First Minister Carwyn Jones last night told Wales' triumphant rugby players and Cardiff City's gallant Wembley runners up they had made the nation proud.
Mr Jones hailed a weekend of phenomenal sporting performances that saw Wales' rugby side lift the Triple Crown, Cardiff City push Liverpool to penalties at an extraordinary Carling Cup final and Nathan Cleverly retain his WBO light-heavyweight belt as proof that "Wales boasts some outstanding sporting talent".
Last night, Cardiff City came within a whisker of completing a clean Welsh sweep as they held Premiership giants Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at Wembley in the Carling Cup final – only to suffer the heartbreak of losing on penalties.
Rugby fans were today still coming to terms with a nail-biting Triple Crown 19-12 win against England at Twickenham on Saturday, in a gripping match that saw replacement Scott Williams score an astonishing solo try in the final five minutes.
But victory was only assured after an agonising wait for confirmation that England’s David Strettle did not score an answering try in the final action.
Just hours later, boxer Nathan Cleverly enjoyed a superb homecoming performance as he outclassed American challenger Tommy Karpency to retain his WBO light-heavyweight crown at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff with a unanimous verdict from the judges.
Gareth Thomas, former Wales rugby star, summed up the mood of the nation’s sporting fans when he said: “What a weekend to be Welsh!” while former boxing champion Joe Calzaghe lauded Cleverly’s achievement but said he was left “gutted” by Cardiff’s defeat."
First Minister Carwyn Jones added: “Despite Cardiff City’s narrow loss, their outstanding performance, coupled with the Welsh rugby team’s heroic victory over England to claim the Triple Crown and Nathan Cleverly’s hard-fought victory over Tommy Karpency is proof that Wales boasts some outstanding sporting talent. They really have made Wales proud.”