Carling knew they could send them back with nothing.
To bring Geoff Cooke’s career as manager to a suitably rewarding end by reclaiming the Five Nations title, England had to win by 16 points.
The presence of The Queen gave it all the ingredients of a battle Royal and Rory Underwood duly fired the opening shot with their first try of the campaign.
When Tim Rodber seized a Welsh throw at the front of the line-out for a soft second, England needed just one more try at 15-3 to become champions.
Wales, the Crown and the Slam beyond their reach almost from the start, at least had the last word with a try from Nigel Walker made by their fire-fighting Llanelli prop, Ricky Evans.
They had lost the battle but won the war and with it their first title in 15 years.
This time Wales return as the team of the RBS 6 Nations hitherto, a status which will ensure they are the most fancied Welsh side to appear at H.Q. since Gareth, Benny and the gang in the Seventies.
England have matched Wales win for win, both on the road in trying conditions at venues where they could easily have come unstuck.
Back at Twickenham for the first time since August, when they beat Wales 23-19 in front of 81,000 on their last home match before the World Cup, England know they will need an awful lot more from the creative department which has yielded nothing in terms of tries so far beyond Charlie Hodgson’s charge-downs.
A potentially momentous occasion demands a little more in the way of meteorological co-operation after the last-minute postponent of France-Ireland.
In marked contrast to the ice in Paris and snow in Rome, Wales kept cool with a retractable roof over their heads while everyone else got hot and bothered. The match, if not the result, was never in doubt.
After setting the tournament alight on the opening Sunday with three blazing tries in Dublin, Wales followed up with three more against Scotland despite losing their captain before the match and their most dangerous player before half-time.
That they could take Sam Warburton’s late withdrawal and George North’s hobbling exit in their stride says everything about the expanding quality of their squad.
Aaron Shingler, promoted as the third-choice openside behind Warburton and the injured Justin Tipuric, responded to the emergency with all the composure of a player playing his 30th Test rather than his first.
Ironically, North’s twisted ankle merely cleared the way for Wales to find their touch after a first-half when Scotland had good reason to think they ought to have been ten points clear instead of level at 3-3.
Alex Cuthbert, a Test novice on one Welsh wing who stands two inches taller at 6ft 6in than North on the other, began the blitz with the first of three tries between the 42nd and 56th minutes.
It was probably the most ruthless piece of finishing by any Welsh team since Lansdowne Road on February 21, 1976 when the untouchables turned a close fight against Ireland into a no-contest by scoring three tries in five minutes from three of the all-time greats – Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies and Phil Bennett.
The Welsh capacity for scoring tries from anywhere and everywhere hit the Scots just as they sensed that they might have been in with a chance of turning the championship upside down.
North’s absence allowed full back Leigh Halfpenny, by some distance the smallest of the Welsh backs, to score tries from both wings and finish with five goals from five attempts.
How Andy Robinson must hate Cardiff.
On his one visit in charge of England, seven years ago, Gavin Henson picked off the Newcastle teenager Mathew Tait and then fired the long-range goal which set Wales off to an improbable Grand Slam and put the skids under England on the long slide from their global pinnacle of 2003.
On his first return to the wondrous place beside the Taff as Scotland’s head coach two years ago, Robinson suffered the anguish of watching his team outplay Wales for 77 minutes only to lose it in the last three plus an eternity of stoppage time.
Thom Evans’ serious spinal injury and two yellow cards conspired to creating the most chaotic finale the Six Nations will ever see as Wales, losing 14-24, somehow scored 17 points to win by seven.
Despite two more yellows again briefly reducing his team to 13, Robinson could take far more from the Welsh defeat than the English one the previous week.
Stuart Hogg, whose enterprising debut deserved the decoration of a try, was denied a perfectly legitimate one and Sean Lamont suffered similar frustration during a match when Richie Gray bestrode the pitch like a Colossus.
If ever anyone looks a nailed-on Lions Test lock, Gray is the man.
For the record… March 1994: England 15, Wales 8.
England: I Hunter (Northampton); T Underwood (Leicester), P de Glanville (Bath), W Carling (Harlequins, capt), R Underwood (Leicester); R Andrew (Wasps), D Morris (Orrell); J Leonard (Harlequins), B Moore (Harlequins), V Ubogu (Bath); M Johnson (Leicester), N Redman (Bath); T Rodber (Northampton), D Richards (Leicester), B Clarke (Bath). Replacement: M Catt (Bath) for Andrew.
Wales: M Rayer (Cardiff); I Evans (Llanelli, capt),M Hall (Cardiff), N Davies (Llanelli), N Walker (Cardiff); N Jenkins (Pontypridd), R Moon (Llanelli); R Evans (Llanelli), G Jenkins (Swansea), J Davies (Neath); Gareth Llewellyn (Neath), P Davies (Llanelli); E Lewis (Llanelli), S Quinnell (Llanelli), M Perego (Llanelli). Replacement: T Copsey (Llanelli) for Lewis.
My team of the weekend (with a bit of number-tweaking):
15. Stuart Hogg (Scotland)
14. Alex Cuthbert (Wales)
13. Jamie Roberts (Wales)
12. Owen Farrell (England)
11. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
10. Rhys Priestland (Wales)
9. Lee Dickson (England)
1 Alex Corbisiero (England)
2. Leonardo Ghiraldini (Italy)
3. Dan Cole (England)
4. Richie Gray (Scotland)
5. Tom Palmer (England)
6. Dan Lydiate (Wales)
7. Ross Rennie (Scotland)
8. Sergio Parisse (Italy)