Global Media

Wales derail Ireland's Six Nations title hopes in Cardiff

Ireland have another reason to beat England next week and not many people know about it

Joe Schmidt's men had looked the better team in the first quarter, however a sixth minute penalty from Sexton was all they had to show after their best start of the tournament. He's gone through the HIA (head injury assessment) process but wasn't able to train Saturday and Sunday.

And with a minute to go his kick was charged down by replacement Taulupe Faletau and Jamie Roberts gathered in Wales' third try to which Halfpenny added the extras. Despite not being at their best, they have found a way to pick up wins, with their replacements, usually, coming in and putting on a late charge.

The Scotland full-back is having an even better Six Nations on the pitch than he did previous year when he was voted player of the tournament, and he goes into today's potential Triple Crown decider against England acknowledged as the premier attacking player in the tournament.

As it turned out there was minimal rainfall and, beforehand, Schmidt complained that the pitch was not as dry as they expected.

"Ireland mix it up quite well", said Tipuric.

England were stunned by the raucous atmosphere in their 30-3 capitulation to Wales in Cardiff in 2013, but Best remains confident Ireland are prepared for the sensory overload.

"We hope they feel a bit galvanised by the fact they get to go again and step up their performance", McBryde said Thursday. "You just think about the next game and playing for your country".

In the 18th minute, Paddy Jackson was brought on for Sexton who had sustained an accidental knock to the head from Jonathan Davies' knee.

The incident was referred to the television match official Ben Skeen but, rightly, no action was taken against the Welsh centre as it was purely accidental. Maybe a little bit more so in Wales. "But they're not as loud as they normally are". Rhys Webb was the orchestrator as he linked with Scott Williams before throwing a delicious long pass to Leigh Halfpenny.

Sexton then cynically denied Wales a try by killing the ball on the tryline, receiving a yellow card for his troubles. "Ireland are more than happy to go with our decision". We played for a full 80 minutes this week and put in a hell of a shift against a quality Ireland side. He hurt it again moments later but again continued.

"I haven't really thought about it".

George North crossed in either half as the hosts' defence stoically repelled wave after wave from Ireland in the second half.

However, Ireland were guilty of coughing up possession cheaply at times, overplaying in their own 22 and kicking loosely before Biggar watched his well-struck drop goal attempt hit the left hand post.

"They've still got to be able to play their style of rugby - which has been very exciting and entertaining - but they've got to use their forwards to get momentum so to draw the other forwards in and then tighten up the backs, so to give the (Stuart) Hoggs and (Tommy) Seymours of the world space and time".