Four years on from Gavin Henson’s match-winning monster penalty, Non Evans came up with a wonder kick of her own in the Women’s Six Nations 2009 to clinch another famous victory for Wales against England in Cardiff.
The surroundings of Taff Wells RFC might not have been as grand as the Principality Stadium but Evans’ feat, or should that be feet, was no less special.
“England were winning 15-13, the clock had gone red and we had an attack in their 22 and we got a penalty. There was no time to go for the corner so it was either tap and go or go for the posts,” Evans recalled.
“It wasn’t a particularly difficult kick but it was what the kick meant, and I was obviously the goal kicker, so I went for it and thankfully it went over and we won 16-15.
“I didn’t hear the final whistle because everyone jumped on top of me and all I kept saying was, ‘has the whistle gone, has the whistle gone?’
“I think we have only beaten England once since. It went down in history.”
Undoubtedly one of the most inspiring athletes to come out of #Wales… our next #TeamWales podcast guest is the one and only @NonEvans! 🏴— Team Wales 🏴 Tîm Cymru (@TeamWales) March 22, 2022
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Just for kicks
Wales had already beaten Scotland in the opening game of the Women’s Six Nations 2009 and went on to clinch the Triple Crown with victory over Ireland in their last game.
Italy were also victims of a Welsh side that had a strong core group of players playing week in week out with Clifton in the English Premiership. But defeat to France ultimately cost Wales a first-ever title and Grand Slam.
Evans scored a try in every game bar the England victory when it was her boot that did all the damage.
“I wasn’t a particularly good kicker but it frustrated me for years that we’d lose games by one or two points because we didn’t have a goalkicker so I thought, ‘right, I’m going to practice’,” the full-back said.
“My boyfriend at the time was Mark Perego, a flanker, he played for Llanelli and Wales, and he was so talented, he could kick off both feet, and we just used to go out in the field and kick and kick and kick.
“I wasn’t the best in the world and didn’t have any coaching but we did win quite a few games because I could kick, at least better than anyone in the past.”
For Evans, the Triple Crown-winning season of 2009 was particularly special.
“It was my first full season back after a really bad injury. I broke my leg, a really bad compound fracture, in 2007 against France in the Six Nations and they told me I’d never run again," said Evans, who also represented her country at Judo and Wrestling.
“I rehabbed and rehabbed and came off the bench against France in the Six Nations the following year and did okay in that tournament and then I had the best season I had ever had and Wales had ever had in 2009.
“We were hoping to back it up with a good World Cup in 2010 but we ended up in the same pool as New Zealand, South Africa and Australia and we didn’t get out of the pool.
“Even so, it was still a great World Cup, Sky had a contract to show the games live, and it was great for women’s rugby here to have it in the UK.”