Ireland will have to rely on an unlikely favour from Scotland to have any chance of wrestling the Six Nations Championship off England following a 22-9 defeat to Wales on Friday evening.
The visitors drew first blood through a Johnny Sexton penalty and could have been further ahead after a barnstorming run from CJ Stander was stopped just short of the line only for his side to waste the resulting platform. George North put Rob Howley’s charges in front soon after, finishing off a good move with a powerful drive for the corner.
George North put Rob Howley’s charges in front soon after, finishing off a good move with a powerful drive for the corner.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) March 10, 2017
They walked through. Need to be much tighter in defence 🙈 #WALvIRE
— Glenisk (@Glenisk) March 10, 2017
Godzilla couldn't stop North from there. #WALvIRE
— Matthew (@Ceiberfox) March 10, 2017
What a bit of magic from the Welsh,beautiful team try,let the ball do the work,some great running into space,you gotta appreciate that!
— Breyton Paulse (@BreytonPaulse) March 10, 2017
Paddy Jackson, temporarily on in the opening half as Sexton was assessed following a nasty-looking knee to the head, put Schmidt’s men in the lead once more as he slotted over a penalty shortly before the half-hour mark.
On the brink of half-time, the hosts almost crossed again but the recovered Sexton managed to get across to make a massive tackle out wide. He was somewhat controversially adjudged by referee Wayne Barnes of not rolling away and was sent to the bin.
Leigh Halfpenny then notched three points in front of the posts to see his side go into the break 8-6 ahead.
Somethings never change. Wayne Barnes is one of those things. #WALvIRE
— Daniel Considine (@DanoConsidine) March 10, 2017
Fantastic game of rugby going on but also fuck Wayne Barnes #WALvIRE
— Catherine Lynch (@catherinelynch3) March 10, 2017
How the hell was Sexton meant to roll away. Wayne Barnes is an awful referee #WALvIRE
— Michael Kennedy (@m86kennedy) March 10, 2017
In a tight game. It's a nightmare being away from home with Wayne Barnes on the whistle. #WALvIRE
— Big Moo (@bigmoofus) March 10, 2017
Wales added further to their lead just after the break as North dotted down again, walking in following good work from the forwards.
North again! Feck.. Feckity Feck
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) March 10, 2017
You'd have to say it's not going well for us 😕 #WALvIRE
— fiona grant (@Rma13Fiona) March 10, 2017
Irish mistakes and one dimensional attack costing them dearly #WALvIRE
— C.C. Baxter (@ImAPatientMan) March 10, 2017
Sexton closed the gap to 6 soon after his return but, despite immense pressure on the Welsh line, the boys in green couldn’t find the necessary score. The most basic of errors, both in open play and at set-pieces, cost the away side dear.
Bloody horrible handling again…. too many unforced errors for me! #WALvIRE
— Dave Lyons (@DaveLyonsLFC) March 10, 2017
Such basic errors 🙈
— Luke Acreman (@acreman10) March 10, 2017
Unforced errors again. We don't look like getting a try 😖😖😖#WALvIRE 🇮🇪
— Martin Burke (@burke_murty35) March 10, 2017
The losing bonus point was lost in the dying minutes as Jamie Roberts blocked down Sexton’s kick and bundled over the line.
— Conor Doherty (@ConorDoherty13) March 10, 2017
Finally making most of chances. Much more nous on display to go along with the usual guts and ferocity in defence. Well done bois #WALvIRE
— Richard Belli (@PlymouthJack) March 10, 2017
Ireland host England at the Aviva next weekend in the final round of games in what is now only set up as a chance for the home side to prevent a grand slam for Eddie Jones’ side. Alun-Wyn Jones, meanwhile, will lead his side to Paris to take on France.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena
Read More About: irish rugby, Joe Schmidt, Lions tour 2017, rob howley, rory best wales rugby, Rugby, rugby news, rugby union news, Six Nations 2017, six nations championship 2017, Top Story, warren gatland