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Matt Williams confident closed roof in Cardiff will benefit Ireland

Principality Stadium

Matt Williams believes having the roof closed at the Principality Stadium will benefit Ireland in Saturday’s game against Wales.

The roof being closed at the Principality Stadium guarantees that the volume will be raised as the home crowd’s cheers will bounce around the venue, while also ensuring perfect weather conditions.

Ireland’s complex attacking shape in the last 15 months or so has been highly complimented, although it certainly wasn’t at its best in the November conditions during the Autumn Nations Series despite three wins from three.

Speaking on the Virgin Media Rugby podcast, former Scotland head coach Matt Williams predicted that the closed roof will facilitate Ireland’s attacking game plan against Wales.

Matt Williams on the closed roof in Cardiff.

“It certainly suits Ireland to close the roof… The whole point of having a roof in Cardiff is so it doesn’t rain, but on occasion it suits Wales,” Williams said.

“There’s two parts to this; it certainly suits Ireland but the reason it’s closed is obviously Wales have got a bit of a plan there as well.

“If Ireland can get their attacking game back anywhere near the standard that we saw in the summer in New Zealand, it’ll be too much for Wales. But they haven’t done that in November.

“It’s not possible to play at that level all the time because teams are working you out, defensive coaches are looking at ways to disrupt your attacking system. But I think we’ll still see the same type of attack that we’ve seen for the last 12 months.”

Can Warren Gatland turn Wales around?

Wales adopted a complex attacking game plan under Wayne Pivac, similar to the one that he employed to great success at the Scarlets, although it rarely worked on the international stage.

Warren Gatland’s previous Wales sides were far more straight forward in attack, and as the Kiwi coach has had little time to prepare for the Six Nations, supporters can expect to see something similar this Saturday.

Ireland weren’t at their best in attack in November, although the team’s defence was top notch and held up to a powerful assault from South Africa, so Wales will need to be particularly good to punch holes in the green wall.

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