Hibbard is the toast of Wales
TO borrow the words of the great Bill McLaren, they would have been singing on the streets of Taibach on Saturday night.
They would also have been raising a few glasses around the pubs of Cheltenham where many of Richard Hibbard's friends were out enjoying a stag party.
On another day, Hibbard would have been on the trip himself.
Instead, he was more than 300 miles away in Scotland's capital city, scoring the only try of a 28-18 victory that keeps alive Wales's hopes of back-to-back Six Nations titles.
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"All my mates are on the stag, I can imagine the place went nuts there when I scored," smiled the Ospreys hooker. "It was a nice moment for me."
It was Hibbard's first try in international rugby, poached from a matter of centimetres that will no doubt have been extended to metres by the end of the night.
Whether his former Liberty coach Scott Johnson would have enjoyed it as much it is unlikely.
Remember, Johnson, now Scotland's interim coach, was the man who accused Hibbard of lacking the necessary conditioning for Test rugby.
At the time, Hibbard responded with some tongue-in-cheek twitter updates, entitled "diary of a fat kid".
His response, 21 minutes into this Murrayfield contest, spoke a whole lot louder.
The 29-year-old is the epitome of this Welsh pack — an eight largely honed on Ospreys soil.
He rolls up his sleeves, carries with an edge, makes his tackles and adds a notable presence to a scrum that has become a potent weapon in the international arena — even if Scotland hooker Ross Ford later accused Wales of "mucking about" at the set-piece.
Wales may not be painting a canvas of vivid, bold movement in this Six Nations, but they are coating themselves with steel.
The sledgehammer, rather than the picklock is proving the tool of choice to break down defensive doors. And the Welsh pack aren't short of muscle to wield it.
Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, man of the match Sam Warburton, Toby Faletau and Ryan Jones all carried relentlessly over the gainline at Murrayfield, while a 17-stone North Walian wing by the name of George North also took some stopping.
The sight of North on the hoof, as McLaren would put it, was one of the more memorable moments of a wholly forgettable Celtic contest ruined by the incessant whistle of referee Craig Joubert.
Max Boyce once sung about fans needing doctor's papers after Llanelli famously downed the All Blacks — there could well be a queue outside some Edinburgh surgeries today with thousands complaining they can't get rid of a shrill high-pitched sound in their ears.
Both Johnson and Wales's interim coach Rob Howley refused to point the finger at the South African official in the post-match offerings.
"I don't want to talk about the referee. He has a job to do and he seems like a decent bloke," was the Johnson mantra, although the Aussie did admit he was confused by many of the scrum decisions.
Him and no doubt 67,144 others who had forked out up to £80 to brave the icy Edinburgh chill and watch a man in white blast his whistle for 28 penalties — it felt like a lot more — with a world record 18 of those resulting in shots in goals.
Boil it down, and that's more than a quarter of the match spent watching kicks at the posts.
Leigh Halfpenny wasn't complaining, even though he couldn't recall the last time he had so many sighters at the uprights. "Maybe back in college when we hammered a team and it was all conversions, but never that many penalties in a game," he said.
"But I was just pleased to come through okay because it was without doubt my toughest challenge out there. The wind was really strong, especially when you were kicking into the teeth of it in that first half.
"I was throwing a piece of grass in the air and it was blowing full circle then falling to the ground. I was thinking: 'where do I put this?'"
Halfpenny — dubbed the 'Hammer of the Scots' in the morning papers by virtue of his previous record against the men in blue — has been a metronomic points gatherer since taking over the kicking duties from Rhys Priestland in Dublin last year.
But for the first time since that victory over Ireland, demons were threatening to pay a visit as he missed three successive penalties midway through the first half.
"It was a test of character for me. I was thinking it could go two ways here, but it wasn't an option to hand over kicking duties. I wanted that responsibility," he added. "I know my strengths and it was a case of going back to basics, with the help of Jenks (Neil Jenkins)."
The fact that Halfpenny did rediscover his range was even more remarkable considering the volume of booing and whistling that accompanied his kicks.
Saying that, by the end, even the disgruntled home supporters had to bow to the superior whistling of Mr Joubert.
For the estimated 10,000 or so Welsh fans who had taken the high road for the fabled 'Scotland trip' it was a game that will not command much time in a souvenir DVD if Howley's men do manage the extraordinary and snatch the title from England's grip in Cardiff on Saturday.
But it was another victory to add to a growing number over our Celtic cousins in recent years.
The bars and restaurants of Rose Street have now witnessed Welsh celebrations on the last three visits.
And you have to go back as far as 2007 for the last tartan triumph in matches between the two nations. "Luck and referee go against Scots," screamed the headline in the Scotland on Sunday.
There was nothing lucky about this win.
Wales were more than worthy victors and the rehabilitation under Howley continues.
If Wales can upend England's Grand Slam chariot at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, the recovery will be complete.