Wales Women thwarted by Ireland


Wales Women thwarted by Ireland

Ireland - coached by Schmidt - are now the only unbeaten team in the Six Nations after a 37-27 win in Dublin on Saturday (Sunday NZ time). He is becoming one of Ireland's more trusted ball-carriers and filled that role well at the Aviva, both with his power around the fringes and his speed further out from the breakdowns.

Those results are also set to have huge implications on the official World Rankings.

No losing bonus point for the Welsh, as Ireland's Grandslam hunt moves on to Scotland on the 10 March.

Here are the big talking points from the game...

Orr was interviewed by Sinead Kissane of TV3 in the build-up to today's clash between the sides at the Aviva Stadium and assured Kissane and TV viewers that the issue was raised when the IRFU met the visiting Welsh delegation on Friday night.

Not bad for a day's work. It was the flawless end to the first half for the home team, giving them a vital 15-13 lead.

And even when Conor Murray slotted a penalty to take Ireland's lead to ten points, Wales hit back with a Steff Evans try.

After Sexton's penalty rebounded off the post Ireland found themselves on the Wales line. "He and Johnny might well miss training on Tuesday but they will have well and truly earned it".

Yet it wasn't just Sexton's kicking that made life hard for Ireland.

Ireland were straight back into the Wales 22 and after Ross Moriarty was caught behind the try line the hosts had the put in 5m out and crucially all the momentum.

Jacob Stockdale of Ireland dives in for a first half try at Aviva Stadium
Jacob Stockdale of Ireland dives in for a first half try at Aviva Stadium

At 14 points behind, Wales sent on reinforcements, finally saw some ball, and opened up.

Ireland outscored the Welsh five tries to three, and dominated territory and possession with their highly effective pick and go drives around the contact area.

Scotland toppled Ireland 27-22 in the first round of last year's competition, where head coach Schmidt later bemoaned the team bus arriving 15 minutes late to Murrayfield.

Not that he was around for last season's defeat but Andrew Porter said that "we owe Scotland one from previous year".

But there was nothing wrong with Sexton's handling, and a sublime long pass left Halfpenny clutching at air, allowing Jacob Stockdale to race over for the opening try after just seven minutes. Keith Earls once again broke through and a couple of phases later the impressive Leavy powered over from close range with Wales' defence still in the changing rooms.

But along with multiple Grand Slam-winning ex-France back-row Serge Betsen, the 2005 Six Nations player of the tournament gave us an insight into life in an elite back-row and stories from their careers.

Aaron Shingler scored out wide.

Wales had a try of their own in the first half through Gareth Davies with Halfpenny Converting and slotting another penalty as well. Collectively Ireland made six line breaks and beat 14 defenders. Sexton went close off Chris Farrell, but Bundee Aki's ferocious carry proved one too many.

A trio of returning British and Irish Lions for Wales were not enough to stop Ireland taking the honours as Jonny Sexton silenced any doubts over his fitness with another dominant display.



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