Ireland 19 – Wales 10, Aviva Stadium Dublin.
Although you don’t want to over analyse these warm-up games, it was a good afternoon for Ireland and a concerning one for Wales. Chief among Wales’ concerns will be a Head Injury Assessment for Rhys Patchell. This compounds the bad luck already suffered by one of Wales’ outside halves, Gareth Anscombe. There was also a lack of creativity amongst the Welsh backs resulting in the Welsh wings not really getting into the game.
Late on Irish pressure led to Wales losing their usual defensive discipline. Several penalties were conceded including a yellow card for substitute Adam Beard.
Wales started the game reasonably well and had the lions share of first half possession. They narrowly led at half-time but this was, as the cliche goes, ‘a game of two halves’. The Irish second half performance was much better and they deservedly won the game.
Ireland now top the rugby world rankings but they benefit, like Wales did previously, from the World Cup warm-up games coming thick and fast which has given their rankings a boost.
Missed an early penalty opportunity but made up for it later with a successful kick. Set up a decent chance with a grubber kick through that nearly came off for George North in the first half. 7.
Fairly quiet – Not wholly his fault, with little service coming his way. 6.5
Not his best. A missed tackle on Van der Flier. Conversely he put a good hit on Johnny Sexton. Dropped off Kearney for the Irish first half try but it was a difficult chance to bring the Irish full-back down, being so close to the try line. 6.
Ran a great diagonal line for his first half try. In grounding the ball he knocked the referee down to supply fans with a comedy moment. Good but not great. 7.
Not heavily involved, especially in attack. Provided some good defensive cover. 6.5
An unconvincing start and then worryingly went off half way through the first half for a HIA. 4.
A try scoring tackle was one of his stand out moments. No big mistakes but didn’t really shine in a below par Welsh team performance. 6.5
Good turnover at a ruck in the first half. Also held up an Irish attacker over the line. 7.
Strong carries, good delivery to the lineout. One of Wales better performers. 8.
A decent enough performance from the Welsh scrum against a good Irish pack. Held his own. 7.5
Held up an Irish attacker who had crossed the line. Caught well from a restart. Was part of the Welsh lineout which performed well. 7.
Alan Wyn Jones
Won’t be happy with the Welsh loss. Defensively rock solid, stopping Furlong close to the line in the first half and preventing an Irish try with Gareth Davies close to the end. Stole some Irish ball at the lineout. 7.5
Got through a lot of defensive work and made many tackles. 7.
Very good at the lineout with catches and steals of the opponents ball. 7.
Was his usual destructive self with ball in hand. 7.
Nearly scored following an interception after coming on for the injured Rhys Patchell. Just lacked the gas to go the whole way and was hauled down by the scrambling Irish defence. Gave a penalty away for a high tackle. 7.
Came on with fifteen minutes to go and combined with Gareth Davies for a nice break. Tested by a good Irish up and under which he wasn’t able to collect. 7.
Busy and involved after coming on. Nothing unusual there. 7.
Couldn’t stem the Irish tide after coming on around the sixty minute mark. Not solely his fault by any means. 6.5
Some good hands in midfield for a hooker. Decent after coming on. 7.
Was part of a completely revamped front row on the hour when Warren Gatland made wholesale changes. 6.5
Came on at 73mins and was yellow carded shortly after. 5.
Another who had a twenty minute run out. Couldn’t get Wales back in the game. 6.5.
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