Friday night saw Ireland beat Wales by 23 points – their biggest winning margin over the Welsh since 2014. Yet, it didn’t really feel like a massive achievement.
Andy Farrell and his men can rightfully feel pleased with their performance against Wales but they’ll need to be better if they hope to get one over on the English at Twickenham.
Check out the five main talking points from Ireland’s win over Wales below.
Ireland are lacking a killer edge
Despite scoring a hefty 32 points against the 2019 Six Nations champions, Ireland should have come away with much more, especially in the first half.
There were a number of occasions where Ireland found themselves in Wales’ 22 and were unable to cross the try line, either conceding a turnover or taking three points after a Welsh infringement.
While it certainly didn’t affect the outcome of the match, their attack looked quite blunt at times and will struggle against sides in better form.
James Lowe proves he is international quality
While questions over his defensive ability still remain there is no doubt that Lowe is one of the most exciting attacking prospects on the island.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 15, 2020
The former Maori All Black has caused chaos for many defenders in his time with Leinster and he set off similar alarm bells in the Welsh defence on his international debut.
Lowe was a consistent thorn in Wales’ side all night and when the opportunity for his first try in green presented itself he took his chance brilliantly.
Conor Murray is well able to fill in at fly half when needed
While the Munster scrum half isn’t likely to be called upon to fill the 10 shirt too regularly it’s nice to know that he can do a job there when needed.
Murray came on in the 65th minute after Billy Burns was forced to leave the pitch with a head injury with Ireland leading the match 19-9.
While Ireland were well on their way to victory at that stage, things actually improved following Murray’s introduction.
The Limerick man controlled the game well and slotted two penalties and a conversion during his fifteen-minute cameo at 10. Not bad for a player who has struggled to find form for the last couple of years in his natural position.
Caelan Doris could be Ireland’s answer at 8 for the next decade
The man originally from Ballina in County Mayo put in a dominant performance from the back of the scrum in what was only his fifth cap for his country.
The 22 year old made plenty of bruising carries, seriously testing a Welsh defence that has struggled in recent weeks.
Despite being relatively new to the role of Ireland’s number 8, the Leinster player looks to have locked down the green jersey for a number of years to come.
Wales are in big trouble
Friday’s defeat to Ireland made it six losses in a row for Wales and new head coach Wayne Pivac is already under huge pressure to keep his job.
While Wales are almost certain to win next week against Georgia, there are serious issues in the camp at the moment with their defence coach Byron Hayward stepping down last week.
While they wouldn’t have been expected to beat Ireland in Dublin, they shouldn’t have lost by 23 points to the somewhat experimental Irish team.